Instructional Strategies And STEM Education
STEM in education refers to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and this is the area of education that is the foundation of innovation and progress. If this area of instruction is given sufficient importance in a student’s elementary years, there is no reason why students will not graduate to become leaders and thinkers in their field of activity.
1) Why instructional strategies have to be made in such a way that lessons become interesting.
- They must be relevant to the modern world and any material passed on to students must be easy for them to read.
- The delivery of instruction is very important and must be in such a way that a student always remains interested to know what the next lesson will be like. A strategy in which the instructors constantly evaluate their own teaching, the curriculum and subjects being taught and the response of the students is a must for effective learning.
- Classroom experiments can be of enormous help for students to learn, and as most elementary students are in an age group that has a tremendous capacity for absorbing new information, such experiments can lead to very effective knowledge that remains with the student for a lifetime.
- Feedback from students can help to change the way they are receiving the instruction and make it more relevant to their own lives.
2) Teaching is an activity that can be quite complex and requires skills which allow a teacher to know the students being instructed, so that their needs are adequately addressed.
- When students find a lesson or given task too challenging they are likely to become undisciplined. A similar situation can arise when the subject does not hold relevance for them or remains obscure. They will start paying less attention to the lesson being taught and this can at times be very discouraging for a teacher.
- The success of any instructional strategies and lesson is apparent within the first five minutes of it being taught, and the teacher needs to develop ways to make a lesson interesting, do or say something that whets the curiosity of the students to know more and hold their attention for the rest of the session.
3) To help out the achievements of these signs of progress it is very important for a teacher to know what the students are capable of, whether it is in terms of reading, writing or speaking.
- This will help them to prepare the instruction so that it is simple for those with the least skills. At the same time, more skilled students can be challenged by asking them to answer questions, prepare experiments and help out those that they can. This will be an ego boost for them and can also help in the teaching process.
- Any tasks that are given to the students must be such that they can undertake with the least bit of guidance and assistance, as this will then give them more confidence to tackle the job on hand. Teachers must be very observant of the way their students carry out their allotted task and be encouraging and not critical. Once you are able to judge the capabilities of all your students you will find it easy to tailor your teaching to their individual needs and this can be of great help with the discipline of a classroom.
4) Instructional strategies must concentrate on keeping students occupied and making sure that they have your attention at all times.
- This becomes much easier, when the teacher has fully gauged the capabilities of each of the students and is able to develop instructional strategies and instruction to cater to their individual requirements. That is why the methods of teaching the same subject can vary from term to term, year to year, as students with different capabilities progress from class to class.
- Build on what the students already know, and allow them to carry it forward to their own conclusions, which can then be corrected if necessary, while fully explaining the reasons for any errors made in their way of thinking.
5) Every teacher needs to develop his or her own instructional strategies, relying on personal strengths which help to give any lesson more credence.
- Personalize lessons and instructional strategies if you can, even using some of your students for this, as children in elementary classes do find this more fascinating and less impersonal and detached.
- Set up challenges like completing tasks on time, as students are always enthusiastic about set goals. The challenges must be appropriate to their level of understanding and knowledge.
- Involve students in setting up activities or tasks, as this can help them learn better, because their natural curiosity will have them questioning the why and how of the lesson and the relevance of the activity to it.
The best instructional strategies for teaching are those that fully take into account not only the curriculum but also the actual capabilities of the students to whom instruction is being given. This way students will get the feeling that they are in charge of their own lessons and this can make them more involved.