Proper Use Of Instructional Materials To Enhance Effective Teaching And Learning By GLORIA ODUE

In Breaking News, Education, Opinion

Instructional materials are essential tools in learning every subject in the schools’ curriculum. They allow the students to interact with words, symbols, and ideas in ways that develop their abilities in reading, listening, thinking, speaking; using media, technology among others.

As classroom teachers use different pedagogies, it is important they become conversant with the various types of instructional materials which can be used in any teaching and learning situation.

Said to be synonymous with what is called teaching aid, it constitutes alternative channels of communication, which a teacher can use to convey more vividly instructional information to learners. They represent a range of materials that can be used to extend the range of various experiences of learners in a teaching and learning situation.

Recently, in Nigeria, educationists have realized the importance of these instructional materials for effective classroom teaching. In 1945 and in 1985, the Federal Ministry of Education organized an exhibition of improvised materials by instructional developers all over the federation. The major aim of these exhibitions was to recognize the materials that teachers have improvised as precluded, hopefully, to their further refinement through the process of formative education.

The Center for Educational Technology has sprung up in Colleges of Education and universities all over the country. The question becomes how aware are our teachers of the Center and how well it has been utilized.

In the world of communication, the importance of instructional materials for effective communication in the school system cannot be overemphasized. In 1975 for instance, the Federal Ministry of Education organized an exhibition of improved instructional material for classroom teachers all over the federation in four centers – Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna, and Enugu. During these exhibitions, participants displayed various instructional materials, which they improvised to help learners concrete instruction in different subjects areas. Again one might ask, how far were they supported by the Federal Government.

Among the various competencies required for effective teaching of any course or subject, the ability to generate varied materials from diverse sources and effective instructional goals ranks very high. That is to say, resourcefulness, a crucial characteristic of any effective teacher, is much desired not only by way of creating new ideas, tools, and strategies but also by ways of reducing cost.

These materials are not limited to those in the urban areas alone, even those in the rural areas can also make use or benefit from instructional materials to facilitate learning for students both in urban and rural areas.

It can be found in local communities, local industries and workshops, farms, public and private libraries, museums, art galleries, and exhibitions.

However, from the local community, some input can also be derived for developing visual and other forms of instructional materials. From the bush, forest, streams, and other natural locations various forms of relevant instructional materials can be derived.

Local industries can also provide a wider variety of related instructional materials in the form of models, graphics, and other visuals using locally available inputs. Animals, birds, fishes, and some processes could be modeled or charted for use in the classroom for education and training programs.

Further Examples Of Where To Get Instructional Materials

Farms and fishponds

Agricultural establishments such as plantations, poultry, crops farms, fishponds, piggery, among others, can form key instructional materials in agriculture-related subjects. And they are what the learners can relate with.

Public And Private Institutions

Public and private institutions are a good fit for government, history, commerce, accounts, geography, and social studies or civic education subjects or courses. 

Relativity Of Instructional Materials

Teaching aids have to be related to the subject and topic being taught for effective teaching and learning. They also have to be something the learners can easily relate within their everyday life experiences.

You can’t say a teacher has delivered his or her lessons without a teaching aid that breaks the lesson down to the level the learners can make sense of. Now, it is important to note that there are differences when it comes to rural and urban settlements, and classes with learners of different ages and learning speeds.

In a nutshell, the instructional materials have to be relative not abstract.

How To Care For Instructional Materials

Instructional materials need special care and only a passionate teacher can pay utmost attention to its needs. Some schools don’t have stores or storage facilities but must create and preserve instructional material.

To take care of instructional materials from top to bottom there must be zeal, love, and passion for the job of nurturing future leaders.

An instructional material must be stored in an appropriate place and be cleaned as at when due. Obsolete materials and worn-out equipment should be replaced. All media materials and equipment require routine maintenance.

The most important of all is that they should not be mismanaged, else they will not stand the taste of time.

Gloria Odue is an IT student from the University of Calabar with CrossRiverWatch.

NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Gloria Odue, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

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