Motivating the Pupils
In order to feel motivated for their work, pupils must have the opportunity of seeing it produce concrete results. They must have immediate and clearly defined interim objectives to work for. For this reason, lessons must not lapse into a succession of exercises or collections of material; instead there must be clear objectives which teacher and pupils have tried to agree on for a series of lessons.
The demand for working methods which will activate the pupils precludes ‘chalk and talk’, i.e. the type of teaching where the teacher present subject matter which the pupils memorize with the teaching materials aid of notes and a textbook and are then tested on, orally or in writing. It also precludes a working method where the pupils’ contribution is limited to the passive collection of material from a book by copying various data according to previously produced questions. In a situation of this kind, school work is liable to entail the mere collection of facts without any analysis or application.
Within the framework of various activating work procedures, teachers and pupils have considerable latitude for trying out different working methods together. Schools must respect the individuality of different teachers and pupils on this point.
Work must be individualized as far as is practically possible. This involves adapting the subject matter to the individual interest of different pupils. It also means giving different pupils different lengths of time in which to learn something. No single working method will suit every pupils A working method also has to be individualized within the framework afforded by the demand for all round training. There is no single study technique which can be termed the best way for all pupils.
The individualization of working methods and assignments can teach the pupils the value of co-operation. During an in-depth study or project, each member of the group makes a particular contribution towards the common achievement. In this way the pupils can also learn to understand the equal value of different duties. Everybody needs to pull together in order for the group or class to do well.
Home work is part of the working methods used at school. Teaching pupils to assume responsibility for an assignment tailored to their individual capacities is an essential part of the character training which it is the business of schools to provide.
If for some particular reason pupils are unable to complete their assignments at home, it should be a natural ingredient of school planning to help them in various ways to do so at school.
School working methods must also be reflected by the nature of home work. In many cases, home work can take the form of investigations in the local community and the natural environment, or else entail interviews of parents and other persons concerning their working conditions. Home work should also be employed as a means of giving pupils the practice and revision which are necessary for the consolidation of knowledge and skills.
Teaching materials are the materials which teachers and pupils agree to employ in pursuit of predefined goals.
The social and natural environment near the school should be employed for purposes of observation and investigation. Practical vocational orientation, field trips, excursions, camp schools and home work all provide opportunities of examining and collecting material. Society also has an abundance of information to offer via broadcasting media, books, periodicals, brochures and newspapers.
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