Skip to content

Instructional Teaching Tips

Cognitive scientist Pooja Agarwal and K-12 teacher Patrice Bain have been researching teaching strategies and applying them in the classroom for over 15 years. In their work, they have come up with strategies that align with the research they have done. Bain says, "I continued to use these over the years, and it works. The science works. The stress decreases. The students retain knowledge, and it was just so exciting that Pooja and I wanted to share this information." They call the four strategies that they have developed "The Power Tools."

Retrieval Practice

One of the strategies Agarwal and Bain developed focuses on trying to recall knowledge from long-term memory. Instead of assigning homework most nights, Bain started giving mini-quizzes at the start of each class, asking three to five questions about the previous day's learning. These mini-quizzes aren't graded because the goal is to reinforce the learning, not measure or grade student work. What Bain found was that as students began answering these questions, they were actually retrieving knowledge from the day before and it helped them retain the information. Not only did this save her hours each night grading homework assignments, but it "made all the difference in students being able to retain the information."

Children learn in various ways, and one size does not fit all when it comes to methods of teaching. Quizalize discusses a range of effective teaching strategies that can work for students with varying abilities and personalities. One of these is differentiated instruction.

Differentiation

In order to meet the unique needs of a diverse group of students, it is helpful to assign classroom activities according to the students' individual capabilities and most effective learning style. Some students are able to work in a self-paced environment, while others thrive in a group. Students who have mastered the material can reinforce their learning by assisting others who are struggling. Collaboration and cooperation benefit all of the students. When tasks are allocated based on abilities, students can learn the same material at a challenge level that is appropriate on an individual basis.

Study.com lists teaching strategies that have proven effective in classrooms at different age levels. These are "methods that teachers use to deliver course material in ways that keep students engaged and practicing different skill sets."

Active Learning

The opposite of passive learning, where students sit through a teacher lecture, active learning involves the student taking an active role. Projects, inquiries, discussions and other student-centered activities result in students outperforming those receiving traditional passive instruction. While active learning is teacher-guided, students construct their own understanding of the knowledge.

Blended Learning

Taking advantage of technology, this technique "allows students to do part of their learning in an independent digital environment, and part of it in a face-to-face classroom setting." This teaching strategy promotes independent learning where students can progress at their own pace. When blended with in-person instruction, this technique provides great flexibility and personalization.

Differentiated instruction, project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, flipped classrooms and cooperative learning are also covered in the Study.com article.

Specializing in Curriculum and Instruction

Education professionals can learn how to organize and evaluate curriculum, utilize educational research and study advanced theories of learning by enrolling in a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Educational Administration. Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) offers a fully online degree program they can complete in as few as 12 months. Each accelerated course lasts 7-weeks, and students are required to complete a total of 33 credit hours to graduate.

Learn more about TAMIU's Master of Science in C&I with a Specialization in Educational Administration online program.


Sources:

Cult of Pedagogy: Four Research-Based Strategies Every Teacher Should Be Using

Quizalize: 7 Effective Teaching Strategies for the Classroom

Study.com: Effective Teaching Strategies


Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.

Need More Information?

Submit the form below, and a representative will contact you to answer any questions!

Request Information
*All fields required.

Ready to Go?

Start your application today!

Apply Now