Basic Principles: Teaching and Learning
Learning is a life long process that starts from the moment of birth and continues till death. Environment, parents, siblings and teachers are the important media to facilitate the acquisition of learning skills or knowledge. Learning is the main focus of any educational programme. Education mainly aims at producing the desired changes in the learnersâ€™ behaviour. Learning may be defined as modification of behaviour as a result of knowledge and skill through interaction, experience and practice.
Conditions of learning:
Learning is an active process in which the learner interacts in a given situation. It can be made effective by observing the following conditions:
a. Motivation: It is an essential condition of learning. It refers to the needs of the trainees. Learning will be more effective, if the trainees are aware of the need to learn. The teacher can make learning effective through proper motivation.
b. Inclination: A student will learn a particular thing only when he/she is mentally and physically ready to do so. Illness, physical or mental handicaps may affect readiness. So, the teacher must ascertain the studentsâ€™ readiness before beginning the learning process.
c. Situation: Learning situation refers to the environment of the student, such as home conditions, school, college, university environment, teachersâ€™ attitude towards the students, learning task, financial matters etc. Improving the studentsâ€™ learning situation can facilitate learning.
d. Interaction: The student learns by interacting in the learning situation. Interaction is a process of responding to a situation and getting feedback from it. Better leaning results from the more satisfying interaction.
e. Psychological Safety: A student will participate actively in a learning situation where he feels safe. If a teacher behaves harshly, the student will not be able to participate freely. The teachersâ€™ attitude is an important factor in the studentsâ€™ psychological safety. A permissive teacher can help the student to participate freely and actively.
f. Experimentation: Learning can be effective, if the students can expose themselves to the learning situation. The students have to experiment or try out new ways and watch whether these work well. A student can learn better doing sums in mathematics by trying out sums himself/herself.
g. Practice: Practice means to repeat the exercise. This is particularly true of skill learning. No skill can be learned without sufficient practice. The teacher has to plan the situations in such a way that the students get maximum scope to do practice.
h. Feedback: The student who knows his performance immediately after he has learned something tends to learn more than a trainee who is uncertain about it. After solving a problem, a student has a tendency to know whether his solution is correct or not. When a teacher appreciates his job, he feels proud. This is a strong incentive to the students. This is called feedback. All involve similar condition of learning. The important conditions involved in the learning of skills are demonstration, experimentation, feedback and practice.
i. Interest: Keep the activity interesting throughout the learning process order to maintain interest value.
j. Maturity: The learning material should be in accordance with the age, maturity level and learning capacity of the students.
k. System: To make learning systematic and easy, the material should be organized and taught based on the following criteria:
1. From simple to complex
2. From known to unknown
3. From concrete to abstract
L. Associate: The material, which is to be taught, should be associated with the previous knowledge and some link with known facts.