Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Are Traditional Teaching Methods Still Effective?

Education has been an integral part of human life as eating and sleeping. It has shaped so many generations for thousands of years and remains doing so in our present. These days, however, technology has changed so many things as well as the manner we digest information. Digital tools, such as computers, audio and visual tools, are slowly replacing traditional teaching methods.
What Are Traditional Teaching Methods?
Before we tackle the issue of technology as replacing conservative traditional teaching methods, we must first discover the basics of traditional teaching methods. The three main types of methods used in traditional education are as follows:
  • Lectures and Direct Instruction
Traditional teaching, as most of us have experienced, is classroom-based and consists of lectures and direct instructions conducted by the teacher. This teacher-centered method emphasizes learning through the teacher’s guidance at all times. Students are expected to listen to lectures and learn from them.
  • Seatwork
Tests are the most significant indicator of student performance and degree of learning. Students who belong in the same class sit down and take a single set of examinations, which they should pass. Most of the examinations are taken from fundamental resources, such as textbooks and other publications that are relevant to the subject.
  • Listening and Observation
Teachers talk to the students about the subject matter and expect them to learn everything through the lectures held in the classroom.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Teaching Methods
Traditional teaching has been around for thousands of years, shaping the minds of so many scholars, workers and ordinary men and women. At a young age, a person is expected to attend a formal education, which involves a teacher and a set of students convening in a classroom. Through formal education using traditional teaching methods, students learn what they needed to succeed in the real world. The advantage of obtaining an education in a classroom setting is that a student receives formal education and learns to focus on the subject at hand. While traditional teaching has been a tried-and-tested method, it also has some disadvantages, particularly today that technology has made learning better, more fun and interactive.
Traditional teaching methods may be also deemed restricted to some degree. Traditionally, classroom settings are teacher-centered where the teacher often talks at the students instead of encouraging them to interact, ask questions or make them understand the lesson thoroughly. Most classes involve rote learning, where students depend on memorization without having a complete understanding of the subject. Just by passing the tests, consisting of descriptions, matching and other forms of indicators are all that matter to complete the curriculum. Long lectures and dictations, rote memorization and little interaction in the classroom often leave students less attentive and less engaged. They are prone to skipping classes and missing lessons altogether. Moreover, students in a traditional class have little opportunity to interact with their classmates or their teacher.
While traditional teaching methods are often compared and criticized nowadays because of the incorporation of technological advances in modern teaching methods, one cannot remove traditional methods entirely to achieve an effective education. Students and teachers will benefit more if both traditional and modern methods are fused together in order to create a more effective, fun and interactive learning experience.

In My Opinion:
This article talks about the traditional teaching methods and how the teachers perform their classes. The teacher has control over all the students in the class, taking exams to see if they are learning or just memorizing things just to pass the test. The TTT* is more used in this case and the student has almost no time to interact with the class. 
Nowadays technology has helped us a lot in many different way in our life, including learning. The idea of the perfect teacher is changing and now this idea is about a teacher who let the student participate in the class, interact with them and with the help of visual materials and why not some little games help the student to understand the lecture more completed and faster. 
All these new techniques and skills are been adopting for books and for teachers that, in my opinion, are the perfect model of a teacher to follow. 
TTT* (Teacher Talking Time)

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