Teaching Material

Teaching Material Syllabus and Study Material

What are Teaching Aids?

Like teachers of other subjects, the science teacher also desires to teach his subject as effectively as possible for releasing the stipulated objectives of teaching science. In doing so he wants as effective communication with has students in the most interesting and useful way. The effectiveness of this communication demands that what the teacher wants to convey should be conveyed by him in the more desirable and effective way and on the other end the children receiving the fruit of this communication must be benefitted by it to the maximum extent. For meeting with such requirement of an effective communication the teacher many times resort to certain aids which are generally known as teaching aids or audio-visual aids in the field of teaching learning process.

Classification of Teaching Aids

Teaching aids may be classified as audio aids, visual aids, audio-visual aids and activity aids.
Audio aids like radio, tape recorder etc, represent that aid material which helps the learner to acquire the knowledge through his auditory senses.
Visual aids like charts, pictures models, opeidoscope, microprojector, Filmstrips, etc. represent that aid material which help the learner the in acquiring the learning experience through his visual senses.
Audio-visual aids like television, motion pictures, video-films, living objects etc. represent at those equipments and aid materials in which the learner gets opportunity to utilize both his auditory and visual senses for gaining the desired learning experiences.
Activity aids are those aids in which the students learn by engaging in some useful activities. These aids facilities learning through sight and sound as well as through doing.

The examples of such aids in the teaching of physical and life science are following:

  • Science excursions and visits.
  • Science exhibitions and fairs.
  • Science Museum.
  • Nature study corner.
  • Botanical Garden.
  • Zoological place.
  • Aquarium, Vivarium and Terrarium.
  • Experimentation in the laboratory and work shop.

There is another way of classifying the teaching aids and equipments which is quite technical and technological. According to this approach, these can be classified a hardware and software.
The equipments and machines like epidiascope, different types of projectors, radio, television, tape-recorded, video, teaching machines and computers etc.., are named as hardwares. On the other hand in the category software we include the aid material like pictures and of the printed material, graphical like charts, maps, diagrams, three dimensional objects like models, specially prepared material like slides, film strips, audio and visual taps. The materials included in this category makes an essential part of the equipments and machines mentioned as hardware. The hardware can serve as a teaching aid only when it is fed or supplied with some or other types of software. Therefore hardwares are quite dependent upon software for their services. On the other hand many of the software may serve well without the help of hardwares. The graphics, three dimensional objects, pictures and printed material etc. can function quite independently as an useful aid for the teaching of science.
All the above type of aid material, no matter what may be their modes of classification, make the process of teaching-learning as interesting and meaningful as possible by making use of our senses. The utility of making uses of one’s senses has been widely acknowledged by educational thinkers. Commenting on the desirability of such need Indian Education Commission has rightly remarked that “for acquiring the object and processes must be gained through one’s senses.” It is in this perspective that the use of audio-visual aids is now recommended at all level of school education. The importance of the use of these aids can be very well visualized through the following advantages drawn out of them in the process of teaching and learning of physical and life sciences.

Importance of Teaching Aids

  • Effective Motivating Agent.
  • Helpful in maintaining interest and attention
  • Clarity of the subject matter
  • Save the time and energy of the students and teachers.
  • Helpful in the realization of the objectives of science teaching.
  • Provide permanent and effective learning
  • Provide solutions to a number of educational and administrative problems.

Principles for the Selection of Teaching Aids

A science teacher has to take care of the following principles while making a judicious selection of the proper teaching a particular topic in his subject:

  • Relevancy: The aid used should be quite relevant to the topic in hand.
  • Suitability: It should suit the topic as best as possible by making it study quite comprehensive, interesting, permanent and effective.
  • Educative: The aid should have specific educational values bedsides being interesting and motivating. In no case it should be confined to mere entertainment.
  • Best substitute for the first hand experience: The aid should be so chosen as to prove a best possible substitute in terms of reality, accuracy and truthful representation of object or the first hand experiences.
  • Learner centered: The aid material selected should be such that it suits the age level, grade level, basic instincts, urges, interest and other unique characteristics of the students of the class.
  • Simplicity: The aid used should be quite simple in its construction and use. It must also be able to convey its sense as simply as possible.
  • Environment centered: The aid material should suit the requirement of the physical, social and cultural environment of the subtends.
  • Practicability: The aid materials should be selection in view of the prevailing circumstances, available resources and purposes to be served. It should not be too costly in its purchase and collection or in terms of its use and demonstration in the class. It should meet the available circumstances in terms of weather conditions, climatic requirements, handling by the teacher and students and other resources readily available in the institution and classroom.
  • Objectives attainment: The aid material should be so selected as to help in the proper realization of the stipulated learning or instructional objectives of the topic in hand.

