Primary Effective Teaching Strategies

Updated April 17, 2017

Primary teachers who apply effective teaching strategies increase the likelihood of student achievement. An effective practice is one that has been studied in a scientific manner and meets the standards or criteria necessary to be called a research-based effective strategy.

Educational researchers Sean Bulger, Derek Mohr, and Richard Walls completed a review of literature on the effectiveness of many teaching strategies. They identified four strategies that met the standards for all students: outcome-based instruction, clarity in giving students directions, engagement of students during the entire teaching process teaching, and enthusiasm about teaching and learning.


Setting outcomes for instruction is like setting an itinerary for a trip: the outcomes show you where you want to be at the end of the journey. Outcomes lead primary teachers toward the end result of their instructional journey---positive student achievement. Outcome-based instruction enables teachers to conduct student assessment more directly and to determine where instructional reinforcement is needed. It also allows teachers to measure their teaching performance.


Clarity of instructions is critical if students are expected to follow them. Primary teachers who give directions that tell students what they are to do, that show them how to do what they are being asked to do, and that give the direction in more than one way are the most likely to have students reach the outcome of the instructional session.


Engagement is learning by doing. Primary teachers who are good at engaging students make instruction interesting, fun, and meaningful. They set up the classroom environment so students want to learn. They know engagement is not just completing an assignment at the end of a lecture. They know full engagement begins the moment the lesson starts and continues as students practice the concept and talk about what they learnt.


Primary teachers who exude enthusiasm have students who are excited and enthused about learning. Enthusiastic teachers are confident in their ability to guide positive learning in students and feel confident in the subject matter they are teaching.

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About the Author

Mary Johnson-Gerard began writing professionally in 1975 and expanded to writing online in 2003. She has been published on the Frenzyness Divorce Blog and on Neumind International Pte Ltd. Her book "When Divorce Hurts Too Long—Ouch" was published in 2009. Johnson-Gerard holds a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Missouri.