In this changing situation a teacher is not able to rally and control ‘the forces that produce activity’ to bring about the desired change of behaviour by the use of the old literature, exposition or demonstration methods. To maintain appropriate classroom dynamics new methods of teachings or rather new methods of causing learning and managing the classroom have to be used. Group methods are taking the place of individual learning now. Formerly, it was felt than an individual learns only that which is preventing to him, and through his own experience.
In group methods the social qualities like cooperativeness, cohesiveness, friendliness, leadership, feeling of belongingness receive a place of prominence and not individual excellent or prominence. Correspondence Teacher Training Course has discussed below a number of group activities fostering classroom dynamics. They are:
- Class Discussion: This is a learning situation in which pupils discuss problems, pool their ideas and judgements, and come to a common conclusion or decision. They can, at times, also ventilate their grievances. This method is more successful in changing attitudes in the desired directions than the traditional teaching. To make a success of this method the teacher has to refrain from criticising when pupils make incorrect statements or when they disagree with the teacher’s views. Discussion can be held after a field trip or a trip to a museum, or view a film, i.e. after any common experience. This helps children pool and compares impressions and perceptions, deepening and enriching their learning. Teacher can correct misapprehension and misunderstanding, review important aspects and provide a broader and more complete picture.
- Problem-slaving Experience: The teacher can ask her pupils, ‘What problems do some of you have, that you would like to tell about?’ Pupils come out with many problems like their own behaviour, their relations with parents, friends, siblings, etc., and what to know why they behave in that manner. A discussion can be held to find out possible solutions. This is an excellent way to having a glimpse of the child’s world.
- Buzz Sessions: A problem is stated and written on the board. Then the class is broken up into groups of 5 to 6 pupils. Each group tries to develop one of the main issues. A short period of about ten minutes is allowed for this discussion. During the discussion, the teacher moves about and gets an idea of the direction the discussion will take and also learn about her pupils and how they function in small groups. After the discussion, a pupil or the teacher becomes the chairman, the reports of the discussions are read to bring out the basic uses and how they are related.
- Role Playing: It is the spontaneous enactment or dramatising of an incident, situation or a personality in action. Suppose children are forbidden for climbing trees in the playground during recess or from buying eatables from vendors. Pupils look at it as an adult action meant ‘to take the fun out of the children’s life’. Instead of explaining to them why these rules were necessary, let them discover the reasons by playing the roles of errant boys, supervisors, peon, principal, etc. When some pupils are enacting those roles, others listen to them with less bias.