3.2 Active teaching and learning methods

Table 3 shows some important active teaching and learning methods and some of the skills that teachers, student teachers and teacher educators need to develop – these are all covered in the TESSA materials.

Table 3: Active teaching and learning methods in TESSA
Active teaching strategySkills the teacher needs
Whole class interactive teaching
  • questioning skills – how to ask a variety of types of question and how to respond to learners’ answers
  • providing clear explanations
  • anticipating what learners might find difficult
Group work and pair work
  • arranging the classroom so students can talk to each other
  • decide how to divide the learners
  • designing an appropriate activity for students to do in groups
  • organising the classroom so all can see the front
  • using good questioning to maintain interest and promote learning
Building models
  • being able to build a model
  • being clear about what learners will learn by building a model
Problem solving
  • identifying a suitable topic, issue or problem to solve.
  • organise the classroom so that all can take part in a problem-solving activity
Project work
  • making sure information is available for students to use
  • identifying a suitable topic for a project which will support learning
Storytelling, songs, role play and drama
  • know some stories/songs relevant to the topic
  • be able to relate a role paly to learners’ learning
Using local resources
  • be aware of what resources are available
  • organising resources and materials in the classroom
  • use materials to support learning
Practical work
  • plan equipment required in advance
  • organise equipment in the classroom
  • be able to carry out experiments
Assessment for learning
  • observation and listening skills
  • know some specific strategies to elicit students’ ideas
  • know how to respond to students’ ideas
  • using questions to support learners and scaffold their thinking
Giving feedback
  • know some appropriate ways to encourage students
  • know how students are progressing
  • know individuals’ strength and weakness so that they can be supported appropriate
Teachers working together and discussing TESSA

Activity 3.2: Identifying active teaching methods

This activity shows how the link between the description of active teaching methods and actual examples.

You could use this activity with student teachers in a seminar on active learning and teaching. You will need a copy of the TESSA section you downloaded for Activity 2.1 in Tool 2, or another TESSA section of your choice.

Part 1

Read the case studies and use to Table 3 to identify which active teaching and learning method(s) each one illustrates.

For example, Case study 1 illustrates method 3 (collaborative activities) and method 10 (group work)

Part 2

Look at the photos below. For each one, identify the active teaching and learning method(s) illustrated.

Tool 12 provides an audit that you can use to evaluate your own practice and that of your students and plan for including more active learning methods in teaching.

3.1 What is active learning?

Tool 4: Using TESSA materials with student teachers