Lesson planning is important for effective implementation of the Basic Science and Technology (BST) curriculum. For you as the teacher to be able to teach very well and effectively, you must plan and prepare your lessons. In planning of your lessons in Basic Science and Technology, you need to prepare them in concrete terms. Whatever you want to teach, how you want to teach them, ensure you provide teaching and learning resources you would use, and map-out your evaluation strategies. You must do this to make sure that the teaching and learning objectives of the topic are realized.
In Nigeria, science and technology teaching has been taking place with lecture method of teaching. This has promoted teacher-centredness and rote learning. The revised BST is planned to be implemented using active learning approach which is learner-centred to promote effective learning of knowledge, skills and attitudes. This active learning approach is the modern teaching method which should be used by teachers implementing the BST curriculum.
Therefore basic science and technology teacher has to be professional, keeping abreast effective teaching methodologies for greater learning achievement among the learners. Adequate knowledge and understanding of modern teaching approach will enable you to know in what situation and when to use particular methods to maximize the effects on learning outcomes.
Objectives At the end of this unit, you should be able to:
• Discuss the characteristics of modern teaching methods with examples.
• State the importance of modern teaching methods
• State why modern teaching methods should be used in teaching BS&T curriculum.
• List and explain the characteristics of modern teaching methods.
• Outline the steps in planning lesson note using modern teaching methods.
• Use the format of modern lesson plan to write your lesson note to teach a concept in your subject area.
Meaning of Modern Teaching
The modern teaching method is a learner-centred and activity-based teaching method which is used to get learners fully involved. This approach recognizes the learner as the primary reason for curriculum planning and teaching. It is called a constructivist approach because it enables the learner to construct her/his knowledge and skills through active participation in the teaching-learning process. The teacher only acts as a guide, leading the learners to achieve the teaching objectives of the topics through the activities the learners are engaged in during classroom interactions. It encourages cooperation among the learners while reducing competition. It is therefore important that as a key implementer of the BST curriculum you should adopt the modern teaching method which this curriculum expects of you.
Reasons for Using Modern Teaching Methods
The scope of knowledge in science and technology has increased greatly in recent years and the ability of human beings to adapt to new information and changes in science and technology has also increased in line with this knowledge and technology explosion. The emerging world therefore needs more creative and innovative scientists and technologists who are critically minded to explore unknown areas, and reconstruct knowledge, ideas and methods of doing things in line with modern developments.
This is the path to survival in a modern world that is knowledge driven and completely dominated by science and technology. Our students should therefore be taught in ways that would prepare them for the 21st century world in which innovation and creativity would determine individual and national progress and survival. The learners have to be taught in such a way that they are able to develop the required knowledge and skills for creativity, creation of employment (self and other), and creation of wealth through entrepreneurship.
Several teaching methods being used for classroom teaching in basic science and technology by many teachers have become outdated. The chalk-talk method commonly used by many teachers is no longer acceptable. These teacher-centred methods have failed both the individual graduates and the nation at large. The nation can overcome the problem of unemployable school graduates if the science teachers present lessons in a more appropriate manner, using modern methods of teaching. By doing this, learners will be adequately equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to be self-dependent, employable and productive to drive the economy of the nation.
Nigeria’s transformation agenda of becoming one of the world’s twenty (20) biggest economies by the year 2020 need a strong science and technology base for actualization. A strong science and technology base for the nation can only be achieved by strengthening teaching at the Basic Education and senior secondary school levels. This is one of the major reasons for the current review of the BST curriculum.
Modern teaching methods are in line with best practices in teaching and learning across the world. The world has become a global village, and Nigeria cannot afford to be doing things in the old dysfunctional ways that have failed to enable us develop our science and technology, and even our economy. Nigeria has to join the international community in strides for development through science and technology.
Science teachers need to move away from using teaching methods that promote rote or memory learning in basic science and technology classroom to a more interactive, task-based and learner-centered methods. This shift from the use of traditional methods of teaching basic science and technology to the modern methods of teaching will help us to achieve the objectives of the revised BST curriculum for national development and empowerment of school graduates to survive in the modern world of the 21st century.
Characteristics of Modern Teaching Methods
The modern teaching methods in basic science and technology (BST) focus on the learners and how they can be helped to develop, build or construct meaningful understanding of any science-based learning or task. More specifically the characteristics of modern teaching method include:
- Learner-centered : The modern teaching methods in basic science and technology (BST) are learner-centered. It is learner-centered at every stage of its use or application during classroom and laboratory interactions. This means that the learner is actively involved in the learning process such that she/he dominates classroom interactions. The teacher is only acting as a guide and facilitator of learning activities.
- Task-Based or Activity-based: The modern teaching method is activity- or task-based. This means that the BST teacher creates many learning activities which the learners would engage in during classroom interaction. It is through participation in these activities that the learners are guided to achieve the objectives of the teaching-learning process.
- Resource-Based: Plenty of instructional resources are placed at the disposal of the learners for effective classroom interactions. This implies that you, as the BST teacher should be very resourceful and provide the necessary teaching-learning materials from the school environment or community of the learners which the learners would use for meaningful learning. At times the learners are made to bring some of the resources from their homes.
- Interactive in Nature: The modern teaching method is very interactive. It often involves making students work in small groups or as individuals while carrying out the learning tasks. This makes learners learn from one another, and also learn to cooperate with one another in their effort to acquire the required knowledge and skills and acceptable attitudes and inter-personal skills and values.
