Foreffective pedagogy to occur in the 21st century and beyond there isneed for reconfiguration of the architecture of pedagogy to align it toappropriate to relevant methods of the fast paced changes with regards totrending topics/debates/content, age ranges of learners and the shiftingtendencies towards multi-disciplinary in most fields (see Scott 2015). Pedagogyis underpinned by dual pedestals that often conflate in practice, namely thelecturer and student centered approaches (see Leadbeater 2008). This section ofthe proposal discusses the imponderables that arise as disciplines reconfigure andin the context of these dual approaches. The pedagogical approaches discussedinclude group work, lecturer, demonstrations, field trip and discussions.
For Kasambira(1997), a method of pedagogy is a way of facilitating actual instruction/learning.Mkandla (1996) concurs but adds that a method should be accompanied byprocedures and activities. In summing up the above, Gwarinda (2002) states thatmethods are the plans through which pedagogy is facilitated in order for theaims and objectives of a discipline to be realized. Demonstrationis a one such method of pedagogy. For Mtasa and Willis (1995), the method involvesthe instructor showcasing pedagogical activities under observation by learners.
Demonstrations are varied and they include spot, whole and step by step. Inpreparation for a demonstration it is the norm that the instructor does testrun of tools and equipment and seek second opinion. It is advisable for the instructor to thetheoretical aspects and gives in advance the demonstration as assignments forlearners to familiarize in advance prior to the actual demonstration. The stepby step demonstration occurs when learners attempt to follow after the instructorthrough all the steps. The method can be used with the aid of other different learningaids such as media such as audio-visuals, models and charts. Demonstrationsstimulate the learners’ participation. This method is more for learners ofmixed abilities (Eley & Norton, 2004). However demonstrations are timeconsuming.
Thediscussion method allows for more participation of the learners (Gwarinda 2002).It all allows for cross fertilisation of ideas of learners. The instructorassigns learners texts or readings beforehand that will be used in nextdiscussions. This method is effective in ensuring participation by all. The feedbackcan come in the form of oral or written presentations.
Discussions promoteinterpersonal skills. They are learner centered given that they provide forcross fertilization of ideas (Berne and Clark 2006). They are however timeconsuming and need a good facilitator or else they may be hijacked bydomineering learners. Anothermethod of pedagogy is through fieldtrips. They are considered to be learnercentred. For Shumbayaondain Maringe (2002) they are a situation when learners visit a place of educationalinterest. On the other hand fieldtrips do pose the challenge of being expensive.If not well managed the field trips may cause the learners to shift theirattention to focus on unnecessary distractions.
The instructor has to payattention to required procedures.. Freirein Kasambira (1997) referred to the lecture method as the ‘banking concept’ ofeducation. The method is also known as the informative or expositional method,because it seeks to inform the learners or expose facts to them. The method isappropriate when introducing the topic for the first time and also when factsneed to be explained in detail as per the instructor’s expertise. The instructorcan also use this method when he or she relates that the learners arestruggling in a particular topic in the subject under study. The instructor willthen explain while the learners listen. It is also the best method to use whenthe instructor just needs to define terms as well as giving emphasis to crucialfacts.
This method is effective as the learners will be able to later on engagein their own researches after having understood what is really expected ofthem. For the method to be fruitful the instructormust make the learners as comfortable as possible so that their attention isnot distracted by physical discomfort. The instructor must limit the amount offacts to be taught in one lesson to ensure absorption. Illustrative materialmust be used to help learners have a clear grasp of what is being explained forexample there could be need of power point presentations with aids of diagramswhere necessary.
When using the lecture method the instructor must keepwatching out for flagging audience and try to revive moral of the class bymaking a joke if need be as this will stimulate learner participation. Accordingto Kasambira (1997) the lecture method is suitable at university level. Thelecture method is a instructor centered methodology which puts the instructorat the core of the teaching and learning process.Groupwork is another teaching method that a instructor can use. Group work involves dividingclass into small groups of six or so learners often with a group leader (Gwarinda2002). The group leaders must be changed regularly in order for the group to bemore effective.
Groups can be permanent for the particular subject or can becreated to suit specific lesson needs depending with the instructor’sdiscretion. They are two types of groups that an instructor can opt to createthat are ability groups whereby learners are divided into groups according totheir ability either generally or according to performance in a specificsubject. The other type is that of mixed ability groups where each group is arepresentative of fast, average and slow learners.
Whenan instructor decides to use ability grouping the instructor will aim to teachfollowing the pace of the learners and will ender extended attention orremedial work to the less gifted. According to Gwarinda (2002) ability groupingis based on the theories of intelligence. However the instructor may end upliking the fast learners at the expense of the slow learners, also it resultsin individualism and serious competition amongst the learner hindering themfrom sharing ideas.Mixedability groups on the other hand are based on the theory that all students have gifted differently (Gwarinda 2002). The instructorwhen using this method groups the learners in such a way that learners cancontribute to the learning process in a meaningful, useful manner through unitylearning. The learners who are weak in the theory lessons may be good inpractical lesson.
The learners will then learn to improve their weak pointsfrom those who will be excelling in other areas. The mixed ability groups create more teamworkand bring harmony in the class if well managed, they help both the instructorand learners do away with labeling.