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Factors That Impacts Teaching and Learning

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This contains a list of factors that has an impact on teaching and learning.

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Teaching and Learning

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No two individuals have the same learning capacity. For some people, their learning pace is very slow while for others, they learn at a very fast pace. For teaching also, not everyone in the teaching field possesses the same skills in teaching. There are some who are smart and intelligent but find it very difficult to pass the knowledge.

Both learning and teaching is impacted by many factors we will be discussing in this article.

Therefore, if you are right finding it difficult to learn or teach, you are not under a spell, there’s probably something you need to work on to achieve effective results. For easy understanding and readability, I will be discussing them separately.

Here are factors impacting on teaching.

TEACHER RELATED FACTORS (FACTORS THAT HAVE IMPACT ON TEACHING)

The number one factor that impacts on teaching is those related to the teacher. Teacher related factors play significant roles in teaching process. Some of these factors are;

1. Subject Knowledge

Before one can be termed a teacher, there must me a subject to be taught. The amount of knowledge you have on the subject goes a long way to determine how effective or how well you will be passing on the knowledge to others.

A teacher who knows his subjects well can only play an active role in the teaching process. In other words, except a teacher has a good understanding and knowledge of the subject to be taught, there is no way students can learn effectively.

2. Knowledge of Learners

How well do you know your scholars as a teacher? I may not be a professional teacher but I was assigned to teacher during the one year compulsory National youth service (NYSC). From experience, I came to understand that for a teacher to know the best teaching techniques and approach to follow, they must try to understand the students first.

The teacher must understand that scholars have individual needs and abilities. Knowing this will enable the teacher to tailor the teaching in a way that meets each learner’s need.

3. Teaching Skills

Not every person called teacher has the skill to pass the knowledge to others.

A teacher may know his subject well but lack the ability to communicate and pass the knowledge. The proficiency and deficiency of a teacher in this aspect determines if the teaching process will be a success or failure.

4. Friendliness and Approachability

As a student and one who has a first-hand teaching experience, it is a known fact that teachers who are approachable and very friendly with students find it very easy to teach effectively.

Unfriendly teachers usually have a hard time with students. In some cases, students who do not like a particular teacher will most likely frustrate the efforts of the teacher. If the students see their teacher as their enemy, they certainly won’t learn much and will also end up performing woefully. The best teachers are the most jovial, welcoming, and easy to approach. A good teacher possesses good listening skills and makes out time to interact with students on other issues outside the classroom teachings.

5. Discipline

Discipline goes beyond flogging and corporal punishments. Recently, many schools are operating on a policy that kicks against scholars being disciplined by teachers. If carefully considered, there is every indication that the decision to exempt discipline from school systems causes more harm than good.

The importance and effect of discipline in teaching practice cannot be overemphasized. In a classroom, a teacher uses discipline to ensure orderliness is maintained and school rules are enforced. A great teacher is considered to be a disciplinarian and one who can promote positive behaviors and decorum in the classroom. Hence, without discipline, teaching/learning cannot be accomplished effectively in many cases.

These are some of the factors that have impact on teaching. While there factors impact teaching, it has also been discovered that students equally experience difficulty in learning and there are also a number of factors that are responsible for this. Therefore, some factors which may affect learning are as follows:

LEARNER’S RELATED FACTORS (FACTORS THAT HAVE IMPACT ON LEARNING)

When it comes to learning, most of the factors that has impact on it, is related to the learner/scholar himself.  This is because, it is solely the choice of the learner to determine the impact and the effect the teaching will have on them. So, some of these factors include the following;

1. Intellectual factor

It is a known fact that all humans have different IQ levels. There are some with high IQ while some are with low IQ.

It’s being argued that to be successful in school, ones level of intellect has to be high. Scholars with low level of intelligence often encounter serious difficulty in learning no matter the efforts of the teacher. Understanding this will enable the teacher to be patient with the learner.

2. Physical Factors

This factor has been identified to consist of other factors such as health, physical development, nutrition, visual and physical defects, etc. It is generally recognized that ill health retards physical and motor development of a scholar.

3. Health Factors

This is one of the top factors under the physical factor. A number of times, health issues have been identified to have a direct impact on learning.

For instance, children suffering from visual, and other physical defects are seriously handicapped in developing skills such as reading and spelling. The health of the learner will likely affect his ability to learn and his power to concentrate.

Individuals with a perfect health condition struggle to learn, how much more a person with health challenges?

4. Nutrition Factors

Oftentimes, we fail to realize that what we eat as individuals also affects how we reason. When it comes to learning, scholars with healthy nutrition tend to do better that those with poor nutrition.

There are certain foods that help to boost the mental capacity of individuals. When a learner is not exposed to good and nutritional means, it equally affects their learning.

5. Mental Factors

Learning is greatly affected by the mental health of the learner at the time of the teaching. A simple headache or stomach ache can play havoc with the process and products of learning. A tense, emotionally and mentally disturbed learner cannot be expected to show satisfactory performance.

