Teaching and learning are originated from education. Education is the process by which a person’s mind develops through learning at a school, home, college or university. We have the Formal and Non-Formal education. The Formal education consist of functional literary which takes place in the four walls of a classroom. The Non-Formal consist of functional literary, remedial, continuing, vocational, aesthetic, cultural and civic education for youths and adults outside the found school system.
Learning simply means a wide knowledge gained by careful study. John Dewey – a great philosopher defined learning as a continuous process of growth. In addition to this, Professor Castle stated that learning is a journey that started from cradle and ends in the grave. By implication, learning is a daily affair, it has no end and nobody is above it.
From my own perspective, learning is a continuous development of the physical, mental and spiritual potentialities of man. It is not only literary but a tool which enables an individual to live efficiently and effectively in the society in which he finds himself.
Learning and teaching are related. They are interwoven. Infact, learning cannot take place unless teaching has occurred. Therefore, a teacher must focus on the learner, if learning must take place by creating an appropriate psychological setting. The learner’s desire to learn can only be facilitated and implemented by the teacher. This is why we say that no school can rise above the teacher.
Teaching on the other hand is a service profession to help one acquire some skills, attitude, knowledge, ideas or appreciation. Again, teaching is a complex art of guiding the students through a variety of selected experiences towards the attainment of knowledge. To sum it all, teaching is more than telling and testing. Professor Brown – a great philosopher maintains that if there is no learning, then there is no effective teaching. This simply means that for an effective teaching and learning to take place, there must be a good teacher.
Who is a teacher? Webster dictionary defines a teacher as one who instructs others. According to Mrs. Williams “a teacher is a learned person who imparts knowledge into others.” He is a guide, stimulator of activity, a motivator, an organizer, seeker of knowledge, a role model and an inspirer of vision just to mention a few. A good teacher guides learning by motivating and arousing the student’s desire to learn. A teacher is indeed the hallmark of learning. On the other hand, learning does not occur merely because of the teacher’s presentation of subjects rather through the interplay of the teacher’s behavior with many other forces.
The teacher should therefore, participate in mutual learning situation, stimulating, encouraging and leading a child to a new level of understanding by the provision of adequate environment and appropriate questioning.
However, we have scientific learning methods which involve several skills such as analytical skills, computational skills, infexutial skills, problem solving and transfer of learning. The process of finding out, testing and manipulating is the most effective way a child can learn. This is why teachers give students assignments so that they can carry on investigation or research on certain topics by themselves.
Lastly, learning is not one directional. Two parties are always involved – the learner and the teacher. The learner is the receiver of information while the teacher is the source of the message. By the end, ‘feedback’ is expected from the learner. Through feedback, a teacher knows if he has communicated well or not. Without feedback, effective teaching and learning have not taken place – it shows the strength and weakness of a learner.
Feedback simply means a response from a learner to the teacher to show whether what has been communicated by the teacher is understood of not. Though, we have individual differences, some students are gifted or exceptional learners while so9me are average or slow learners. A good teacher must carry all of them along for effective teaching and learning.
IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING
- Learning provides one with the ability to read and write.
- It enhances intellectual, physical and spiritual development of an individual
- It develops individual personality and talents. That is, it enables one to acquire the appropriate skills for future utilization.
- It creates an honest, courageous, responsible and industrious citizen.
- It builds leaders with a sense of responsibility.
- It enables on to have power to think logically and independently.
- It enables one to have a balanced knowledge of facts – local and world phenomena.
By Mrs. Williams Roselyn (NCE, BA. Ed)
Academic Supervisor, Value Plus School, Omole, Lagos.