Teacher’s main job is to teach. There is not a method or the methods of teaching science which could suit in all situations. All teachers are different. No two children are alike. Teachers differ in personality. Children differ from family to family and from locality to locality – even in respect of their mental and physical development. Thus a teaching method is largely governed by these three factors- environment, teacher and pupil. It will be advisable to lay down a series of methods of science teaching, so that the teachers could select from them according to their needs.
Guiding principles by Teacher Training Programme for selecting teaching methods:-
There are some guiding principles for determining our teaching methods. They are as follows:
- Every method we use should be based on an understanding of the pupils in our classroom and not on an understanding of children we have read about.
- Every method we use should be one which we thoroughly understand and believe will be successful with the pupils in our classroom and not merely one which we have heard is successful.
- Every method we use should lead the pupils to a sense of achievements through interest and purpose.
- Every method we use should stimulate the pupils to think and cooperate actively.
- Every method we use should be based on realization that the word education derives from a Latin word ‘echo’ which means “I bring up”or “I nourish”. Education is a “drawing out” and not a “putting in”.
Mindful of the above points there are certain vital instincts which stimulate the child to learn and through which he acquires knowledge and skills. They are instincts of play, imitation, curiosity and competition. These are the instincts which are principally concerned with the educational development of the child and which we must consider when planning our methods of teaching science.
Besides these vital instincts from which the impulse to learn springs, there are some physical agents which enable a child to acquire skills and knowledge. They are as follows:
- The hands – learning by touching and doing.
- The eyes – learning by seeing.
- The ears – learning by hearing.
- The mouth – learning by saying.
- The nose – learning by smelling.
- The tongue- learning by tasting.
These are senses should be utilized as much as possible in our method of science teaching for creating effective teaching learning situations.
According to Nursery Teacher Training, various methods of teaching science are:
- Traditional methods
- Lecture method
- Demonstration method
- Lecture- cum- discussion method
- Laboratory method
- Discovery methods
- Scientific method
- Project method
- Problem solving method
- Heuristic method
- Inquiry approach
- Some other methods of teaching science
- Discussion or interactive approach
- Programmed instruction method
- Individualized instruction method
- Teacher centred versus child centered approach
- Activity approach
- Process approach
- Environmental studies (EVS) approach
Generally in our school science is taught by giving lectures, and sometimes by demonstrating few experiments. Children are not really involved in activities by their own hands. Teachers should also learn a lesson from the saying:
“I heard and I forget, I saw and I remembered, I did and I understood.”