APPROACH, METHOD & TECHNIQ

APPROACH, METHOD & TECHNIQUE
1. Introduction

A common error among teachers is to use interchangeably terms like approach, method, and technique. Such pedagogical weakness may be considered as one unforgivable act ever committed by teachers. Thus, Lesson 4 will help us absolutely comprehend these three terms together with the other topic areas related to teaching procedures.

Specifically. Lesson 4 contains:

* Approach, Method and Technique Defined
* Teaching Strategy
* Some Leading Teaching Approaches
> Discovery Approach
> Conceptual
> Process
> Inquiry
> Unified
Objectives

After completing lesson four, you should be able to:
a) compare and contrast approach, method and technique using the actual classroom teaching as point of reference
b) discuss the nature and features of the different teaching approaches, and
c) discern what makes a good method and eventually, evaluate whether the methods employed by the teachers are good
You will surely learn so many things on this lesson (“,) Read now.
2. Presentation

Approach, Method and Technique Defined

The simple diagram found below is an attempt to distinguish them:

Based on the diagram, it clearly shows that approach encompasses the whole orientation of teaching. Approach is the broadest of the three, making technique the most specific, and the method found in between approach and technique.
An approach is an enlightened viewpoint toward teaching. It provides philosophy to the whole process of instruction. As presented by the diagram, the method and technique are just parts and parcels of approach. Approach gives the overall wisdom, it provides direction, and sets expectations to the entire spectrum of the teaching process. Furthermore, approach sets the general rule or general principle to make learning possible.

A method, on the other hand, is an organized, orderly, systematic, and well-planned procedure aimed at facilitating and enhancing students’ learning. It is undertaken according to some rule, which is usually psychological in nature. That is, it considers primarily the abilities, needs, and interests of the learners. Method is employed to achieve certain specific aims of instruction. To make it as an effective instrument, it should be presented with certain amount of efficiency and ease. More so, the teaching method aims to achieve greater teaching and learning output, thus saving time, efforts and even money on the part of both the teacher and the learner. It directs and guides the teacher and the students in undertaking any class lesson or activity.

To appraise that teaching method is good and effective, the following characteristics would tell if it is so:
* good method recognizes individual differences;
* if it provides students’ learning;
* if it facilitates growth and development;
* if it achieves the desired results of the teacher as reflected in her instructional objectives.

One must remember that there is no such thing as the best method. Thus, there is no single correct way to teach a class. Instead, there are many good ways of teaching the students.

The procedural variation of a method calls for the third term, technique. Technique encompasses the personal style of the teacher in carrying out specific steps of the teaching process. Through technique, teachers enable to develop, create and implement, using her distinctive way, the procedures (method) of teaching.
Teaching Strategy
In due time, educators and writers started using the term teaching strategy with reference to the methods and procedures utilized in teaching.

The term strategy is derived from the Greek word “strategos”, literally translated as ” the art of the general”. As a military term, it appeared in the literature in the latter part of the 18th century, referring to the larger aspects of conducting war. In the context, it was defined as ” the efficient application of resources to the accomplishment of objectives”, primarily the defeat of the enemy’s armed forces. While the larger aspects of conducting war were called strategies, smaller movements were referred to as tactics (Levis, 1985).

It was in the writing of American theorists and researchers such as B.O Smith and Hilda Taba where the notion of a teaching strategy first appeared. But it was Willard B. Spalding who used the term strategy earlier when, in 1958, he stated that the curriculum is the strategy by which the schools attempt to fulfill the goals of education. Referring to strategy – as applied to curriculum- as a sound calculation and coordination of the means and ends, Spalding pointed out.

In a paper entitled ” Toward a Theory of Instruction” Smith (1963) defined teaching as a “system of actions intended to induce learning”, and strategy as ” a pattern of acts that serves to obtain certain outcomes and to guard against certain others”. It is obvious that Smith was adapting military concepts to a classroom setting.

Another theorist, Taba (1969) also focused attention on the concept of teaching strategy. In her view, it was useless to study teaching as a global process; rather, it was necessary to identify particular teaching strategies required for particular types of instructional objectives. The main aim of strategies, she proposed, was the development of children’s thinking skills.

Aber et.al (1971) defined teaching strategy as : teaching strategy is a purposefully conceived and determined plan of action. Ideally, the strategy is designed to facilitate a particular kind of learning in a given situation and in terms of a specific learning objective. The strategy is selected for use after a comprehensive assessment of the specific situation prior to the actual instructional art. The operations of assessing the situation and selecting the strategy represent the “professional expertise” that the teacher brings to the instructional setting.

Another definition of teaching strategy was given by McClosky (1971): teaching strategy is a teaching approach that is used either in solving a classroom problem or in improving instruction.

According to Frankael (1973), teaching strategies represent the combinations of specific procedures or operations, grouped and ordered in definite sequence that teachers can use in the classroom to implement both cognitive and affective objectives.

