June 22, 2022

Appropriate use of teaching materials to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning by GLORIA ODUE

The didactic material is an essential tool in the learning of all the subjects of the school program. They allow students to interact with words, symbols and ideas in ways that develop their reading, listening, thinking and speaking skills; using media, technology among others.

Since classroom teachers use different pedagogies, it is important that they become familiar with the different types of teaching materials that can be used in any teaching and learning situation.

Considered synonymous with what is called a teaching aid, it constitutes alternative communication channels, which a teacher can use to convey more lively teaching information to learners. They represent a range of materials that can be used to expand the range of learners’ diverse experiences in a teaching and learning situation.

Recently, in Nigeria, educators realized the importance of these teaching materials for effective classroom teaching. In 1945 and 1985, the Federal Ministry of Education organized an exhibition of materials improvised by educational developers throughout the federation. The primary purpose of these exhibits was to recognize the materials that teachers improvised as hopefully excluded from further refinement through the formative education process.

The Center for Educational Technology has sprung up in colleges of education and universities across the country. The question becomes how aware our teachers are of the Center and how much it has been used.

In the world of communication, the importance of instructional materials for effective communication in the school system cannot be overstated. In 1975, for example, the Federal Ministry of Education organized an exhibition of improved teaching materials for teachers across the federation in four centers – Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna and Enugu. During these exhibitions, the participants presented various educational materials, which they improvised to help the learners to learn concretely in different subjects. Again, one might wonder to what extent they were supported by the federal government.

Among the various skills required for effective teaching of any course or subject, the ability to generate varied materials from diverse sources and effective instructional purposes ranks very high. That is to say, ingenuity, a crucial characteristic of any effective teacher, is highly sought after not only to create new ideas, tools and strategies, but also to reduce costs.

These materials are not limited to those in urban areas, even those in rural areas can also use or benefit from teaching materials to facilitate learning for students in both urban and rural areas.

It is found in local communities, local industries and workshops, farms, public and private libraries, museums, art galleries and exhibitions.

However, from the local community, some input can also be derived to develop visual aids and other forms of teaching materials. From the bush, forest, streams and other natural places, various forms of relevant teaching material can be derived.

Local industries can also provide a greater variety of related educational materials in the form of models, charts and other visuals using locally available inputs. Animals, birds, fish and certain processes could be modeled or mapped for use in the classroom for education and training programs.

Other examples of where to find teaching materials

Farms and ponds

Agricultural establishments such as plantations, poultry, farms, fish ponds, piggeries, among others, can serve as key teaching materials in agriculture-related subjects. And it is with them that learners can identify.

Public and private institutions

Both public and private institutions work well for subjects or courses in government studies, history, business, accounting, geography, and social studies or civics.

Relativity of didactic material

Teaching aids must be related to the subject matter and topic being taught for effective teaching and learning. They should also be something that learners can easily associate with their daily life experiences.

You can’t say a teacher delivered their lessons without a teaching tool that breaks down the lesson to the level that learners can make sense of. Now, it is important to note that there are differences when it comes to rural and urban settings, and classrooms with learners of different ages and learning speeds.

In a word, the didactic material must be relative and not abstract.

How to take care of teaching materials

Teaching materials require special care and only a passionate teacher can pay the utmost attention to their needs. Some schools do not have stores or storage facilities, but must create and maintain teaching materials.

To care for the teaching material from top to bottom, there must be zeal, love and passion for the work of training future leaders.

Teaching materials should be stored in an appropriate place and cleaned in a timely manner. Obsolete materials and worn equipment must be replaced. All media stands and equipment require routine maintenance.

The most important thing is that they are not poorly managed, otherwise they will not withstand the taste of time.

Gloria Odue is a Computer Science student at the University of Calabar with CrossRiverWatch.

NB: The opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Gloria Odue, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization for/with which the author works.