Every teacher wants to ensure that students are learn in his/her class. But only a very few of them can boldly claim that all the students in their class actually learn all the things they teach. If you are a teacher or education practitioner, this thought may have definitely crossed your mind that if there is any way of making sure that you are taking great classes where every child is achieving the learning objectives.
Most of the teachers who have gone through any kind of training, must be familiar with the concept of ‘Learning Pyramid’. It is widely used in various professional courses including teacher training. The learning pyramid shows us how much retention of learning is achieved through various teaching techniques.
Students learn the least when teacher conducts classes by passive teaching methods such as lecture, and learn more by active teaching methods for instance, practice or teaching others.
National Training Laboratories, Bethel, Maine developed and used this diagram called ‘Learning Pyramid’ in the early 1960s which shows various approaches of teaching and the percentage of retention of learning.
Usually our teachers in Bangladesh follow the first method – lecture. It has the lowest rate of retention and it is regarded as the most passive method of teaching. Through lecture, students can retain only 5% of the topic. Other passive methods include reading, audio visual (popularly known as ‘multimedia class’ in Bangladesh) and demonstration (also rare in Bangladeshi schools).
According to the pyramid, the last three levels – group discussion, practicing by doing and teaching others, ensure more student engagement and more learning. These three teaching methods are known as ‘Active Teaching Methods’.
Often group discussions are considered as waste of time among many teachers. But researches show that group discussion among students is one of the most engaging and effective methods to learn new topics. Teachers can divide the class into small groups and give a particular topic or theme from the book. During this period, teacher’s job will be encouraging the students to ask lot of questions and trying to give answers within the student groups. After the group work, students shall present what they have learned from that topic. When they are done doing that, they can practice the last method and the most effective method which is teaching others. The retention rate also increases with ensuring the proper use of teaching learning materials in the classroom and making the students actively take part in classroom activities.
So next time, when you take a class, keep in mind this Learning Pyramid and combine multiple methods and teaching learning materials. To know more about this, you can take a look at this course by teachers time here.
Also, there are different types of learners in a classroom. To use the different variety of teaching methods effectively, you also need to have a clear understanding of the nature of your students so that you can ensure quality education for all. Here comes the link of the course Understand Your Students.
Remember, as a teacher you can be truly satisfied when you get to know that you’ve conducted a successful class.
If you are interested to learn more about the Learning Pyramid and related issues, you may want to look into the below links:
Teachers Time has introduced a course on effective teaching , as well as few more courses on different important topics for teachers and parents. Develop your skills more by enrolling in these courses.
Best of luck.