Effective Teaching Practices in Secondary School

Updated April 17, 2017

The transmission of knowledge from one person to another requires an effective teacher. Many education scholars focus on successful teaching practices for early learners. Although the beginning stages of learning are sensitive and significant, post-elementary and pre-collegiate or "secondary" teachers also must incorporate efficient and rewarding techniques in order to develop life-long learners.

Modified Lecture

The use of the modified lecture is most effective for students in secondary school. Begin the lesson with a concise, accurate, introductory lecture, during which students must sit, take notes and absorb information. Expand the process by incorporating another teaching practice into the lesson. Open a discussion on the lecture topic, or provide students with an in-class activity or experiment that employs lesson objectives. The modified lecture prepares secondary students for collegiate programs, which consist almost exclusively of the lecture method, while catering to the students' previous experience of mostly interactive learning.

Classroom Discussion

Discussion is an important teaching method in secondary classrooms. Elementary learning environments are almost entirely interactive. As students mature, teachers can introduce open, organised discussions on selected topics, incorporating student input to reach desired conclusions. Discussion allows students to immediately identify with the subject matter. Then they can use that familiarity to more efficiently reach the objective of the lesson. In addition, when students are faced with the possibility that they will be called upon to give their opinion, they are more likely to remain cognitively engaged in the lesson.

Monitored Experimentation

Present students with an in-class experiment or activity that demonstrates the hypothesis of the lesson. A hands-on, personal view of the theory in action helps students learn important problem-solving skills and retain information efficiently. In another method of experimentation, teachers provide students with a problem to solve and allow them a period of self-guided experimentation in an effort to come up with a possible solution. At the end of the allotted time, teachers present students with the actual answer and look for merit in the student's own effort.

Exam Preparation

Exam preparation is a valuable teaching practice. Secondary teachers most often prepare students for tests by offering a practice exam. The practice exam eases tension and narrows the information spectrum for study. Study sessions are also successful in exam preparation, but secondary teachers do not often have the opportunity to offer or guide such sessions. As a result, secondary teachers can create in-class study sessions or study guides to point students in the right direction.

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About the Author

Diane Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from North Carolina State University and is a former video and web producer for a North Carolina multimedia agency. She also spent several years as a media specialist/graphics designer for the Cumberland County school system in Fayetteville, N.C.