Teaching uses many methods that vary according to each age. Every stage of teaching depends on the addressees and uses various methods that differ from the lower stages of younger children. There are several theories that are followed in most schools and govern the process of instruction as a whole. Those models tend to turn the learning process into an enjoyable one. This paper will discuss the theories that govern the teaching process, how each method aims to deliver the information to the young students the best way available, and how those methods are connected complementing each other.
To begin with, the following learning theories have become the important elements of teaching. It is no longer a fancy way of educating high-class people or those connected with specific societies or countries. It has rather become a worldwide concept that is used in almost the whole world. The theories are based on a teacher-student concept that means turning the students into their own teachers. One theory that most teachers are familiar with is called the situated cognition. Schunk (2012) explains this theory:
Situated cognition also is relevant to motivation. As with learning, motivation is not an entirely internal state as posited by classical views or wholly dependent on the environment as predicted by reinforcement theories […]. Rather, motivation depends on cognitive activity in interaction with sociocultural and instructional factors, which include language and forms of assistance such as scaffolding. (p. 233)
The situated cognition, according to the previous quotation, has become a wide field where teachers use motivation to encourage the students to acquire more information themselves about the subject they study. Furthermore, they use technology alongside with psychology to make sure that their students get the idea clearly from one side and from the other side are able to use it in their lives after they graduate and move to a college or higher class. One learning theory is applied in the first day of school when children are ready to start a new life. This concept depends on the idea that shows that the staff and teachers are the students’ friends. This new and modern method tends to change the old perception of schools and teachers as tough, formal, and very restricted people. The fact that teachers are the students’ friends and their new family helps the new schoolchildren to fight their fears and worries about the new stage of their lives and makes communication between them much easier. This makes the piece of information in this case much simpler to be understood. The theory has changed the old-fashioned way of learning which used to be very formal and to lead to negative results as chidren used to hate schools and eventually the process of learning itself. Thus, this model has altered the whole aspect of learning and can be considered as a revolutionary theory. In First Day of School at Waco ISD, it is clear how the children are met in their first day at school, starting from the security guards to the teachers (Waco ISD, 2014). Ultimately, the limits between them no longer exist. The barricades between the students and the teaching staff are now broken; the environment of learning has become more friendly due to this new theory. The same video shows that schools are places to learn not only grammar and math but also how to deal with life. “A contemporary critical feminist approach to gender tends to locate it as a social construct and examines the meanings attached to gender within various (textual) presentations” (Gough, McFadden, & McDonald, 2013). Thus, after school graduation, the students will be familiar with their jobs according to their genders, as some jobs require males while others require females.
Another theory of learning is about using technology in its process. Following the new development of technology, it has become a necessity to use what technology offers in the field of learning. There are various methods of using it in education; the first method is turning the learning process into a gaming one. This technique makes receiving and memorizing the information enjoyable. Instead of using the old traditional books and papers, the students now can read and learn by watching and playing games on wide computer screens. This theory is called retroactive inhibition, which aims to help the students remember the similar information. According to Slavin (2015), students will easily memorize one letter they have studied as long as they do not learn a new one; once they learn a new letter they will encounter a problem of forgetting the old one. For example, the letters d and b may cause such a problem for the students. Therefore, teachers use games and colors to help the students remember what they have learned. The use of multimedia allows the teachers to communicate more with the students and simplify the delivery of the ideas. Moreover, songs have a much bigger effect on learning; thus, the children will learn new words as they listen to the songs. The teachers will no longer worry about their students’ being bored or forgetting what they have learned because they will repeat the song for long even when they are not at school. This will eventually result in the students’ remembering those new words. Furthermore, learning unfamiliar vocabulary is not enough if the students do not learn how to write them. Therefore, teachers have been using the iinnovative method which allows the students to colorize the new words. This approach is very effective for children as it makes them love to learn and helps to master and memorize more words and at the same time enjoy the learning process.
The educational process is about not only learning new words but also improving the skills of the students and teaching them how to find and gather more information which is not included in the curriculum. Students will have to learn how to collect information and use what they have studied in discussion. If the students apply this learning theory, their ability to make research will be improved. Moreover, they will be able to get involved in discussions about issues on several topics, which will enhance their argumentative skills and communication abilities, as they have to share what they know with other students. They will deepen their knowledge about the discussed topic since other students also share their ideas which might be new and different to what others know. Ormrod (2012) found that “People may have greater self-efficacy when they work in a group than when they work alone, and especially when they achieve success as a group” (p. 131). If the students apply this theory, their general knowledge will become rich, and the learning process will no longer be restricted to one person who is the teacher, as the students will become the teachers themselves. In addition to this, in Guhyan Elementary School Open Class, the students are to improve their memory by learning the names of the objects and memorizing them (Head Teacher EforS, 2013). It helps students to develop their memorizing ability, which will later help them when they shift to a higher class or a collage because those skills will be needed with time. This step is not only about learning but also about psychology and improving the students’ psychological abilities. The method used in the previous video is not about memorizing new words, but learning a strategy.
In conclusion, learning theories have improved and passed many stages. Nowadays, theories are about the teacher-student relationship that turns the students into their own teachers. There are several learning theories that govern the learning process. They are applied to the schools starting from the security guards and ending with the teachers. These methods are considered as revolutionary aspects that have changed the perspective of learning, turning it into an enjoyable concept that allows the students to learn and revel. At the same time, it makes the best out of what they have learned, as they never forget the information they have received which will be needed when they move to higher classes or start their university lives.