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Chapter 9. Environmental Science: Modern Methods

Chapter 9. Environmental Science: Modern Methods

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C. Review

D. Group Discussion

E. Role Playing

F. Discovery

G. Brain Storming

H. Leaderless Group

Autocratic style of teaching strategies is traditional. These strategies achieve different

objectives more than permissive styles of teaching strategies. The autocratic style strategies

are content centered, teacher remains more active, and students are passive listeners. The

autocratic teaching strategies realize cognitive and effective while permissive teaching

strategies tend to achieve effective objectives. The main emphasis is on presentation. These

strategies do not consider the student abilities, interests and personality of the learner.

There is no freedom for the learner in the teaching process. These are highly subjective and

conventional styles of teaching process.

Permissive style of teaching strategies is based on “Modern Theory of Organization

of Task and Relationship centre”. This style seems less conventional. It is mainly childcentered; the pupils largely determine content. The affective objectives are mainly achieved

by permissive style strategies. These strategies create situations for student and teacher

interaction and both remain active in teaching. Teaching is organized with the consideration

of student interest, abilities and values. These strategies encourage the creativity of the


Importance of Instructional Strategies

1. These are highly subjective and conventional styles of teaching process.

2. Teachers are more active and students are passive listeners.

3. Teachers are free in their classroom teaching.

4. It establishes class rapport, remedial help and educational guidance to the learner.

5. It creates a new link with the previous knowledge of learner.

6. It gives more emphasis to achieve learning objectives rather than students’ interest.

7. The learning conditions and learning objectives should be achieved.

Objective of Teaching Methods

Teaching procedures in Environmental Science should be governed by the objectives of

its teaching. The specific goals or purpose as well as the nature of the content of a unit

determine the methods to be used in teaching it. Suitable methods are needed for the

achievement of comprehensive objectives of teaching Environmental Science such as to

expose the pupils to knowledge and experiences helpful in the development of understandings,

critical thinking, practical skills and interests discussed earlier. Methods also give training

in constructive thinking, reasoning and critical judgment. The goal expectations in the

teaching of Environmental Science involve deeper and extensive participation of students.

Besides the lecture or question-answer method, students should be exposed to a variety of

learning experiences involving book learning, observation, interviewing, surveying,



interpreting, reviewing, recording, reporting, and evaluating. Learning experiences should

be geared to the type of growth and behavior changes to be brought about in the student

and the need to make him an enlightened, discriminating, dynamic, productive and democratic


Need of Modern Methods in Environmental Science

1. There are many roads to successful learning to be tried for meeting particular

needs and situations. To make the subject interesting, vital and living the teacher

should also use permutations and combinations of methods, devices, and techniques

for example to lend color to class teaching. He may use lecture or discussion method

or a combination of these two. The teacher should be conversant with a variety of

methods of Environmental Science.

2. Different lessons or units should be taught by different methods of teaching. It can

be very monotonous to use the same methods for every circumstance. In the past

few decades a tremendous increase in equipment materials, means and teaching

procedures has been witnessed. These should be utilized to provide variety and

color to teaching Environmental Science. To create and maintain their interest and

avoid monotony children should be exposed to varied experiences.

3. No single method can be the best for all situations, and for all teachers and pupils.

The suitable method should emerge out of the abundance of information and skill

of the teacher. It should be harmonized with the content to be taught. Every

teacher of Environmental Science should be familiar with the different means for

reckoning the desired ends.

Characteristics of Good Teaching Method

1. Group Related Experiences and Activities

A good method should provide a group of related experiences and activities, arranged

on an individual as well as group basis, particularly designed to produce changes’ in terms

of knowledge, understanding, habits, attitudes and skills, and behavior of the students.

2. Scope for Creative Expression

A good, method should provide scope for the creative expression of the child’s


3. Interests in Content

Rather than be a mechanical device for passing on facts and figure a good method

should rouse a large range of interests in the minds of the students.

4. Shift in emphasis

Through purposeful, concrete and realistic situations a good method should shift

emphasis from verbalism and memorization to learning.

5. Training in Self-Study

A good method should train the, students in the techniques of self-study and the methods

of acquiring knowledge through personal effort or intuition.



6. Stimulation and Awakening Interest in Study

A good method should stimulate the desire for further study and exploration. A good

method should awaken interest in the materials and techniques of Environmental Science.

