Principles and Maxims of Successful Teaching-

Maxims of Teaching

Introduction (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

Teaching is a skilled job and a complex task(Principles and maxims of successful teaching). The success of this parathion depends upon good planning and masterly execution of the same. The educationists, Psychologists, research workers, and the teachers working in the fields have tried to establish general principles, psychological principles, and maxims of teaching which may prove quite helpful in making the task of teaching quite effective and purposeful.

General Principles of Teaching

There are some general principles of teaching that have emerged from the general experiences, traditions, and new researches in the field of education and pedagogy. Some of these broad principles may be summarized as follows:

Principle of definiteness of goals or objectives

A teacher without having clear knowledge of the goals or purposes of his teaching is similar to that sailor who does not know the destination of his boat moving in a vast ocean. The knowledge that he has to run 100 meters or 400 meters from a marked place to another marked place makes the task of a racer quite definite, purposeful, and stimulating. Similarly, if a teacher knows his task in terms of the well-defined instructional or educational objectives or goals, he may win half the battle.

Definiteness of the goals helps him at every step, phase, or act of teaching. He may plan, execute and evaluate all the aspects of his teaching in the light of the stipulated objectives. With the help of definite clear-cut objectives, he always remains on track and never goes astray, and consequently, the possibility of good teaching is always enhanced by observing the principle of definiteness of goal or objectives. Principle of planning

The success of any task or activity depends upon the quality of pre-planning. The desire in a teaching act may be achieved smoothly and effectively through proper planning. A teacher, therefore, should try to plan and prepare the details of his lesson in the form of lesson notes before its delivery. The planning must include the establishment of instructional objectives in behavioral terms and the relevant subject matter and its organization into proper units. The method, techniques, or strategies of presentation, interaction, and evaluation should also be clear-cut. In brief, the teacher should very carefully plan the details of the journey that he is going to make with his students in the classroom or some other teaching environment

Principle of flexibility and elasticity

The teaching act requires proper planning beforehand but it does not mean that it should. become rigid and stereotyped. Teaching is a complex task and a live phenomenon. At the execution stage, the possibilities of alteration in planned situations or environment cannot be ruled out. Therefore, the principle of flexibility and elasticity needs to be observed for enabling the teacher to deal effectively with the aroused situation. He must be quite resourceful, imaginative, original, and creative for adapting himself as well as his teaching to the requirements of the students and teaching-learning environment.

Principle of utilizing past experiences

Past experiences may be regarded as a base or foundation on which the structure of new knowledge can be safely built. Therefore, what a teacher teaches should be properly linked with the already acquired knowledge and experiences. This facilitates the teaching act and helps in achieving the stipulated objectives with great ease and economy. There is no state-like complete vacuum in the process of teaching. At any stage, there exists an entry behavior that provides a base and starting point for bringing desirable changes or further improvement in the behavior of the child. What is already known or experienced by the child should? therefore, be always made the starting point of acquainting him with what he does not know or ought to know.

Principle of child-centeredness

Teaching is aimed to bring about desirable changes in the behavior of a child. Therefore, it is essential to adopt the child-centered approach in all aspects of teaching. The planning. implementation and evaluation of a teaching act should invariably center around the child. The curriculum, methods and techniques, management of teaching-learning environment and evaluation, all should serve the cause of the students.

Principle of making provision for individual differences

Nothing is alike in nature: We all vary in terms of innate and acquired traits, abilities, and capacities. Some are slow learners and others are quite fast. In the continuum of growth and development, entry behavior, and acquisition of abilities in the conative and affective domains, all children occupy different positions( Principles and maxims). Therefore, good teaching should make adequate provision for individual differences. The teaching which does not cater to the needs and abilities of the individual child, cannot be expected to achieve specific goals of bringing desirable changes in the behavior of all children. Therefore, by all means, teaching is to be designed, performed, and evaluated in view of the principle of individual difference.

