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Arkansas State University

Teaching Strategies for Successful Lessons

In the constantly developing education world, teachers look for ways to innovate lesson planning. Student populations are diversifying; different cultural backgrounds and ability levels are now a part of every inclusive classroom, so teachers must use a variety of teaching methods to address individual students’ learning needs. Beyond the empathy, flexibility and creativity necessary for successful differentiated instruction, teachers should explore innovative teaching methods for diverse populations. By enrolling in a Master of Science in Education in Educational Theory and Practice degree program, educators can study the following teaching techniques to develop new teaching methods and lesson plans.

The Basics of Successful Lessons

Regardless of which innovative teaching methods teachers employ, all successful lesson planning incorporates a few general concepts. Students need to know the objectives and learning goals of their lessons; they should also understand how teachers expect them to meet those goals. An important part of this is formative evaluation and reflection during the learning process and afterward. In addition, teachers can model intelligent risk-taking in innovative lesson design based on their successes or failures. This involves healthy self-evaluation and reflection as well as student evaluation, which promotes student input, engagement and healthy risk-taking.

Differentiation and Student-Led Learning

Although teachers establish expectations and learning outcomes of their lessons before they deliver them, the differentiated learning model offers flexibility within the learning process. In this model, students and teachers explore instructional techniques that best serve students’ unique learning needs. For example, adaptive technologies and devices that allow students to incorporate visual and tactile learning can increase comprehension and understanding.

Building upon differentiated instruction, teachers can also incorporate student-led learning. In this model, students understand their specific learning goals, but they have options as to how they go about learning the material. When students have choice in their education, they can pursue their own interests, which improves motivation and engagement.

Project-Based Learning and the Collaborative Classroom

Incorporating hands-on projects into lesson planning can help students apply their learning to real-life activities. This form of experiential education can deliver better learning results than traditional read-and-regurgitate instruction. Moreover, project-based learning lends itself well to the collaborative classroom. This innovative teaching method involves restructuring basic classroom and lesson design to include creative spaces and digital tools to develop student engagement in social learning both locally and globally. In this setting, the teacher acts as a facilitator and an instructional resource rather than a central authority. Integrating project-based learning and the collaborative classroom encourages self-directed learning as well as verbal, cultural and digital literacy.

Effective lesson planning is at the heart of successful teaching strategies. Building on and refining recent innovations is the goal of teachers who wish to improve education. By developing objectives, processes, evaluation and reflection, teachers can incorporate many innovative teaching methods into their lesson plans and classroom designs to create the best possible learning environment for each student.

Learn more about the Arkansas State online MSE in Educational Theory and Practice program.


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