Nature of Education Theory

Teaching is an important part of learning process. A person is capable and successful in acquiring new knowledge by it. The direction of educational process is possible by human behavior and its emotions. In order to make education process effective, teaching has been considered the central object in the field of teaching. In the field of Psychology, the process of learning is not only considered as a proper Psychology but also the different parts of it as-teacher, student, syllabus, and the process of learning has been given an important place. It has been proved now that learning should be given important. It is necessary to understand the meaning of teaching, before pondering over the nature and theory of teaching.

What is Teaching?

Most of the people have an illusion about teaching. They consider that the meaning of teaching is to mug up or fill up a mind with knowledge, but in fact, it is wrong. Teaching is a phenomenon. The following definitions can be seen to clear the meaning of teaching:

Dr. Mathur—In the present times the word teaching does not mean that child’s filled with useless and impractical things. Now teaching means that the child should be provided with such opportunities, by which child could get the ability to solve his problems according to his conditions and nature. He could plan himself, collect the material, and well organize it and get the result, which he could take in use again. 

Thomas E. Clayton—‘’Teaching is a skill, that is used for the increment of the knowledge and to lit up the interest and aptitude in the students. That is a transmission between two or more people, in which a person involved with another in learning. This is a practice done in the school, in which a person, who is already educated, teaches children.’’

B.F Skinner—‘’Teaching is the arrangement of contingencies under which students learn. They learn without teaching their natural environment, but teachers arrange special contingencies which expedites learning, hastening the appearance of behavior, which would otherwise be acquired slowly or making sure the appearance of behavior which might otherwise occur.’’

Clarke—‘’Teaching activities are performed to produce change in student’s behavior.’’

B. O. Smith—‘’Teaching is a system of actions intended to produce learning.’’

Gates—‘’Learning is the modification of the behavior through experience and training.’’

Burton—‘’Teaching is the stimulation, guidance, direction and encouragement of learning.’’

The following factors come after the study of above definitions:
  1. Teaching explains a general opinion.
  2. It is a social process.
  3. It depends upon the human nature.
  4. It is an objective and descriptive process.
  5. This is formal and informal.
  6. There are three sides of it – Student, teacher and syllabus.
  7. It has its own method, and it is directed by many methods and processes.
  8. Direction and guidance both are included in it.

Characteristics of Teaching

There are the following characteristics of good teaching:

  1. It is suggestive.
  2. It is stimulating.
  3. It is well arranged and well planned.
  4. It is based on the progress.
  5. It is full of sympathy.
  6. It is based on corporation.
  7. It is child centered and psychological.
  8. It originates self confidence in the child.
  9. It is resolving and full of remedy. 
  10. It is given to the child keeping in mind his earlier knowledge.

Factors of Influencing Learning

After studying the process of learning, it is also necessary to study the influencing factors of learning in the education, because man’s nature is changeable, and its study is complicated. And personality differences are found in the learning.

Psychologists have studied such factors on the basis of their experiments, which generally affect the learning of all persons. There can be a progress in the process of learning, after getting proper knowledge of factors influencing learning. In these factors, inspiration, interest, meditation, intellect, health, the nature of subject and the different methods of learning are important. These factors can be studied in the both aspects as helpful and as an obstacle in the process of learning. Opposition of any factor is an obstacle in the process of learning. But it proves helpful to be appropriate and adapting to them. Describing the factors and conditions of learning, it is the statement of Psychologist Simpson- “Along with the other conditions of learning, some conditions are following- Proper health, good habits of living, being free of the physical faults, good habits of study, emotional balance, mental ability, act related maturity, desirable attitude and interest, better social adaptation, freedom from tradition and superstition.”

On the basis of above opinions, the factors of influencing learning can be divided into four parts:
(A) Physical factors, (B) Psychological factors, (C) Environmental factors, (D) Other factors.

(A) Physical Factors

  1. Sense organs—Physical factors are very important in influencing the process of learning. First Physical factors, which are included in the process of learning, are sense organs. The five types of sense organs are watching, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Representation is the basis of our whole knowledge.
  2. Physical and mental health—It is necessary to be physically and mentally healthy for learning. The children, who are physically and mentally fit, take interest in learning and soon learn. Unhealthy children do not take interest in learning and tire soon, consequently they learn subject less and lately. Because of tiredness there is trouble in the learning. Tiresome person can not do the work properly in spite of having interest and inspiration. So it is necessary to pay attention on the physical and mental health. 
  3. Maturity—Learning is closely related to maturity. As soon as child grows, his physical and mental abilities also develop along. Thus, physical and mental maturity affects the process of learning. From this point of view, mature child does not face any difficulty in the learning, his energy and time do not go waste. 

