Innovative Teaching Methods and Strategies for Teachers

More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given. -Bertrand Russell

An experienced teacher definitely has an upper hand over a beginner but if innovative teaching methods and certain strategies are incorporated into the teaching methodology this wide gap can be reduced to some extent. The classroom is a dynamic environment that brings students from different backgrounds with different abilities and personalities. Therefore, in order to meet the individual needs of students, it requires the teacher to implement innovative teaching or learning strategies.

Teaching and learning strategies aim to promote research and assessment skills and foster critical and reflective thinking so that students can take positive action to enhance their own strengths and others’ health and protect their own and others’ wellbeing, and safety. Teaching and learning strategies may include whole-class performance-based assessments, a series of individual and group activities to accommodate learning rates and styles, and different abilities, skills, and understandings that allow each student to participate and succeed. Therefore, certain innovative teaching methods and strategies for teachers that can add value to their work can be taken into account are:

Teaching through Smart Boards

Smartboards are an effective way to bring the classroom to life while helping students experience a deeper level of engagement and understanding. This is done by making the course content interactive and visual. The smart boards transform the teaching experience into an interactive and collaborative experience as the teachers use dynamic multimedia content to help convey the topic more effectively to the students and make it a visual and engaging experience. This also includes the use of a stylus which can be used to make the classroom even more interactive wherein the teacher can add something more to the already created presentations and document files by overwriting directly on the screen.

Creative Teaching

Including playful games or forms of visual exercises that excite young minds and capture their interest can be an effective strategy to make the class even more interesting and pro-learning. This is a time-tested method to identify every young student’s creative abilities and encourage creative contributions. The teachers should bring aspects of creativity into all the subjects, be it mathematics, computer science, or political science. The teacher should think of ways to develop creative ideas among the students. Encourage different ideas and give them the freedom to explore the subjects.

This will root out all the boredom from the students and enable them to explore their creative side as well.

Quick Response codes or QR codes

Quick Response codes are easy to create and have multiple uses in classrooms at all grade levels. These codes can lead students to information just by scanning the code on a student’s digital device. In the classroom, students can use QR codes to

check their answers, vote on answers during class discussions, extend information found in textbooks, get survey information for math units on data, participate in talent hunts, access video tutorials on the material being taught, and link students directly to Google maps. QR codes allow students to access information without leaving their seats. Students can even generate QR codes to showcase their learning with peers and parents. Thus, QR codes can make both learning and teaching effective and have the ability to reduce large amounts of data into simple codes which are very easy to process.

Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is an effective and enjoyable way to learn. It also develops deeper learning competencies required for success in college, career, and civic life.

Project-based learning uses real-world scenarios, challenges, and problems to engage students in critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and self-management. Once students solve the problem or challenge, they present their solutions. The problems students solve can be presented to community leaders to solve problems in their own community.

Project-based learning uses collaboration, digital tools, and problem-solving skills to come up with a solution to the problem presented. There are a number of educators interested in this teaching method due to the multidimensional purpose it fulfills. Project-based learning makes school more engaging for students and improves learning. It also provides opportunities for students to use technology and makes teaching more enjoyable and rewarding. Apart from this, project-based learning also connects students and schools with communities and the real world.

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Exploration Techniques

Exploration in teaching helps to improve students' self-learning, open their minds to learning and creativity, as well as to better understand the subject, and improve their communication skills. This may be done by assigning a group of students to bring and present information about a particular topic. This can be followed by a group discussion on the topic among the group itself for a better understanding. After the presentation and group discussion session, students have to talk about the sources that have been used to gather information; such as magazines, the Internet, newspapers, and other sources, and then the questions are asked by the faculty to the students to open up room for discussion and interaction for all students. This helps in clarifying and understanding the subject better and moreover enhancing the confidence and speaking skills of the students.

Debates and deliberations

A methodological debate is a strategy based on communication activities between groups of students whose main subject is a set of perspectives on a particular content that ends with the acceptance of reading supported by arguments. Classroom discussions can be an effective way to gain broad, multi-faceted knowledge cutting across several disciplines outside the learner’s normal academic subjects.

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It increases learners’ confidence and provides an engaging, active, learner-centered activity along with increasing rigorous higher-order and critical thinking skills. It also the ability to structure and organize thoughts and learners’ analytical, research, and note-taking skills and encourage teamwork.

Debates are not only a great way to motivate students, but they are also useful in teaching them how to present valid arguments and stand strong on their points. Debates also lead students to learn more about the topics being discussed, as they must explore and research to defend their point of view. This type of activity continuously enhances critical thinking skills and generates new ideas and solutions to problems.

Therefore, there are a lot of teaching methods, and depending upon the kind of students, the teachers will have to change their approach and strategy. There can be no single strategy that is better than others since every method has its own importance. Choosing the right teaching methodology is important because that decides the effectiveness of learning in your classroom. The teachers have to ensure to choose the right innovative methods of teaching. They can choose from the different types of teaching methods based on the demographics of students, the subject the teachers teach, and the intensity of the lesson.

Contributed by:
Balpreet Brar
Edmund Hinkel