Teaching involves numerous instructional strategies, which are decisions and actions designed to facilitate learning. The choice of strategies depends partly on the forms of thinking intended for students—whether the goal is for students to think critically, for example, or to think creatively, or to solve problems. A fundamental decision in choosing instructional strategies is how much to emphasize teacher-directed instruction, as compared to student-centered models of learning. Teacher-directed strategies of instruction include lectures and readings (expository teaching), mastery learning, scripted or direct instruction, and complex teacher-directed approaches such as Madeline Hunter’s effective teaching model. Student-centered models of learning include independent study, student self-reflection, inquiry learning, and various forms of cooperative or collaborative learning. Although for some students, curriculum content and learning goals may lend themselves toward one particular type of instruction, teaching is often a matter of combining different strategies appropriately and creatively.
- Effects of familiarity on problem solving. Here is an interesting and effective demonstration of how prior experience can affect problem solving.
- The Relationship Between Divergent Thinking and Creativity. This is a demonstration activity that highlights the nature of creativity by comparing it to a simpler idea, divergent thinking.
- Pros and Cons of Cooperative Learning by Making Paper Airplanes This is a demonstration activity that illustrates key features of cooperative learning, including its potential problems of freeloading and overspecialization.
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