Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Principles of Teaching: Selection and Use of Instructional Materials

     It has been awhile since I posted LET and education-related topics in this blog. Just recently, there were educ students who conducted observations for the Field Study courses so I thought of posting some principles that perhaps can help them in answering their workbooks. If I'm not mistaken, they are in their Field Study 3 which focuses more on educational technology. I also realized that I have already posted principles about learning, classroom management and assessment, but not yet about the use of educational technology or more commonly known as SIMS (Support Instructional Materials).

I listed here some principles in the selection and use of support instructional materials. I hope that teachers can use these principles and apply these in their own classroom practices.

1.The best instructional material is no other than the teacher. This does not mean that teachers need not to prepare SIMS anymore! This implies that teachers must not overly depend on the materials themselves. SIMS themselves cannot fully teach the learners. There should still be the need for the teacher to explain, discuss and facilitate learning using the SIMS. The effectiveness of the SIMS still depends on how the teacher presents, uses and manipulates these materials  in the class discussion. As the word "support" implies, SIMS are just aid for teachers, but they do not replace the teacher.

2. SIMS need not be extravagant or always "high-tech". Teacher still need to consider the instructional objective in a day's lesson.  Though technology will make a lesson presentation interactive, a teacher should first and foremost consider the instructional objective. The lesson objectives determine what SIMS to be used not the other way around. One concrete example would be in the Physical Education subject. In demonstrating steps to a dance, which would be more preferable and effective: a video clip of the steps, or the teacher him/herself demonstrating the dance? Of course the latter would be better. Notice that even without  the use of technology the lesson can still work with the given objective.

3. Don't reason the above mentioned principle to excuse yourself not to use variety of instructional materials. Teaching also involves catering to each learners' needs and preferences in learning. Each of us has different ways in responding and receiving information. Remember VAK? Teachers may have visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners (and a combination of either of the three). Hence, use various media. These may be computers, TV, projector and even just the mere chalkboard.

4. Prepare your SIMS beforehand. Appealing and creative SIMS usually require time and effort to make.I think we are all inspired by stories of teachers who spend the midnight oil just to make SIMS. This is not an exaggeration but a reality.  Most of the times, SIM-making is a tedious task, but we all do this for the sake of making our learners learn best. If you will be using technology like computers or projectors, make sure to manipulate it first to avoid technological glitches. Also check the power source and even the file to be presented if corrupted or not.

5. Think out of the box. Be creative. Use the materials or inspiration that is appealing to the learners. Make use of your learners interests even the latest trends or popular personalities. If the pupils are familiar and most of all interested with your SIMS, learning becomes not only effective but fun and interesting for them as well.

Actually there are lots of principles you can also utilize. Use your experience since it is a very good teacher. Just remember that teaching needs dedication and passion. And part of this vocation is to give your best to prepare and make your SIMS for the main purpose of teaching the pupils the best way possible.

P.S. It was a shame that when the educ studs observed me, I only used chart and chalkboard that time...hehehe..excuse me..the teacher is the best S-I-M..hehehe...)


  1. Wow! I am in great need of above listed information in my subject (Soc Stud 110 - Production of Social Sciences Instructional Materials), and it will me I bet. Thanks :)

  2. Wow! I am in great need of THE above listed information in my subject (Soc Stud 110 - Production of Social Sciences Instructional Materials), and it will HELP me I bet. Thanks :)