It should give pupils peep into the workshop of the Environmental Science to enable them

to know the varied interpretations of events and clash of characters.


After selecting the content or subject matter, the teacher should see that the subject is

properly taught, learnt and experienced, with the application of most effective methods of

teaching. As methods are closely related to aims and objectives of teaching a particular

subject the major specific aims of teaching Environmental Science must be remembered.

There are:


Lecture Method

2. Lecturer cum Discussion Method

3. Project Method

4. Source Method

5. Socialized Recitation

6. Supervised Study


The lecture method means, “Teaching by means of the spoken word”. It means a formal

talk by the teacher. It may be known as “Telling of Story or Conversational method” with

primary and lower middle classes. With higher secondary and college classes it may be

known as “Lecture Method”.

The lecture method may be safely used at higher and college stages. Even at this stage

the lecture must not be dry but well prepared and well presented to stimulate interest and

mental activity of the students. The students should be prompted to ask questions at the

end of the lecture. Their questioning is a sure proof of the success of the lecture.

Lecture Method at School Level

Based on traditional authority lecturing is a time-honored device for imparting

knowledge. But it has fallen into very ill repute as a method for secondary school pupils. A

good teacher of secondary school is careful not to talk too much. He does not dominate the

learning process. Assuming major share of the responsibility for planning and guiding a

number of activities, experiences and situations the teacher provides functional learning for

the group of pupils in his class. For carefully selecting the proper techniques to meet the

needs, interests and capacities of his pupils at a particular time and particular situations

a lecture may be taken as a technique of description, explanation and clarification.

Utilization of Lecture Method

1. Ineffective Method

A spoken word is always more effective than a printed one. By his tone, gesture and

facial expression the teacher can indicate the exact meaning that he wishes to convey



dramatizing a scene, a story or a message, he wishes to give but he can add color and

vividness to his talk, which a printed book cannot do.

2. Quickly Repeated and Modified

If a teacher feels that his talk is not being followed or appreciated by his pupils, he may

repeat the ideas or expand arid modify his statement. He should never like, to “talk over

the head” of his pupils.

3. Experiences in Learning by Hearing

In democratic countries children in schools must be trained for adult life so that they

may participate fully and effectively in affairs of national and international importance as

democratic citizens. Lectures and talks play an important part in adult life whether one is

a leader or follower. Children are to be prepared from the school stage for this through

occasional talks and interesting lectures arranged for all types of school children.

4. Saving of Time and Energy

Sometimes because of their complicated nature, facts of Environmental Science are not

clear to students in their textbooks as details are seldom given and sometimes interpretations

may also be wrong in textbooks. The students may spend a lot of their valuable time and

energy in going through other sources for the clarification of such complicated points. Here

a well-presented lecture by the teacher is most helpful.

5. Stimulation for Students

As a lecture, demands a lot of preparation on the part of the teacher, its advantages

are transferred to the class as a whole. Teachers own preparation, his enthusiasm and his

interest stimulate good students. They may now like to pursue projects, problems and other

such activities to gain “more and more knowledge.

Objectives of Lecture Method

1. To stimulate students.

2. To clarify concepts.

3. To supplement the knowledge, of pupils.

4. To sum up the findings of pupils.

5. To prepare the students to undertake an assignment, a project or an activity.

Limitations of Lecture Method

1. Unnatural Way of Learning

Not usually considered to be a natural way for the pupils to learn Lecture Method

places them in the position of passive listeners. During the course of the talk, they may

wander off to some more pleasant thoughts and may not attend to the talk at all.

2. Requires Trained Teachers

Many teachers do not know how to lecture in an effective way. They cannot prepare and

deliver well-connected and relevant talks on the topic given in the textbook. Only trained

teachers can succeed in this method.



3. A Heavy Teaching Load on Teachers

A teacher who is required continuously teach in the school from the first period up to

the last and not lecture in each period. He will not have the capacity to prepare so many

simple and interesting lectures each day. It is physically possible for him to speak continuously

for four or five hours a day. Hence, lecturing period should be very limited.

4. Harmful Extensive Use

The lecture method tends to substitute the teacher for the textbook is used extensively.

Only occasional and informal talks may be desirable for realizing definite purposes in view.

5. Monotonous and Dullness

Only exceptional teachers can stimulate interest through their talks at all grade levels.

