The value of practice in any endeavour can never be underestimated. It is a sine qua non. In teaching, it is imperative. Learning without practice defeats the very purpose of learning at the outset. ‘Practice makes perfect’ is an adage that must be taken seriously in teaching and learning. Teaching and learning are two sides of the same coin. Flip the coin and both sides come together. They are inseparable.
A teacher must prepare his materials seriously from different angles taking into consideration the various tendencies of his charges. The preparation of his materials in an organised manner sets the professional teacher apart from the mediocre teacher. “Order is heaven’s first law.” Unfortunately, this same order applies to the affairs of the world too. Therefore, the logical order of teaching requires the absolute scrutiny of teaching material to the minutest detail. In any instance some topic of relevance is left out, the train of thought is disrupted. The teacher is then left with no other alternative but to repeat that topic independently of the material presented earlier. The learner becomes confused as to where this topic is to be stored in the earlier material.
The drudgery sets in. Both teacher and learner come to grips as to how they ‘fit in’ this topic into the learner’s respective compartments that make up his ‘mind box’. Another challenge exhibits itself at this stage – the understanding of the material presented. If the learner doesn’t understand the material, he is going to have a difficult time remembering it. If he doesn’t remember it, he is going to have an uphill task applying it in his daily life. It all boils down to the way a teacher organises and presents his material in a logical order.
Sir John Adams aptly described it in these words – “memorisation through understanding.” If the learner doesn’t understand what is being taught, he will not memorise it for long. And it is my contention that if a learner wants to understand the material that he is learning or studying, he should be given AMPLE PRACTICE which fortifies his recollection of the subject matter.
As an English trainer, I find that ample practice in the topics taught enhances the participant’s understanding and recollection of the subject-matter. Hence, the participant is able to use it in his daily life with ease. This is achieved when I apply the logical method of presenting my subject-matter. What is being taught now must be logically related to what has been taught before.
By Ranjit Singh Thind