Principle of linking with actual life

If education is for living and aimed to prepare the child to lead life happily and progressively in a social context, then every teaching should be essentially linked with the necessities and happenings of actual life. Teaching should never be confined to the classroom or school boundaries, but should invariably be linked with actual life. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

Principle of correlating with other subjects

Different subjects of the school curriculum serve the same goals or objectives. The artificial division of knowledge in the form of different subjects stands for facilitating the task of teaching and, therefore, should not be taken as a watertight compartment in itself. There exist intimate links among various subjects. The study of a particular subject definitely helps the learning of many things in other subjects. Valuable energy and efforts of the teacher and pupils are saved if the principles of correlation and transfer of learning are utilized properly, For example, a teacher of history should never hesitate to point out the possibility of the transfer of the knowledge of history in other disciplines and should himself utilize the knowledge of geography, mathematic, basic sciences, economics and other subjects for bringing efficiency in his teaching.

Principle of effective strategies and instructional material

The products are the outcome of the processes, and processes depend heavily on the types of strategies, tacts, and means chosen and employed. The teaching process, for its success, a lie demands effective strategies, means, and material. They all vary with the variances in the goals and purposes, human material, and teaching-learning environment. What is suitable in the teaching of a particular subject, topic, or sub-topic to a student in a particular situation may or may not suit in other situations. Therefore, great care should be taken to choose the appropriate strategies and a set of instructional materials. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

Principle of active participation and involvement

Good teaching should always be two-way traffic, making the task of teaching a cooperative effort of the teacher and the taught. Teaching is like a current flowing in a livewire with the teacher and the taught at its two ends. A teacher who is trying to flow the current of knowledge without the involvement of the student is unnecessarily wasting his energy and the resources of the community. A good teacher, for effective results, always tries to seek the active participation of the students in the teaching-learning process. Besides his sincere involvement men in the teaching activities, he persuades, inspires, and involves the students in realizing the objective of his teaching.

Principle of conducive environment and proper control (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

The role of conducive and effective management or control of the teaching-learning situations can never be denied in any teaching. Environmental factors like proper seating arrangement, ventilation, light, classroom interaction, and group dynamics. The discipline and tone of the school always influence the teaching-learning process. And therefore care should be confiscate for their desirable arrangement and control.

Psychological Principles of Teaching

Psychological principles of teaching are different than the general ones, which have resulted from the experiments and researches of the field in the psychology of learning. Directly or indirectly they stimulate and influence the teaching process and make it more effective. Some of the important psychological principles are encapsulate as follows:

Principle of motivation and Interest (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

Motivation and interest are the two central factors in any process of teaching and learning. The theories of motivation, interest, and laws of learning, like the law of readiness, have established the validity of these two factors. Motives are the potent forces that energize or activate all behaviors of an individual. The objective of bringing desirable changes in the behavior can only be attain if one is persuade to try or accept that change in his behavior. Similarly, interest provides a key to learning and desired changes. The saying that “you may take a horse to water however you cannot make him drink” suits similarly nicely with a toddler who’s made to analyze something to deliver suited modifications in his behavior. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

Attention capturing and attention giving, the essential elements of teaching or learning activities, can only be consummate through a well-planned scheme involving arousal of motivation and interest of the pupils in the teaching-learning process. Therefore, a teacher should always take care of the factors of motivation and interest for seeking the child’s readiness and involvement in the teaching-learning act.

Principle of repetition and exercise

It was Thorndike who tried to put experimental evidence in favor of the utility of repetition and exercise in the process of teaching-learning. It has now been clearly established that the desired changes in behavior may occur frequently and effectively through the use of the principle of repetition and exercise. The saying that “practice makes a man perfect applies well in the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and interests. The teacher who believes in providing practice, revision, recapitulation, and application.

Principles of change, rest and recreation

Psychological experiments in learning have demonstrated the ill effects of monotony, fatigue, and lack of attention in any learning task. The remedy is in the form of stimulus variation and other types of changes in the contents. Methods and teaching-leaming environment and provision of appropriate rest and recreation had also been proved quite effective. Therefore, a wise teacher should essentially plan and implement the provision of change, rest, and recreation in his teaching activities. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

Principle of feedback and reinforcement

Learning theories have well established the role of reinforcement and feedback devices in any task of teaching and learning. The immediate knowledge of the results and positive reinforcement in the form of praise, grade, certificates, token economy. And other incentives may play wonder in making the task of learning a joy. Behavior modification, a major goal of the teaching-learning process. May be properly achieved through the observation of the principle of feedback and reinforcement.

Principle of sympathy and cooperation

A good teacher is a friend, philosopher, and guide. one who is not to dictate or direct the students but walk along with them on the track of learning. He is to provide adequate encouragement and guidance by seeking their sympathy and cooperation. He is to become a part and parcel of the group and he is supposed to lead. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching) .

The task of teaching can never accomplish its objectives if a teacher does not try and secure the active participation of the students. The classroom environment becomes live and fruitful when the teacher and students work on the same platform, sympathizing and helping each other in the major task of teaching and learning. Therefore, a good teacher should always take care of the principle of sympathy and cooperation.

Principle of providing training to senses

Senses are the gateway of knowledge, researches in the field of learning have clearly established the importance of senses in acquiring any type of learning experience. The results are more encouraging when an experience obtain through the use of a combination of senses-sense of hearing, sight, taste, and touch. For train and use one’s sense organs in an effective way. The defective sensation may lead to disastrous purposes, one has to result. The power of observation, discrimination, identification, generalization, and application through the effective functioning of senses. Therefore, a teacher should make proper arrangements for the training of the senses of his students for the realization of better results.

Principle of utilizing group dynamics

Groups’ behavior and group dynamics play an effective role in the attainment of the objectives of teaching. Under the influence of group behavior, individuals think as the group thinks, feel as the group feels, do as the group does. The group leader, the interaction process between the group and the leader and among different members, the effect and counter effects of other groups-all work towards the creation of a particular educational environment and also exercise their force to bring changes in the behavior of the students (Principles and maxims of successful teaching). A wise teacher should try to utilize the essential aspects of group psychology for the attainment of better results

Principle of encouraging self-learning. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

A good teacher should be able to inculcate the habit of self-study, independent work, and self-learning among the students. There is no end of knowledge in this world and one cannot even get a fragment of this vast ocean through spoon-feeding or direct instruction from a teacher. He has to learn this way of acquiring knowledge and seek the path of self-learning in order to learn the essentials of life for his adequate adjustment. Therefore, a teacher should always work for creating an environment of self-learning by providing suitable opportunities and training to his students for this purpose. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

Principle for fostering creativity and self-expression

Good teaching does not result in unintelligent learning, cramming, or an exact reproduction of the facts. By all means, it should be able to develop the creative aspects of one’s personality. It should work as an effective medium for self-expression so that students may be able to develop their hidden talents and abilities. It should call upon the originality, novelty, inventiveness of the students for self-expression and creation. Students are able to learn exploration of the things events. Find cause-effect relationships in the happenings, and thus set the energies for creating and doing something new for the development of society and humanity. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

Principle of remedial teaching

A teaching act aims to bring some stipulated behavior changes in the students. The task is not so simple as it seems to be. There are many intervening variables and obstructions. It may realize soon by the teacher that he has not been able to achieve his objective. Definitely, there has been something wrong with his objectives, contents, and methods or his interaction with the students. A particular student may not be able to learn on account of his specific limitations. The teacher has to find out where the fault lies and then think about the possible remedy. He may arrange for remedial education to any particular student or a group of students for removing their specific difficulties and providing them adequate opportunities for proper growth and development. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

Maxims of Teaching (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

Experience is a good teacher and a trusted guide. Educationists and teachers engaged in the task of an actual classroom. Teaching has evolved certain simple notions and working ways based on their own experiences. Which may prove quite helpful in the task of teaching. They are maxims of teaching. They are quite trustworthy, time-honored, and universal. Let us try to discuss some of the important ones.

