Alternative teaching strategies

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Page 1: Alternative teaching strategies
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Alternative Teaching


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Class Discussion

Class Debate


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- is an excellent way to generate a class discussion about a puzzling issue (Eby and Martin, 2001)

- often used when the objective of the lesson is to get as many solutions to a problem

- sometimes called a buzz group or buzz session that promotes fluent thinking and encourages flexible thinking

- uses students’ knowledge and ideas and stimulates creative and problem-solving abilities (Savage and Armstrong, 1987)


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Let's say that the brainstorm topic is Weather, the students would state whatever comes to mind, which would most likely include words like: rain, hot, cold, temperature, seasons, mild, cloudy, stormy etc.

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Steps in conducting a Brainstorming Session

1. Present the problem/situation/issue.

2. Share ideas suggesting possible solutions.

3. Accept all ideas.4. The teacher records all ideas.5. Review/Discuss ideas.6. Organize ideas.7. Provide closure.

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- is a direct teaching strategy in which the teachers models the behaviors of presentation, analyses and syntheses

- the students becomes observers and recorders of information and skills

- Accomplished by using appropriate oral and visual explanations, illustrations and questions (Ellis, 1986)


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McGinnis and Goldstein (1997) and Sheridan (1995) suggested that teachers do the following when conducting demonstration lessons:

1. While acting and talking, point to the steps written on a poster.

2. Be sure to think aloud.

3. Keep it simple.

4. Check for understanding by assigning students to watch for different steps and asking them to describe how the step was demonstrated following the modeling.

5. Be sure that the skill being modeled has a positive outcome.

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- This strategy describes the procedures used by the teachers in encouraging students to engage in verbal interchange and in expressing thoughts on a particular learning area.


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Discussion according to Arends (2004), is used by teachers to achieve three important instructional objectives:

1. To improve the students’ thinking and help them construct their own understanding of academic content.

2. To promote student involvement and engagement.

3. To help students learn important communication skills to discover what they are thinking on how they are processing the ideas and instruction being taught.

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PHASE 1: Clarify aims and established set.

PHASE 2: Focus the discussion.PHASE 3: Hold the discussion.PHASE 4: End the discussion.PHASE 5: debrief the discussion.

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- This is a formal discussion approach consisting of a set of speeches by the participants of two opposing teams and a rebuttal by each participant (Burden & Byrd, 2003).

- Oral presentations are made by members of two opposing teams regarding the pre-assigned and research topics.


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Do video games really cause bad behavior in children?

Euthanasia: should the right to die be granted?

Evolution or creation: how did human beings come about?

Should we encourage the belief that kids have in Santa Claus?

Mobile phones in school - should we ban them?

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Syntax For Class Debate

1. Choose an issue.2. Organize the issue.3. Prepare the issue for the debate.4. Present the debate.5. Guide, revise and analyze the issue.6. Give a closure.

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- This is a teacher centered strategy consisting of four major phases (Arends,


1. Initial attempt to the teacher to clarify the lesson’s aims.

2. Presentation of an advanced organizers.

3. Presentation of new information.4. Conclusion.


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PHASE 1: Clarify aims and established set.

PHASE 2: Present an advanced organizers.

PHASE 3: Present the learning materials.

PHASE 4: Check for understanding and strengthen student thinking.

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