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Viewing mental factor from another point of view, the maturity level of the learner plays a significant role too. Sometimes, people respond to teachings based on their maturity level. In the real sense, maturity here refers to age.

There are certain topics and subject matters that can be taught to 10 years old and it will be clearly understood but the same topic is taught to a 7 year old, they may not really be able to assimilate. If schools consider this very well, I’m sure their schemes will be reviewed because in recent times, what a 10 year old is taught were the things that was taught to a 16 year old learner back them.

In other words, age is another factor that impacts on learning and should be taken seriously.

6. Emotional Factors

Many people take this for granted. No human, no matter how strong they claim to be, can learn well when in an unstable emotional state. While this factor is closely related to the mental factor, there is still a difference.

Recently, I opted out of a class I had because I was in an unstable emotional condition. I knew better than to continue with the class. Doing so would have been a waste of time because my mind may be wandering without paying attention.

It is not just adults alone that are faced with emotional problems; young scholars are also in this too. There are students who do not like a particular subject because of a particular teacher involved. This dislike results in a bad emotional state.

On the other hand, some pupils are in a continuing state of unhappiness because of their fear of being victims of the disapproval of their teachers and classmates. This is an unwholesome attitude that affects the learning process to a reasonable extent.

7. Environmental Factor

One of the factors that affect the efficiency of learning is the condition in which learn­ing takes place. This however has to do with the numerous locations and context in which learning is done.  This includes the classrooms, equipment, and other instructional materials.

The availability and use of the study material, audios and videos, online courses, online tests and other teaching aids also increase the effectiveness of the teaching and learning. These materials aim to support teachers and students in achieving the learning outcomes. The teacher alone cannot provide all the needed condition for an effective teaching and learning process, other supporting materials should be provided.

Since students may learn in a wide variety of settings, such as outside-of-school locations and outdoor environments, the term is often used as a more accurate or preferred alternative to classroom.

Effectiveness of teaching also depends upon the learning environment. If the teacher and learner are comfortable in the given environment, the learning will definitely be effective, if not, both the teacher and students will be distracted. In a noisy class, no matter how skilled the teacher is, he will not be able to teach effectively.

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Ironically, there are still individuals that learn perfectly well in a very noisy environment. This is why we need to understand the saying, “different strokes for different folks”.

8. The Level of Aspiration and Motivation

When it comes to learning, the learner is the major person that will determine whether or not to make good use of what’s being taught. While we have pointed out that the relationship a learner has with the teacher is one determining factor, the learner has the total control of what the outcome is. A student who is determined to succeed will not allow emotions to come in between his goals.

For instance, a student whose dream to become a medical can decide that the hatred he feels towards his physics teacher will not affect his performance in his core subject. Learning is greatly influenced by the level of aspiration and motivation possessed by the learner.

9. Life Goals

The kind of goal a person has, determines the level of seriousness required for learning. The conditions will not always be favourable but remembering your dreams to make it big is enough reason for you to study well. Patience and persistence for learning despite the heavy odds all depend upon his goals and philosophy of life.

10. Financial Factors

This is another factor that affects learning. In many cases, some knowledge is paid for and where the learner cannot be able to afford the money, it becomes a problem. This factor can go a long way to affect even a bright student.

A typical example is when a student who is unable to pay fees is constantly embarrassed and sent out of school for not being able to pay school fees.

As much as one might want to argue this, education is expensive and requires finance for maximum benefits. Where this is not available, learning is affected in one way or the other.

11. Readiness and Will Power

Becoming useful as a human is a choice. No matter what, a learner’s readiness and willingness to learn is a great deciding factor about his results in learning. Considering other justifiable factors mentioned, it’s no doubt that those factors are a big hindrance to learning.

However, no matter what the discouraging factor may be, there are people who have learnt successfully against all odds. There are scholars with health challenges, little or no financial support, inconvenient learning conditions, etc, that have still made good use of the knowledge they gained to become great individuals.

A typical example is that of Miss Precious, the physically challenge lady who recently graduated from the University even as an orphan.

In all, the will power to learn regardless is an important factor that impacts on learning.

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CONCLUSION

Learning is only possible when there is a teaching. In other words, it is only when one has been taught that there is a learning.

However, there are numerous factors that impacts both learning and teaching. Some of these factors can either make teaching and learning process successful or futile.

Whatever the case may be, it is not the sole responsibility of a teacher to determine how effective both teaching and learning process would be. While a teacher has significant roles to play in the areas of understanding the scholars; to know the best teaching style to adopt; being friendly and approachable; having full knowledge of the subject to be taught as well as being skilled enough to pass the knowledge, etc. The students on the other hand a role to play too.

There is a saying that “a horse can be forced to the stream but cannot be forced to drink water”. Teachers may do their best to teach but the resultant effect lies on the learners. Hence, some factors related to the learner may also impact learning. Some of which may include physical, mental, health condition as well as the willing of the scholar to learn.

These factors listed in this article have impacted teaching and learning in one way or the other. Finally, both the teacher and student have equal roles to play in making the teaching-learning process stress free.

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