Teaching is interesting. Very interesting. Especially if you get to teach at university level. All you have to do is lecture. Your pedagogical skills will make your work either much easier or mighty hard. Most tutors, lecturers, and even professors lack the simple, but essential skill that draws the line between dictation and education – pedagogy. It is an art and a science, particularly instructional theory, which underlies education. Content pedagogy, a requirement for every effective teacher, refers to teaching skills that can help one to impart specialized content or knowledge of a particular subject area. Effective lecturers, teachers, tutors, and professors have to display a wide array of abilities and skills that build a learning environment conducive enough for students. Content pedagogy assures students that they can make it both personally and academically. Universities and middle level colleges integrate this combination of abilities and skills in the teaching profession in their standards, which also entails disposition, indispensable information, and commitments that require educators to practice excellently.
Many lecturers miss this point. They think that lecturing or tutoring is all about utilizing the available technology around and transmitting information from digital sources to student’s memory chips, which most of the time run on flash memory – they forget the moment they walk out of the lecture hall. While technology is here to improve learning, its application can only lead to success if teachers can explore their interaction between technology and pedagogy. Teachers lack dedication in pedagogy making many students bog down in their performance or drop from courses altogether. These implications are chilling, particularly because the practices exist in our very own local universities and some international training centers. In short, we can only become teachers, tutors, or lecturers once we embrace pedagogy. Then can we integrate educational technologies and pedagogy and spur critical thinking on both students and teachers.
Delineating the best teaching methods and acknowledging those who achieve effective methods are the first steps in changing education. In-depth studies show that teachers who use cooperative approaches in their delivery of content help students develop their generic skills. Cooperative learning entails myriad principles: individual responsibility, positive independence, group maintenance, appropriate grouping, interaction time, and cooperative skills. Cooperative learning approach provides guidelines for managing the classroom and ensuring that learning takes place. Some of the tenets of the cooperative learning approach such as pairing students, forming generic question stems, formulating dyadic confrontations, sending students to discussion corners, facilitating blackboard share, drawing gambits, and asking students to paraphrase what authors have said can help improve a class’s performance.