Problems connected with teaching of Environment Science:

We are not at all in a happy and satisfying state with regard to the quality of science teaching in our schools. Often what is taught in the classroom in the name of physical and life science is actually divorced from the actual needs and necessities of life. The students after having graduation and postirradiation degrees in Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology etc. are hardly able to use the knowledge and skills acquired in meeting their day to day problems and adding to the search, technical and production requirements of the country. One may be quite astonished to observe these graduates and postgraduates in science failing in the ordinary tasks like connecting of fuse wires, repair of simple electrical and mechanical gadgets, caring of the plants, knowing about the fauna and flora of their own locality etc. It makes us to think of what is wrong with our teaching of physical and life sciences. Definitely there lies some basic reasons which are linked with the problems that actually emerge before our teachers in the teaching of physical and life sciences.

Let us have an idea about these problems connected with almost all the aspects of science education.

  • Problem connected with the definiteness of the objective: Definiteness of the objectives and goals is always helpful in the realization of the success in the task. The teaching and learning of physical and life scones in our schools is suffered with the serious defects that neither the teachers nor the learner have some clear cut goals and objectives before them for their teaching and learning. In case where attempts have been made to lay down such aims and objectives these are hardly cared in a practical sense while resorting to the teaching and learning by the teachers and learners.
  • Problem connected with the positive attitude: Success in a task also depends upon the desired interest and favorable attitude towards the execution of the task. Science teaching in this way, requires from the teachers as well as students a genuine interest, love and favorable attitude towards the teaching and learning of the subject science. Morever, the future of the science teaching is also linked with a favorable attitude towards its study and application on the part of general public, parents of the students and government authorities. It is an irony of fact that the environment of our country is not surcharge with a necessary interest an favorable attitude for the teaching of physical and life sciences.
    Definitely there lies a hard need of bringing desirable change in the attitudes and interest of the students, teachers, parents and other who are directly connected with the welfare of the students and the nation towards the study of physical and life sconces. It must be considered as an instrument of social changes and means for the welfare of the individual child and the society.
  • Problem connected with the availability of teachers: Quality of teaching and learning is definitely linked with the availability of quality teachers in the subject. There is still great dearth of the science teachers in terms of quantity as well as quality. The subjects science and mathematics has been made compulsory upto the secondary stage. We don’t have a sufficient number of science teachers to cope with the day to day increasing number of schools. In the rural hilly, desert or remote areas the situation is quite worse. There are instances where schools are run without the services of any science teacher.
  • Problem connected with the suitability of learning experiences: For tagging desired success in the realization of some set objectives in teaching of sciences it is essential to have suitable learning experiences in the form of appropriately designed curriculum or syllabai to different classes. With all the efforts made by NCERT and state agencies concerning with this task, the problem of having desirable learning experiences to match with the varying needs of the school going population of the country in the subjects of physical and life sciences is still persisting. We still need a lot of research and efforts in the direction to meet the needs of the individual students, his environment, society and nation at large.
  • Problem connected with the instructional material: Quality of teaching depends upon the availability of good instructional material in the form of text books, laboratory manuals, students work books, teaching-learning aid material, etc. The teaching of physical and life sciences carried out in our schools suffers a lot on account of the availability of the sufficient as well as good materials in this connection.
  • Problem connected with in-service and pre-service teachers training: In this aspects science education suffers with the problems like below. There is dearth of teacher training institutions for training the teachers both of the elementary and secondary classes level. Suitable and sufficient candidates for being trained as the teachers of physical sciences and life sciences are not available.
  • Problem connected with teaching methods and strategies: Good teaching requires the adoption of appropriate teaching-learning methods, devices and strategies. Science teaching in our schools faces so many hurdles in the adoption of many of the progressive and appropriate methods like demonstration methods, laboratory methods, assignment method, problem method and project method etc. On account of the lack of suitable facilities and infrastructures available in the form of man and material resources.
  • Problem connected with the evaluation of the learning outcomes: Evaluation does not only prove a testing or measuring device for the performance of the students in terms of the learning gains but if also proves a boon to the teachers and authorities to bring desirable changes in the contents, methodology and learning environment. The concept of evaluation as a comprehensive and continuous appraisal of learner’s gains on account of the experiences gained by him is not yet clear to the teacher and the persons connected with the evaluation task in the schools of our country. There is lack of standard good tools for measuring the learning outcomes of the students in theory as well as practical in the subject of physical and life sciences at the various school stages. Teachers are not being trained in the setting of an appropriate question paper being sufficiently reliable, valid, objective, comprehensive and practicable and incorporating reasonable number of essay objective and short answer type items. There is lack of inadequate knowledge and skills in the teachers of the preparation of diagnostic tests, criterion reference, tests, unit test and adopting proper ways and means for the evaluation of learning outcomes in the practical work, laboratory activities and other non-formal science activities.
  • Problem connected with the organisation of non-formal science education: Organisation of non-formal science education in the shape of cocurricular activities, project and practical activities like organisation of science museum, fairs, exhibitions, clubs, excursions, etc. adds to the effective realization of the objectives of teaching physical and life sciences. There are numerous obstacles in the path of successful organisation of such activities in our schools. A few of which can be cited as given a head.
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