Teaching methods could be grouped into two broad categories based on whether the learner or the teacher is the principal actor in the teaching-learning process. The first method is teacher-centred while the second method is child-centred.
In teacher-centred teaching, the teacher initiates most of the actions and directs the learners as to what to do. Examples of teaching methods in this category are questioning and lecture methods.
With learner-centred teaching methods, the teacher acts as a guide or adviser to the learners, suggesting appropriate activities to the learners. Examples in this category include project and assignment methods.
Below are best teaching methods in 2021.
- Project Method
Project method is traceable to one of the great educators, John Dewey, an American who urged that education should help fit the child rightly into the society.
Project method is a natural life-like learning activity involving the investigation and solving of the problem by an individual or a small group.
Okorie (1986) puts a project method as a planned activity undertaken by a person or a group of persons to achieve a particular goal. A project can be in form of craft, an experiment, a write-up, etc.
Each meaningful project has three major stages, namely: planning, implementation and evaluation. Each of the stages is equally important.
At the planning stage, the student needs to see the project as a problem to be solved.
At the implementation stage, strategies are to be designed as to how to tackle the problem. Executions of the mapped-out strategies are to be carried out at the implementation stage.
After the completion of the project, the final stage is concerned with the assessment of the outcome of the exercise whether the initial objectives of the project is achieved to make it acceptable to the student and the teacher as well.
- Assignment Method
Assignment method involves active participation of students in learning activities outside the classroom and away from the teachers’ immediate supervision.
With this method, the school is organized into classes and the unit of instruction is mainly the individual. The child is his own teacher, and the school teacher serve as guides to direct children’s self instruction. (Ayodele et al. 1995)
In this method, at the beginning of each programme, the students are provided the required directions, books, materials and other equipment they will need.
- Lecture Method
Lecture method seems to be the oldest method of teaching. Lecture method is one which involves the teacher talking according to a pre-planned, structured scheme.
The learners listen attentively to him if it is a lower class or take down some notes. According to Bello (1981), it can be described as a method whereby the teacher gives out all the facts.
He wants the learners to know and master, caring very little whether or not the pupils are actively participating in and contributing to the success of the lesson.
With this method, the teacher gives out all facts he wants the learners to know verbally, however, he writes cogent points on the chalkboard occasionally. Adelodun (1993)
- Socratic Method
This Socratic is named after an ancient Greek Philosopher who used to leader his listeners to right thinking by asking them a series of carefully thought-out questions, Byme, (1981).
Socrates held the view that it was to find the truth by asking many questions, many of which should guide the speaker towards a reassessment of his own statements, and probably discover flaws in his own claims (Ayodele et al. 1995)
It is a method of using well designed questions to lead learners to facts and concepts that the teacher intends to teach.
The method is called questioning method for it provides that the teacher asks several questions and allows learners also to ask as many questions as possible.
- Discussion Method
Generally, discussion is used to help people to become aware of or identify mutual problems in the classroom.
Discussion implies the participation of learners in the process of learning by evaluating points of view raising issues of their own and seeking solutions based upon study, examination, and group analysis under the teacher’s guidance.
Okorie (1986) says that for a meaningful discussion in the classroom, the teacher must know how to guide the learners without dominating the discussion.
- Field Trip Method
Field trip method has been observed that there is no better way to discover knowledge in a real-life situation than to actually be there on the scene.
Field trip method is undertaken to afford students practical experience of what they have been taught theoretically in the class.
For instance, a visit to a cement factory or textile industry will provide the students concrete ideas, attitudes and understandings which they cannot acquire from reading a book or listening to a lecture.
Students are always interested in field trip because it affords them opportunity to discover and explore new information as well as to update and organize their previous knowledge with the personally observed concrete examples.
Field trip can be used in any school subject to the advantage of the students in breaking the monotony of class teaching. A good trip has three major stages namely the preparation, trip and follow-up.
- Demonstration Method
Demonstration method is in common use for the teaching of fundamental skills and practice within a very short time.
The method involves explanation and illustration by experiment or example for learners to follow.
Often, demonstration is the only feasible method of attaining course objectives in some school subjects.
A physical education teacher for example needs to demonstrate to his students skills like ‘throwing’ in football indicating positioning of his hands, chest, legs, etc.
Likewise, an agriculture science teacher may wish to demonstrate ridging and cowpea planting to the students.
This method is applicable in some other courses like local craft, fine art and applied art, introductory technology, science, etc.
- Playway Method
Playway method is most applicable to young children. The method is based on assumption that children love to play. With this method, children are taught through various activities in front of guided play.
Pupils are encouraged to learn while playing.
Maria Montessori pioneered the introduction of playway as a teaching method. For example, Montessori believes that motor education depends greatly on freedom of movement; hence the child must be free to move within his environment to function properly.
- Discovery Method
According to Abdullahi (1978), discovery method involves an unstructured ‘finding out’ usually in the laboratory in which the student through his mental process such as observing, measuring and classifying can draw general conclusion from data which he has gathered.
- Problem-solving Method
This is a teaching method that is concerned with identification of a particular problem for students to tackle with little guidance.
Problem solving consists of identifying and selecting problems growing out of the experiences of individual learners placing these problems before them and guiding the learners in their solution. (Okorie 1986)
Problem solving simply consists of constantly placing before the learners’ concrete, true to life, worthwhile, clearly defined problematic situations for solution.
- Individualized Instructional Method
This method involves the teacher and the students directly on a one-to-one basis. The teacher first recognizes the individual needs of a student and then devises special instructional packages to meet that student’s needs.
This method takes care of the fact that the students are not all alike in terms of their needs, interests and abilities.
- Programmed Instructional Method
This is simply a process of ‘self teaching’ either in book or machine form. Programming is the arrangement of the materials to be learned in a sequence of steps designed to lead students to the final goal.
The materials being presented are broken down into small units called frames. Logical order and the degree of difficulty are the criteria to put into consideration when determining the frames of the programme which are usually in hundreds.