To avoid dullness and to give effectiveness to the lesson they use a variety of methods and

not only one or two of them. The lessons may become dull and dry if only the lecture method

is used.

Effectiveness of Lecture Method

As lecturing is an art, its successful performance depends upon the teacher’s knowledge

and upon his awareness of interest and motivation. Primarily meant to reinforce key ideas

and facts and to place them in a context of thought a lecture seeks to present a whole out

of many related fragments of information obtained piecemeal by other means. People flock

by thousands to listen to interesting, fascinating, inspiring, informative and exciting lectures.

Similar type of talks should be presented in the classroom to ensure success. A teacher

should follow these points:

1. Giving background of a topic.

2. Giving as over-view of a large unit.

3. Creating interest in the people.

4. Explaining and correcting some faulty ideas or introducing an intelligent assignment.

Delimitation of Lecture Method

1. Sometimes, the teacher can give a hint about some topic or unit to be developed

in some later lecture. Pupils, thus, can be led to anticipate a lecture with eagerness.

2. The teacher should prepare a synopsis of the lecture and give it to the pupils before

lecturing. Besides saving the teacher from pointless digression it will help the

pupils to pay undivided attention to the lecture.

3. While delivering the lecture teacher should speak clearly and slowly so that the

pupils may keep pace with him. He should talk to the students rather than lecture

to a class. Rise and fall in his voice is also necessary to lay emphasis on a point

and also to attract the pupils. Frequent but natural changes of positions help him

to feel at ease, and to ensure that every member of the class gets an equal opportunity

to see and hear.

4. Lecture should be full of humor enlivened by analogies, comparisons, illustrations

and anecdotes, which bear upon the topic. The lecture is made interesting by aids

such as pictures, films, filmstrips, slides, diagrams, etc.



5. Lecture may be followed by a written test to measure the success or otherwise of

the lecture. The lecture is successful if the pupils have learnt well. The teacher can

revise his methods if the lecture does not seem to affect.


Lecture method is a very effective method but it has own limitation after some changing

and innovation according to Indian schools we can use this method effectively. Lecture

should be subject based and it should be in limited time. Listener should be given time to

think and they should ask the questions from time to time it means the listener should

participate in the lecture. Presentation should be effective and audio-visual should be used

during the lecture.


Lecture method is a one of the best method but it cannot be used every time and it is

not suitable for each and every topic and also for subjects. It can use as a main method and

other teaching methods can be used with it. The discussion method is the supporting method

and it can be used with the lecture method. Some social scientist says that it is a one of the

most valuable methods of teaching Environmental Science is discussion and “two heads are

better than one”. Wonderful results are achieved when a number of heads combine to solve

a problem.


1. This method is best for a problem, an issue or a situation in which there is a

difference of opinion. In the discussion method of teaching Environmental Science

there is exchange of opinion accompanied by a search for its factual basis.

2. Speech is free and responsible. And values are created not quarreled about. The

participants are engaged in a process of competitive cooperation. Agreement is the

declared purpose of discussion that is an ordered process of collective decisionmaking.

3. If agreement is not reached, discussion has the value of clarifying and sharpening

the nature of agreement.

Objectives of Discussion Method

As a method of teaching Environmental Science discussion may be used for the following


(i) To lay plans for new work;

(ii) To make decisions concerning future action;

(iii) To share information;

(iv) To obtain and gaining respect for various points of view;

(v) To clarify ideas,

(vi) To Inspire interest; and

(vii) To evaluate progress.



Steps in Discussion

1. In the case of problems

(i) Locating and defining problems of common interest and significance;

(ii) Working together to find ways of solving the problems;

(iii) Allocating responsibilities for the solutions suggested; and

(iv) Evaluating the effectiveness of the suggested solutions and their implementations.

2. In case of plans for projects and programs

(i) Deciders on the programmed and the particulars such as date, time and place;

(ii) Enumerating the jobs to be done in organizing the programmed;

(iii) Allocating duties to the members of the group; and

(iv) Evaluating the results.


There are many types of discussion defined in the teaching of Environmental Science

but important methods are given below, which are mostly used in Indian schools:

1. Informal discussion.

2. Classroom discussion.

3. Debate.

4. Symposium.

5. Panel discussion.

6. Brain storming

1. Informal Discussion

When we discuss political matter in the tea stall or a group of students or people near

the road discuss about their problems or when we discuss our personal problems with our

friend with an objective that discussion is considered as informal discussion because that

discussion is only for talk and after discussion we are not finding any result. So such type

of discussion is under the Informal discussion category.