SOME LEADING TEACHING APPROACHES
A. DISCOVERY APPROACH
B. CONCEPTUAL
C. PROCESS
D. INQUIRY
E. UNIFIED

DISCOVERY APPROACH
This approach pertains basically to cognitive aspect of learning; the development and organizations of concepts, ideas and insights, and the use of reference and other logical processes to control a situation.

Characteristics:
1. It is inductive, proceeding from the specific to general ones.
2. Freedom is necessary in the discovery approach.
3. The teacher helps the learners acquire knowledge, which is uniquely his own because he discovers it for himself.
4. The end of teaching, using this approach, is the acquisition of knowledge.
5. The students and not the teacher should be actively involved in the process of discovery
6. The students look at the knowledge that they have discovered as something new to them.

Centering on a series of problem solving situations, the discovery approach, therefore, calls for active student involvement. It is student-centered as well as self-directed learning.

Roles of the Teacher
1. Patience is needed in this approach. He does not pressure his students but he gives them enough time to formulate the expected generalization.
2. The teacher should not answer for the students; he can give clues and hints instead. He does not generalize for them.

Advantages
1. The increase in intellectual potency
2. The shift from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation
3. The learning of the heuristics of discovery (how to learn)
4. The aid to conserving memory

CONCEPTUAL APPROACH
This approach requires the categorization of content from simple to complex level. Students need not go into an actual investigation or experimentation, which is usually required in discovery approach. A simple act of recalling facts will suffice like asking students to state certain phenomena that they observe.

This approach recognizes the HIERARCHY OF COGNITION below:
Hierarchy of Cognition (Focus on Teaching, 1989)

Roles of the Teacher
1. The teacher using conceptual approach should be able to master the cognitive hierarchy of discipline. He should be able to categorize all knowledge pertinent to his area; from facts to concepts; from concepts to generalizations; from generalizations to principles; and all of these should be organized around conceptual schemes which are pervasive ideas embodying the whole discipline.
2. The teacher should help students to gather sufficient data to enable them form the expected generalization.
3. The teacher should not conceptualize for his students. The students should conceptualize for themselves.
Advantages
1. Since conceptualization as process involves an active use of mind, certain intellectual processes are being developed like classification, discrimination, synthesis, and judgment. While knowledge is being processed, students have to think logically and holistically.
2. One value of the students’ ability to generalize is that they can make use of the insights gained in certain problematic situations.
3. They could see and realize that bits of information, which seem to be isolated can be organized and pierced together like a jigsaw puzzle around a context in the broader fundamental structure of a field of knowledge. Thus, they become aware that every time the teacher presents a set of facts, the lesson is to be approached in its totality. Thus, meaning is drawn out and derived from it.

PROCESS APPROACH
The process approach may be defined as teaching in which knowledge is used as a means to develop students’ learning skills.

This approach originated from and used to be a monopoly of science instruction. Today, it is identified primarily with skill-oriented subjects like practical arts and home economics and even with knowledge-laden subjects like social studies.

The essence of the process approach lies on three major points:
1. emphasis on process implies a corresponding de-emphasis on the subject content ( the concern is how to learn and not what to learn).
2. it centers upon the idea that what is taught to students should be functional and not theoretical (e.g. if you learn mathematics do what mathematicians do; if you learn science, do what scientists do; and if you learn music, do what musicians do)
3. it introduces the consideration of human intellectual development (produces the consideration of human intellectual development – processes may refer to intellectual skills).

Advantages
1. Teaching a man how to catch fish is must better than giving him fish every time he needs it – this is the adage recognized by process approach.
2. By developing the skills of the students, the teacher is preparing him to be independent, self-sufficient, and productive person. This gives substance to education as a process of “preparing one for his own life”.

INQUIRY APPROACH
The concept of inquiry refers to one’s attempt to understand fundamental issues and concerns that may affect one’s status in life. From the point of view of teaching and learning, the concept of inquiry gives premium to the process of discovering what may be of help in motivating and in facilitating proper accumulation of knowledge.

Characteristics:
Its emphasis is placed upon the aspects of search rather than on the mere acquisition of knowledge. It addresses itself primarily to learning concepts, although an end product of any inquiry lessons may be production of a new idea of concept – or a new invention. It is the search for truth, information or knowledge. It pertains to research and investigation and to seeking for information by asking questions.

This approach views a given discipline more as an attitude than as a body of knowledge or as a method. Emphasizing the affective aspects of learning, it uses both the content and processes as means toward the development of the qualities of the mind as curiosity, skepticism, intellectual honesty and the like.
In using this approach, the questions should proceed from the very factual to thought-provoking questions – that is from the what questions to the how and why questions. More opportunities should be provided to students to respond to questions that call for analysis, interpretation, evaluation, and judgment.

The inquiry approach simply calls for the use of systematic method of studying a problem so that solutions therefore be equally prepared and implemented.

Role of the teacher:
In the classroom, the teacher should be an active participant in bringing about working relationship among learners, which enhances functional interplay of ideas and actions. Teachers and learners alike should learn to make adjustments in undertaking activities geared towards the “greatest good for the greatest number”.

