TEACHING SUPPORT SYSTEM: TRADITIONAL, MODERN AND ICT BASED
1. Meaning of Teaching Support System
- In the realm of the teaching-learning process, there is a system that teaches, trains, coaches, guides and instructs teachers on how to maximize academic achievement of students.
- This system of tools and resources is called a teaching support system. A teaching support system caters to the teachers with an ultimate goal to improve students’ achievement.
- In other words, teaching support system is the capacity building of teachers using resources and guides on ‘how to teach’.
- A good teaching support system provides teachers with a set of instructional strategies for the standards and skills that students are not proficient in. Along with that, it helps teachers acquire the knowledge and skills to deliver those strategies in the classroom.
2. Why do we need the Teaching Support System?
- In present times, life skills are more important than memorizing concepts and theories. This makes it very challenging for the teacher to approach his or her subject merely using traditional methods.
- Given this scenario, it is important for the teacher to go beyond traditional teaching styles and be more creative and engaging in terms of enhancing students’ participation.
- Secondly, information is abundantly available over the internet which is accessible to teachers and learners alike. This somewhat reduces the role of teachers as the ultimate source of information, more so in case of middle and higher education. Now, the goal of teachers should also be to keep themselves updated with the trends of technology and information.
3. Teaching Support System- Traditional and Modern
(i) What are traditional teaching methods?
a. Meaning of Traditional Methods: Traditional teaching approach is ‘back to the basics’ methodology in teaching. It includes all the conventional methods of teaching that are used in the classroom for knowledge generation. In the field of education and epistemology, this can also be called as ‘chalk and talk’ method. Some of the features of traditional teaching methods are:
- It is a teacher-centred approach, which means that this method sees the teacher as having an indisputable authority over knowledge.
- It concentrates more on memorization and reinforcing techniques.
- This sees learners as passive recipients of the learning activity.
- The focus remains on syllabus completion and evaluation of learners through the traditional examination system.
- The teachers evaluate the learners but there is no benchmark for evaluating teachers.
- Usage of textbooks and blackboard is the norm.
- Class management is all about maintaining discipline.
- There is no emphasis on team-building, collaboration, and so on.
- This is usually lecture-based.
(i) Merits of traditional teaching methods:
- Lecture remains one of the most effective teaching methods when the group of learners is exceptionally huge.
- Traditional teaching methods are easy to use given any group of learners.
- They are economic in terms of money as well as time.
- The teacher has a lot of authority over how the content is delivered and the amount of creativity involved.
(ii) Demerits of traditional teaching methods:
- There is less involvement of learners.
- There is less emphasis on the understanding of concepts.
- Weak learners suffer the most as they don’t feel motivated.
- Evaluation of learners based on traditional teaching methods can sometimes be faulty.
- There is less incentive among teachers for reflection.
(ii) What are the modern teaching methods?
a. Meaning of Modern Teaching Methods: Modern teaching methods are more learner-centred methods used in the classroom (such as peer-assisted learning, brainstorming, group discussion etc.). Modern teaching methods also include ICT enabled learning techniques through the use of computers, overhead projectors, videos, documentaries, whiteboards, etc. ICT enabled learning also incorporates mobile and internet-based learning methods. Some of the features of modern teaching methods are:
- Modern teaching methods are student-friendly as they require their active participation.
- Modern teaching methods require good execution and definite goals.
- Modern teaching methods highly depend on information and communication technologies.
- They are collaborative and require initiative.
- Knowledge is constructed rather than delivered.
- Modern teaching methods have more scope for creativity, flexibility, and reliability.
(i) Merits of modern teaching methods:
- They are learner-centred techniques.
- More content can be covered in lesser time.
- Modern teaching methods are fun and interactive way of learning.
- There is more scope for using audio-video teaching aids such as documentaries, YouTube videos, online lectures, MOOCs, educational games, educational mobile applications etc.
- It is not a mechanical way of teaching as students, as well as teachers, participate in knowledge construction.
- Modern teaching methods also help in self-evaluation.
(ii) Demerits of modern teaching methods:
- Since teaching becomes more dynamic, teachers need to learn and relearn new skills.
- There is too much reliance on technology which reduces the authority of teachers.
- It requires huge investment of money, time and effort.
- Some modern teaching methods are exclusionary in nature.
- The teacher-student relationship suffers as there is less time to develop bonding with the students.
(iii) Which teaching methods are better- Traditional or Modern?
- With digital advancement, it rather appears that traditional teaching methods would become a passé. However, this is not entirely true. A teaching support system helps teachers to build their capacity where both the methods can be used in combination.
- While mobile learning and e-learning are the buzzwords, there is no doubt that they can completely replace traditional ways of teaching. For developing critical thinking, the attitude of reflection and inquiry, lecture and dialogue methods play a significant role. At the same time, to keep pace with the ever-changing world and knowledge about the world, ICTs have played a significant role.
- Teaching support system assists and guides teachers to use the best possible combination of methods to teach topics of relevance.
- With all the resources at hand, teachers should become learners sometimes. Likewise, learners should become the teachers sometimes by engaging in self-learning.
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