2. Classroom Discussion

Most of the time students discuss their problems with the teacher in the classroom and

that is for caused based problem or some time students discuss their problems related with

the teaching and such type of discussion is objective based and after discussion we try to

find out some result. This type of discussion comes in the category of Classroom discussion.

3. Debate

In the program of debate two or more students holding contradictory opinions present

arguments on a particular problem. They also rebut the opposite side. Finally the rest of the

class is encouraged to ask questions from the debaters or engage in a brief discussion with

them. A debate requires a moderator. The teacher should work both with the debaters and

the. Class in order to get significant results.



Some Topic for Debate

(i) Globalization is necessary for the economic development of India.

(ii) Capitalism is responsible for the poverty of our country.

(iii) Five Year Plans have failed to generate proper development.

(iv) Democracy is the best form of government.

(v) For forms of Government let fools contest that which is governed least is best.


Democracy in India is more formal than real.

(vii) Fundamental rights are of no use in India.

(viii) Used needs total disarmament.

4. Symposium

In a symposium the participants present to the audience through speeches or proper

reading their views about various aspects of a selected problem or topic. To quote Struck,

“We think of a symposium as a. group of comments, either, spoken or written; which portrays

contrasting or at least different points of view”.

Objective of Symposium

The objective of the symposium is to clarify thoughts upon controversial questions. The

audience listens to the discussion. Each person forms his own conclusions concerning the

validity of the points of view presented. The ideal number of pupil participants in a symposium

is four or five.

Some Suggested Topics for Symposium

1. Proper organization of the community project is necessary for rural economic


2. Profit is the dominant motive in all-economic ventures.

3. Mahatma Gandhi and his thoughts.

4. The achievement of the Aryans in the fields of science, literature, government, art

and the life of an ordinary Indian.

5. Super leader in Indian History Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.

6. Declaration of assets and liabilities of the Members of Parliament.

5. Panel Discussions

It is a discussion among selected group persons, large enough for variety and small

enough for purposeful deliberations. The ideal number may be four to six persons. The

participants in a panel discussion are usually eminent persons in their fields. They present

various points of view before an audience, which subsequently joins in the discussion.

Purpose of Panel Discussion

The purpose of panel discussion is to get important facts from different angles, to

stimulate thinking and lay a basis for wide participation. The members among them make

no speeches only informal conversations take place.



Rotation System

The rotation system may be followed in a panel discussion. Each member expresses his

opinion in turn or the members speak briefly as the thought comes to them one after the



Panel discussion method provides a natural setting in which people get the opportunity

to ask questions, to evaluate replies and to contribute constructively. Some topics for Panel

Discussions are:

1. The role of planning in economic development.

2. Nationalism can no longer solve the problems of under-developed countries.

3. Nowhere was the achievement of the Aryans greater than in social organization.

4. “The President represents the nation but does not rule the nation. He is the symbol

of the nation and his place in the administration is that of the ceremonial device

or the seal by which the nation’s decisions are made known” ____ B.R. Ambedkar.

5. An active king, whose, opinions were a matter of public concern, is unthinkable

within the framework of our (England’s) constitution” Laski Herold.

6. The role of planning in economic development.

7. Nowhere was the achievement of the Aryans greater than in social organization.

6. Brain Storming

In this form of discussion the brains of the participants are stimulated to create a storm

of ideas and give suggestions regarding the topic without any deliberation to find whether

or not they are meaningful and purposeful. When the brain is let go thus without social

institutions, it would be able to give expressions to some of the most useful and practical

suggestions. For example “Small saving could do a lot to strengthen the savings movement”

is a good subject for brainstorming.

Method of Discussion

1. To make proper use of the discussion method the teacher and student representatives

should do considerable planning. In planned and well-directed procedure discussion

the whole process may be divided into three stages-preparation, discussion and


2. For through preparation for the discussion the teacher should read wide and deep

purposefully and critically and prepare the material conscientiously. Arranged

logically points to be discussed should be written on the chalkboard for guidance.

If the students do not initially feel the need of the problem to be discussed they

should be made to do so.

