Best Teaching Practices For Creating Life-Long Learners

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Young children’s thinking is perceptual and concrete, they are eager to please their teachers (Woolfolk, 2001). The ability to understand the nature of the learner and how they learn is paramount to developing strategies that promote and effective and productive learning environment. Effective teaching practices motivate students to become life-long learners.

Learners develop in an orderly process and at their own pace (each individual being unique), and this development occurs gradually (Miller, 2002)and this development refers to the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development in human beings. Piagets theory explains that learners pass through four stages as they develop; sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational, these stages describe general patterns of thinking at variable ages and the quality and quantity of experience endured (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Royer (2005) and Sawyer (2006) state cognitive learning theories reflect on the adjustments in the mental structures and processes involved in acquiring, organising and utilising knowledge. This suggests learning focuses on the learners attempt to understand their experiences; this driving element of learning is knowledge (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Prior knowledge “is a scaffold that supports the construction of all future learning” (Alexander, 1996), scaffolding is the assistance a learner receives when in the zone of proximal development and all learners have a ‘zone of proximal development’ for each task they are expected to master. However learners must be in the zone to benefit from assistance’ (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Social constructivism is encouraged in the classroom to enhance the development of individual learners. When a l...

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...ectives because they give inconsistent information (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010).

In today's society, careful planning, research, knowledge and understanding of the minds of learners is essential for teachers to better relate to the students, directing their teaching practices in a way that is most effective to the learning of the students. By utilising theories of teaching and learning, teachers will increase their knowledge of developmental levels in the students and understand the way students process and construct knowledge. The need to accept and understand learners with exceptionalities has an impact on the teachers and learners within the classroom. Classrooms are by nature multidimensional, full of simultaneous activities, fast paced and immediate, unpredictable, public and affected by the history of students, and teachers’ actions (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010)

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