(B) Psychological Factors

  1. Inspiration and Learning—Inspiration has an important place in the process of learning. In the process of learning the place, importance and the utility of inspiration has been described in a separate chapter. It is necessary to have a motivator in the learning. Motivator is an internal power, which forces a person for action. The work, which is done by internal inspiration, more zeal and creativity is seen in them. A teacher should have good understanding about the needs, interests and motivations of children. Need, motive and incentive are related to inspiration. If a teacher does not understand these factors, he can not get success in the process of inspiration. In order to get incentive, child is especially encouraged for learning. Need gives him inspiration for learning. Psychologists have proved this by doing experiments on the animals and men related to inspiration. Along with the inspiration of learning, encouragement also gets along. Then they learn quickly and easily. In the education of a child, he can be inspired by the appreciation, encouragement and prize. In the same way, by the proper punishment and criticism he does not repeat the bad conduct and behavior. In the education, reward and punishment, both one by one, help in the learning of good behavior and giving up bad behavior.
  2. Interest and Aptitude—Learning is depended on the nature of a person. If a child takes interest in any subject then he feels easiness and joy in the learning. The first responsibility of a teacher is to develop an interest and aptitude in a child. When a child gets an opportunity due to his interest and aptitude, he exposes his whole personality, and learns that skillfully. It is necessary to make the arrangement of giving education by examining the interest and aptitude of the child in the schools, so that they could adjust themselves successfully in various situations. 
  3. Will to Learn—The will of the person has an important place in the learning. If a person has a will of learning, then he does learning in against conditions. The person who has not any desire of learning, he cannot be taught under any conditions. As a Psychologist has said, ‘’ A horse can be taken to the pond, but you cannot compel him to drink against his desire.’’ So it is a duty of a teacher after developing interest and aptitude in the children, to make their will power strong.
  4. Intellect—Intellect and capability of learning are closely related. The distribution of intellect among the children is not equal. So the different children have different kind of capability of learning. Learning mostly depends upon the intellectual ability of learner. An intelligent child learns every subject quickly, while a dull child takes time in understanding and learning. Opinion, Imagination, rumination and decision power are related to intellect.

(C) Environmental Factors

Environment—The progress of learning mostly depends on the congenial environment. The act of learning cannot be completed easily in the adverse situation. The psychological atmosphere of class affects the process of learning. Montessori has said, it is very necessary for a teacher to originate the psychological moment for the process of learning. The place of study should be full of fresh air and light, which makes mind and body healthy. Learning places, whether it may be school or home, should be peaceful. Attention can be gathered, only in the lonely and peaceful atmosphere. Intensive stimulus should be used in the class to attract the attention towards the subject, as helpful material and proper example etc. The atmosphere of the class should be easy, interesting and full of curiosity. Thus in the proper environment there is progress in the learning. 

(D) Other Factors

  1. Nature of subject matter—The learning of any subject depends upon the nature of subject matter. For example, in the textbook the lesson of interesting story is learnt easily and with interest than that of complicated and criticizing essay. In this relation teacher’ method of‘simple to difficult of complex’ theory proves useful, Means while teaching easy things, to grow towards difficulty.
  2. The Methods of Learning—In Learning progress especially depends on the methods of learning. The description of these methods has been done place to place. The methods of learning according to the child will be so interesting and appropriate, as much the learning will be easy. From this point of view, in the beginning classes, ‘playing method’ and ‘Learning by doing’ or ‘action method’ is used. In the higher studies ‘Community related explanation’ and other methods are used.
  3. Practice—In learning, an important factor that helps in bringing progress, is practice. Practice affects learning very much. It has been said in the ‘Rules of Practice’.
  4. Teacher and the learning Process—A teacher has in important place in the process of learning. In the dual process of learning, the conduct, thought, behavior, personality, knowledge and learning method of teacher has a direct effect on the student and the process of learning. Montessori, Frowail and other Psychologists have called teacher as the path guide, gardener and artist. A teacher can make the process of learning easy and fast for the students on the basis of his talent and various materials.
  5. Knowledge of result—If learner keeps on getting the knowledge of his progress while learning then he gets the encouragement and inspiration for further learning. If he gets failure and mistakes, it is essential to have a knowledge of this, learner gets the inspiration of attempting and improving again and again. So a teacher should to give him knowledge of his progress, success and result.
Besides the above important factors the following factors can be looked into from the additional educational learning point of view, on the basis of special division:

  1. Factors belonging to the Learner—As a family is the first school of a child, but when a child enters in the school with the formalities, many curiosities originate in his mind, which he wants to calm and he has to adjust with the new environment. In such conditions, the process of learning is affected by many factors, as the child (who is the basis of learning process) desires of learning, the level of ambition, educational background, health, maturity, inspiration, the interest of learner, learning time, the period of learning, intellect and the learning processes etc. Being affected by these important factors he can go forward on the path of success learning anything easily. 
  2. Factors belonging to the teacher—There are many factors belonging to the teacher influencing the learning. For example, subject knowledge of the teacher, psychological knowledge, methods of learning, the knowledge of personality differences, proper behavior, child centered education, time table, extra-curricular activities and discipline etc. these are the factors, which help teacher in teaching. In the absence of any one of these factors, learning can not be completed.
  3. Factors belonging to the subject matter—Some factors for influencing the learning that belong to subject matter are following, as the nature of subject matter, figure, language, method, series, example presentation, seeing hearing material, the complete purpose of interesting subject matter, difficult levels of different subject and its structure. The process of Learning is very much affected by these factors. If few things is kept in mind in developing these factors, learning will be stable.
  4. Factors related to management to learning—there are many factors influencing the learning and are related to management to learning. In order to maintain this system many methods shall be deployed, like part vs. whole method, sub-subject vs. focused learning, collected vs. distributed, organized vs. contextual method, and active vs. inactive method. 
  5. Environmental factors—Many factors of environment affect learning, As-heredity, knowledge of social heredity, the effect of environment, social and cultural environment, informal reason of education, development of personality, familiar and psychological environment, physical environment of class and all situations.
  6. Group characteristics, internal process—Man is a social an, animal, the absence of it his existence is not considered. He develops much connectivity to the group and community, and the rules of that group, customs, limitations, and traditions affect him. It is necessary for a teacher to have knowledge of group psychology to make the process of learning more effective.

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