The Principles of Teaching and Learning

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The article “The principles of Teaching and Learning” written by ‘Lade Joel Adeyanju was a chapter in the book “Principles of and Practice of Education” edited by O. J. Ehindero and F. O. Aladejana and published in 2005. By its presentation, the book was a ‘Book of Readings’ with many contributing authors writing on diverse topics all focusing on the principles and practice of education.

The “Principles of Teaching and Learning” was well presented by the author, opening with an introduction, subdivisions of the topic to improve readability and simplify concept learning, and ending with a summary, an exercise and a bibliography for further reading. Major subdivisions of the work include the following:

▪ Introduction

▪ The Teacher and Teaching

▪ Learning from the basics for survival

▪ The Basic component of Instruction

▪ Cognitive Learning

▪ Negative reinforcement

▪ Punishments

▪ Some ways of impacting Knowledge using the media

▪ Strategies applicable to different types of Learning

▪ Making your teaching better

▪ Summary

▪ Exercise and

▪ Bibliography

The Introduction threw light into what to expect in the body of the work. Learning and the role it plays in communication, culture, and day-to-day life was introduced. The main objectives of the work were enumerated as well as the expected outcome.

The article identified the teacher as a manager of the ‘mind’ whose focus is the learner, encouraging the maximization of the learner’s potentials so as to make him/her an acceptable and productive member of the society. The teacher puts up his/her best and made sacrifices to cope with learners’ individualism directing all his/her activities at meeting the learners learning needs under a non-threatening environment. In teaching, the teacher breaks down his/her topic into learnable whole, generates a variety of example to clarify the teaching of concepts and principles, selects appropriate learning experiences, use activity-packed methods, design and develop instructional materials and diversify learning modes. The need for the teacher to be involved in a life-long learning for him/her to be relevant and effective was emphasized.

Learning starts from childhood, enabling the mind to be molded so as to make the individual a functional member of the community. The cultural milieu set the background for correct and expected behavior right from the early years when the child learn from stimuli presented by the environment. The author asserts that learning is an important process in the understanding of human behavior and that the process analyses what takes place in man’s socialization. Acquisition of attitudes, beliefs and exhibition of acceptable/appropriate behavioral response to man’s culture is also identified as a learning process. Learning is defined as a relatively permanent change in behavior.

Experience using all or most of the sense organs enables learning. Perception is especially important in the learning process. Three important stages were identified in the process of learning. They are ‘diffusion’, ‘differentiation’ and ‘integration’ stages. The stage of diffusion in perception represents a state of confusion when the learner is not clear in his mind or sight what he/she is experiencing. At the stage of differentiation, an amount of understanding is presented to the senses but in fragmented order. At this stage, attempts are made to discriminate though in generalized form and it is a stage when learning begins. At the stage of integration, relationships become clearer and are seen between past events that make sense because learning has taken place.

Experience, perception and practice are...