- Integrative in Nature: The modern teaching method is integrative in nature. By this we mean that you link the topics to be taught to other subjects. Some topics can be linked to social studies topics such as safety, security, drug use, climate change, crime and crime fighting, environmental protection, food processing, food distribution and music.
- Peer Collaboration: Apart from making teaching and learning friendly by encouraging learner initiative or idea through responses or answering of learners’ questions during the teaching of basic science and technology. Instructional activities are selected based on learners’ needs, interest and feelings. Learners enjoy working in groups in cooperative manner, and they encourage one another in the learning task. Learners’ interests are ensured by drawing their attention to the career opportunities and entrepreneurial use of the learning tasks in their BST curriculum.
Use of Concrete Materials
In the modern teaching approach real life teaching-learning materials are used. These learning resources are usually obtained from the environment of the learners like their homes, community, school compound and farm/garden, workshops, artisans in the community and natural ecological sites in the community. The learners play important roles in obtaining these resources from their environment. Also instructional activities which the BST teacher selects are very relevant to the needs of the learners. BST activities should be familiar to the learners and relevant to their daily experiences and socioeconomic interests.
This gives a wide range of opportunity to the basic science and technology teacher to make use of concrete (real life) materials from the immediate environment of the learner. This environment ranges from the learner’s home, school, market, farm and the entire community. When teaching any topic in basic science and technology, this method helps you to use real life materials wherever possible (you may also improvise) to illustrate the points, things or ideas to the learner. This makes learning to become real and permanent in the minds of the learner. This will also help the learner to reflect on things within their environment, explore potentialities for solving environmental-based problems and develop better ideas.
Promotes Learning among all Categories of Learners
Modern teaching approach is inclusive because all categories of learners are supported in learning process. It takes care of all the various groups of learners despite their different backgrounds, gender or experiences or disabilities. All the learners are made to learn at their own rates since they can work individually and in cooperative groups. Enhances Deep Conceptual Understanding Modern teaching approach brings about deep conceptual understanding of concepts among learners because they learn through activities and the use of resources from their own communities/environment. They construct their own learning and are able to interpret their environment and daily experiences. They are able to apply their learning to solve their personal and community problems.
Outcome Assessment is Comprehensive
The modern teaching method involves both formative and summative assessment. The result of formative assessment is used to improve learning. Assessment involves all learning outcomes in all the domains of educational objectives (cognitive domain, psychomotor domain and affective domain). These include knowledge acquisition, skills development, positive attitude development and value appreciation.
Steps in Lesson Planning Using Modern Teaching Methods in BST
Lesson plan is considered as the smallest unit in curriculum development. As a teacher, you should know that the only way to correctly and effectively implement the curriculum is the use of lesson plan. It takes place at the classroom level of curriculum implementation.
A good and comprehensive lesson plan has its own objectives which are to be achieved within a particular period or specified time. As a teacher of BST, you should know that planning a lesson has gone beyond mere writing out of lesson note/plan. You must therefore understand that it is a step-by-step or systematic way of arranging or organizing the teachers and pupils activities as well as the teaching and learning resources that are needed at every stage of teaching and learning in the classrooms and laboratory/workshops.
A good BST teacher should be critical in thinking and effective in planning his/her lessons in order to have good control of the teaching as well as motivate the learners. Lesson planning enables the teacher to achieve the objectives of the curriculum. You should therefore progress gradually from simple to complex and from known to unknown while selecting what to teach and when planning your lessons for teaching and learning activities. As a teacher, you also need to know that there is a little difference between the components of the unit of instruction and the components of the lesson plan, note that the unit covers a more wider area or scope, while the topic of the lesson is mainly for the classroom teacher which covers relevant things that the teacher must teach within a specified period to achieve the objectives stated for the lesson.
As a teacher, you should plan your lesson before the period you are to teach the learners to avoid failure on your part and also for you to achieve success in teaching and learning. Therefore, follow these steps in planning your lessons in basic science and technology:
• Identify the topic you want to teach from the scheme of work and unit plan.
• Refer to the curriculum, based on the scheme of work, to identify the objectives as well as the activities of the teachers and learners
• Identify the concept within the topic you want to teach.
• Identify the skills, knowledge and attitude you want the learners to acquire within the topics you want to teach.
• List the required teaching and learning resources needed and make provision for them. This is very important because it is a means by which desirable change in attitude and behaviour of learners are obtained at the end of every lesson.
• Put into consideration the age of the learners, their environment and the available teaching and learning resources. This will always determine the method of teaching that you are going to use in your teaching.
• Specify what you expect from your learner at the end of the lesson. Remember that this should be clearly stated in behavioural terms.
• Outline clearly the step-by-step procedure you want to follow while teaching your lesson, bearing in mind the nature or characteristics of modern methods of teaching basic science and technology which is an important aspect of lesson presentation.
• Draw your evaluation strategies with care. This serves as a means by which you obtain feedback from the assessment for improving learning in your subject area. The assessment must not be limited to assessing the learning outcome alone. There may be some areas in the topics you taught that the learners may not understand or are not clear to them. You will have to plan another lesson that will address such problems. When this is done, you are actually carrying out assessment for learning. Adequate planning for lesson would assist you to have total control of your classroom/laboratory/workshop while you are teaching.
- Source from the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC)