Tip #126: MTM: Theory

According to Dr. Madeline Hunter in Enhancing Teaching: “Teaching, like medicine, is a relativistic, situational profession where there are no absolutes. There is nothing that an effective teacher always does or never does (with the one exception of never causing a student to lose dignity)….”

“We now know that teaching is an action-performance profession based on knowledge that must be put into action, often at incredibly high speeds. While lesson planning can be done on ‘one’s seat,’ teaching involves, at high speed, making modifications of that plan on ‘one’s feet’ as a result of perceiving data that are emerging from students and situations. “

Dr. Hunter did not endorse any particular teaching model, method or technique. All she asked was that teachers make decisions about the methods and approach they would use after considering these three factors, which I have partially paraphrased:

  • The degree of difficulty or complexity of content that is appropriate for the learners


  • An input method that is successful because the student output validates that learning has occurred


  • Appropriate use of research-based principles that promote motivation to learn, increase rate and degree of learning, and contribute to the probability that learning will be retained and productively transferred to new situations that require problem solving, creativity, and decision making.

Who could possibly disagree with these basic teaching principles?

Next week, we will look at some practical applications of these principles.

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