3. The conducting the discussion should be disciplined. The arrangement of seats

should ensure face-to-face talk. The strength of the discussion is obtained from the

information and viewpoint of all members of the group. All should contribute to its

progress as it is a thinking-together process which breaks down if one member of

the group dominates it. Ensuring that every member of the group participates the



teacher should encourage sincere questions and comments. He must gear the

discussion to the realization of specific objectives and development of proper skills

and methods:

4. A relaxed and informal climate is essential to achieve desirable results. As the

discussion is truly a cooperative experience not a competitive quarrel. The teacher

must continually discourage attack upon persons and seek to bring the participants

to focus their comments on the proposition not the person. He should be ensured

that discussion is objective-oriented, the questions should be skilful and direction

sound. A happy rapport should be established between the teacher and the taught.

5. Discussion results in expanding information or lessening or removing prejudices,

changing attitudes or ideals, increasing the range of interest, altering ideas

concerning national and international policies, or causing a member to become a

more active citizen. One must evaluate the discussion with these motives in mind.

Advantages of Discussion

1. Useful both for the Juniors and Seniors

Junior children learn through conversation and discussion, to take turns, listen

attentively, act cooperatively, speak distinctly, stand and sit correctly, respect the ideas of

others, share interests, ask pertinent questions, utilize simple information and comprehend

the problem before the group. Senior children plan and discuss problems with the entire

group and in smaller units. The group learns together and presents important information,

makes suggestions, shares responsibility, comprehends the topic, evaluates the findings and

summarizes results.

2. Clarification and Sharpening of the Issues

In discussion new ground is discovered both for agreement, disagreement, and old ideas

and new ones may replace values.

3. Increase in Knowledge

Through discussion children crystallize their thinking and identify concepts needing

further study. Therefore, their knowledge of Environmental Science becomes clear.

4. Moderation

Through discussion students know and understand that difference in perspective need

not result in disaster and that people may believe in the same thing for different reasons.

5. Knowledge of Limitations

The student discovers what he did not know, what he has overlooked and wherein he

was mistaken both as to facts and the method of interpreting them. He may find out what

he knows and the surety with which he knows it.

6. Intellectual Teamwork

Discussion represents a type of intellectual teamwork resting on the principle that the

pooled knowledge, ideas’ and feelings of several persons have greater merit than those of a

single individual.



7. Tolerance

Discussion engenders toleration for views, which are at variance from those one holds.

8. Discovering Leaders

Discussion helps the teacher in discovering students with a potential for becoming

genuine leader.


The most concrete of all types of activity methods Project method provides learning

experiences suited to individual differences. Now here is a question that what is a project?

We can explain in these words that project is an activity willingly undertaken by the pupils

for the solution of a felt problem and leading to learning as prescribed in the curriculum.

It is concrete activity directed towards the learning of a significant skill or process. Having

a wide connotation project includes any activity like dramatics, pageants, making models,

drawing maps and charts, collecting pictures, preparing scrap books, going on historical

tours and exhibitions, preparation of Environmental Science wall newspaper, organization

of debates, etc. The project method transcends the subject -barrier because it is possible to

learn some literature, mathematics, art, etc., also while undertaking a project of

Environmental Science.

Basic Principles of the Project Method

1. Activity: The project involves mental or motor activity.

2. Purpose: Project should be purposeful, a felt need of the pupils.

3. Experience: Project should provide varied type of experiences to the pupils such as

manipulative, concrete, mental, etc.

4. Reality: Project should provide real experiences.

5. Freedom: the pupils should be free to undertake the different activities connected

with the project.

6. Utility: the activities undertaken in a project should be useful.

Steps of Project Method

1. Providing a situation

First of all, the project provides a suitable situation where the pupils feel a spontaneous

craving for carrying out a useful activity through conversation, discussion or exhibition of

pictures and models etc. the teacher discovers the interests, needs, tastes and aptitudes of

the children. While telling a story or taking the pupils out on a field trip initiates the pupils

to the world of projects, they are exposed to so many situations and they determine the

selection of the project. Enough opportunities should be given to the children to express

their ideas and to have discussions among themselves, as well as with the teacher. The

situations or problems provided to the pupils should be social as these provide better social

training and greater satisfaction.

2. Choosing

One of the important duties of the teacher is to so guide the pupils that they may

choose a good project.

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Chapter 9. Environmental Science: Modern Methods

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