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-centered while the second method is child-centered.
In teacher-centered 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-centered 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 the best teaching methods in 2021.
1. Project Method
The 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 society.
The project method is a natural life-like learning activity involving the investigation and solving of a 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 the form of a 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 and whether the initial objectives of the project is achieved to make it acceptable to the student and the teacher as well.
2. Assignment Method
The assignment method involves the 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 serves as a guide to direct children’s self-instruction. (Ayodele et al. 1995)
In this method, at the beginning of each program, the students are provided with the required directions, books, materials, and other equipment they will need.
3. Lecture Method
The lecture method seems to be the oldest method of teaching. The lecture method is one that involves the teacher talking according to a pre-planned, structured scheme.
The learners listen attentively to him if it is a lower class or takes 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 about 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)
4. Socratic Method
This Socratic is named after an ancient Greek Philosopher who used to lead 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 statements, and probably discover flaws in his 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 the questioning method for it provides that the teacher asks several questions and allows learners also to ask as many questions as possible.
5. Discussion Method
Generally, the discussion is used to help people to become aware of or identify mutual problems in the classroom.
The 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.
6. Field Trip Method
The field trip method has been observed that there is no better way to discover knowledge in a real-life situation than to be there on the scene.
The 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 with concrete ideas, attitudes, and understandings that they cannot acquire from reading a book or listening to a lecture.
Students are always interested in a field trip because it affords the opportunity to discover and explore new information as well as to update and organize their previous knowledge with personally observed concrete examples.
A 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.
7. Demonstration Method
The demonstration method is in common use for the teaching of fundamental skills practices twice within a very short time.
The method involves explanation and illustration by experiment or example for learners to follow.
Often, the 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 student 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.
8. Playway Method
The play way method is most applicable to young children. The method is based on the 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 the play way 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.
9. Discovery Method
According to Abdullahi (1978), the 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 a general conclusion from data that he has gathered.
10. Problem-solving Method
This is a teaching method that is concerned with the 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 solutions. (Okorie 1986)
Problem-solving simply consists of constantly placing before the learners’ concrete, true-to-life, worthwhile, clearly defined problematic situations for a solution.
11. 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.
12. 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 program which are usually in hundreds.