2.3 General Principles of Good Teaching
The good relationship between teacher and learners is so important that any compromise of any nature may lead to classroom disorder.
To avoid disorders, some principles that guide good teaching have been suggested by scholars (Opinmi, 2007 & Osokoya, 2010).
Amongst the prominent ones are:
Recognition of individual differences: As classroom teachers, we should recognize the fact that no two persons are the same.
Close examination of two leaves from the same plant will throw more light on this principle as the leaves have different features that distinct them. Similarly, the children/pupils under the teacher are different in terms of mental capability
(Genius or fast learners; Mediocre or slow or backward learners), social comportment (introvert and extrovert),
physical appearance and emotional feelings. Thus, we should avoid the practice of lumping them together in our efforts to teach.
Identification of pupils needs: The pupils’ previous knowledge of the subject/topic to be taught must always be considered.
The knowledge of the facts and figures will assist him to help the pupils to learn effectively as irrelevant and unnecessary areas will be avoided while important and inevitable aspects will be included during the course of the classroom activities.
With a good knowledge of the pupils’ needs; a teacher will be able to work to point.
Ability to arouse interest and maintaining it: In as much as a teacher cannot teach in an empty classroom or a classroom with just the desks and benches, it then becomes imperative for a teacher to ensure the pupils’ readiness and preparedness to learn before teaching.
A good teacher should be able to arouse the interest of his pupils and take them along in his teaching. The heart, head and hand of the pupils should be prepared prior to any classroom activity.
Ensuring a democratic teaching/learning environment: Teaching/learning can only strive well in a democratic environment where teacher and pupils interact and relate freely.
The classroom environment should be made conducive for both the pupils and the teachers to share knowledge and ideas freely without any form of intimidation or coercion. Questions should be distributed among pupils evenly without any trace of partiality or favoritism. Pupils should be given equal opportunities to participate in the classroom activities. This ensures high sense of belonging on the parts of the pupils, hence, their willingness and readiness to be fully involved in the classroom activities.
In addition, the use of cane should be de-emphasised. It is a weapon of subjugation.
Clear objectives: Teaching objectives that serve as guiding principles must be clearly stated. This will make teaching/learning activities effective in the classroom.
Activity based teaching: Teaching/learning activities should make classroom situation lively, interesting, meaningful and effective too.
In essence, it should be activity based.
Meaningful task: Study tasks being given to the pupils should be relevant and meaningful in content, concepts and in context. Vagueness, vacuum and vanity should be avoided when giving learning assignments to the pupils. All classroom work or assignments should be tailored to the learning experiences we want our pupils to have.