This approach encourages teacher to be open-minded, and to be gracious in accepting criticisms and challenges with an end in view of insuring the carrying out of school activities as planned.

ADVANTAGES:
1. it requires them to go beyond the knowledge and skills levels of learning toward the affective dimensions like their attitudes, values, appreciations and the like.
2. They are expected to become more analytical and less gullible.
3. When students have adopted the spirit of inquiry, they become more curious and observant individuals.

The inquiry approach figuratively vibrates a nugget of wisdom:
“In work, every day brings new changes for one to grow, new challenges to meet, and new mission to pursue. If systematically planned, every new day is a step towards one’s pleasant dream”.

UNIFIED APPROACH
Teachers by and large present knowledge in its isolated and fragmented bits, as if each bit is an independent entity by itself. Once presented to students, these unrelated bits of information seem to be likely unattractive and meaningless to them. They might be able to memorize them for sometime but there is no guarantee that they will retain them. Their tendency is to recite them by rote, especially when there is an examination scheduled in a day’s time or two.

But after the test is given, such bits are surely relegated to oblivion.

The unified approach is defined as means of treating relationships that exist among the significant components making up a given body of knowledge. It is a thorough process of weaving and integrating topics into a general framework or a conceptual scheme. This simply means that the teacher does not treat each concept as an island by itself but rather he relates the previously learned concept with the new concept, until finally the students are able to see the interrelationships among the various concepts that serve as the mainstays or as the cognitive pillars of an academic subject. Its primary aim is to enhance the student’s learning by making him view things in their entirety or totality.

CHARACTERISTICS:
1. it is highly cognitive
2. it leads students toward insightful and meaningful learning
( concepts on comparison, linking up, ascertaining the cause
and effect, determining prerequisites, predicting results,
synthesis)
3. it is holistic in treatment
Enrichment Activities

1. Watch a videotaped demonstration teaching or an actual classroom teaching. Identify and classify the approach, methods (strategy) and techniques used by the teacher.

2. In the demonstration teaching viewed/seen, make a reaction by criticizing the appropriateness of approach, methods (strategy) and techniques used in handling the class.

3. Summary
Learning the various terms presented and discussed earlier would mean a lot in teaching. Always remember, a good teacher needs as well good strategies of handling and presenting the lessons. There are various approaches that can guide effective teaching-learning process. Each requires teachers to perform the tasks expected of him. Recognizing the importance of these approaches surely put teacher to better planning, implementing and evaluating his instruction.
4. Exercises
You have 10 minutes to accomplish Exercises A and B. Goodluck!

A. Direction: Identify whether each sentence below suggests an
a. Approach b. Method c. Technique

____1. A procedural variation of a teaching strategy.
____2. A general rule or principle that guides the whole process of teaching
____3. A sound philosophy and orientation, which used as bases in the process of instruction
____ 4. Guiding students by following an established patterns/steps of teaching
____ 5. A highly personalized style of carrying out a particular step
____ 6. A viewpoint that suggests what teaching procedure is to be used.
____ 7. Implementational due to its instant classroom application
____ 8. Embracing the entire spectrum of the teaching – learning process
____ 9. Procedural in nature since it is a series of logically arranged courses of action.
____ 10. An overall plan for the orderly presentation of a lesson
____ 11. Guiding teaching from planning to evaluating
____ 12. Making teaching an organized and systematic process
____ 13. Developing the teacher’s own distinctive way of carrying out some aspect of instruction
____ 14. Teaching is done following a well spell-out procedure.
____ 15. An example of which is looking at the learner as the center of the educative process.

B. Direction: Classify each statement as to the appropriate instructional approach.
a. discovery b. conceptual c. inquiry
d. process e. unified

____ 1. Learning is arranging knowledge from the simplest to the most complex
____ 2. Learning is viewing phenomena in their cause and effect relationship
____ 3. Learning is emphasizing the activity itself rather than the result of the activity
____ 4. Learning is listing down all the major concepts in a particular subject area and relating these concepts with one another
____ 5. Learning is the act of processing knowledge as the learner becomes more objective, curious, and skeptical in life
____ 6. Learning is best done through students’ active involvement – experimentation, investigation, observation, doing case studies, action research, on going projects, and the like.
____ 7. Knowledge is viewed in its entirety in a given discipline.
____ 8. Knowledge is used as means and not an end in itself.
____ 9. In learning, the student does what is expected of him e.g. in dancing lessons, he should do what the dancer does.
____ 10. Learning outcomes show students’ real satisfaction and joy since they have developed the attitude of learning more in order to know more.
____ 11. Learning outcomes show students’ ability to associate one big idea with another one
____ 12. Learning outcomes show students’ being able to carry out a given procedure or manipulative performance.
____ 13. Learning outcomes show students’ ability to synthesize or form a big idea from smaller ones.
____ 14. Learning outcomes show students’ being more curious, skeptical, and intellectually honest.
____ 15. Learning should be organized, neither isolated nor fragmentary.

45