From known to unknown

The unknown is usually fear whether the known is trustworthy. Hence, the known can always prove a reliable base for making acquaintance with the unknown. A known friend or an individual may work as a source for acquaintance with other people. Similarly, previous knowledge of a particular subject or topic may help us to collect new information and explore the unknown. After acquiring knowledge and skills in solving the problems on addition and subtraction. One can learn easily the essentials of multiplication and division. A wise teacher should always plan his teaching on the principle of proceeding from the known to the unknown. He should try first acquaint himself with entry behavior previous experience and all that is familiar to the pupil. And then proceed on his task of teaching new things or deriving some changed form of behavior from his pupil. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

From definite to indefinite

Good teaching should always lead from definite to indefinite. One can always trust the tested or definite, and therefore definite things, concepts, events or knowledge may be easily approached for catching the indefinite ones. Definiteness of the known facts in a multiplication table may help a student to acquire the knowledge or skills concerning thousands of odd combinations related to multiplication, division, square, or cube roots. Similarly, definite rules of grammar may help a student learn the concerned language effectively.

From simple to complex

It is always better, to begin with, the relatively simpler things than to fight with the unnecessarily difficult and complex ones. Proceeding from simple to complex or easy to difficult always provides an appropriate learning order or sequence. Such properly graded sequences may work as the schedules of automatic reinforcement as the grasp and understanding of simple ones not only motivates an individual to aspire more and little difficult but also equips him with the understanding and mastery of the difficult and complex concepts and phenomena in the course of learning.

From concrete to abstract

The abstract is confusing, difficult to understand, and subjective. Perplexed and lose one’s patience while attending to an abstract phenomenon. In contrast, concrete is relatively simple, understandable, or objective. Acquisition of new knowledge or skill may become a simpler task when it is supports with concrete examples, objects, and events. Good teaching should lead from concrete to abstract. The concrete material is to be shown, living examples are to be given and the children should be given maximum opportunities for acquiring direct experiences in order to make them able to learn the abstract concepts and experiences at the stage. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

From actual to representative

Actual or real objects, a piece of knowledge, principle, and theorem are always better than their replica or representative. In any process of teaching and learning. An on-the-spot experience of the thrills and life of a mountain lake, lonely desert, whistling trees, and chattering birds is unmatchable in terms of direct influence and educative value. A visit to an airport is going to have a lasting impression and clarity in thoughts and concepts in comparison to mere talking. About airplanes and aerodrome verbally or through illustrative aids. Therefore, a wise teacher should always lead his students from actual phenomenon to artificial representation.

From particular to general

Generalized facts, principles, concepts, and phenomena are quite abstract in nature. Therefore, should not be present at the beginning of teaching. A teacher begins by saying that matter has weight and then presents particular examples or provides demonstrations. Related with particular solids, liquids or gases is placing horse before the cart. One cannot generalize without facing or acquainting oneself with the particular instances leading to the generalization or behavior. Therefore, a teacher should always begin with learning or experiencing particular cases. Facts or instances and then persuade his students to generalize or conclude.

From whole to parts

The whole is always not only greater than the parts but also more understandable, motivating effectively. Therefore, the beginning should always make with the whole. And then step-by-step and various parts or constituents should introduce before the students. For example, in teaching the topic “parts of the flower”. Similarly, the model of the water pump and the actual working of this pump should be exhibits. As a whole and then the study and working of its different parts should be grabbing step-by-step.

From induction to deduction

Induction is a way of proving a thing or statement by arguing. If it is true for a particular case, then it should be true for the next similar case. While employing it in teaching a teacher is essential to place particular instances, examples facts, or experiences before the students. On the basis of similarities of properties and repetition of a phenomenon. On the other hand, the deduction is the net result of induction.

Here the beginning is built by placing the generalize fact, principle, formula, or rule. Before the students are queried to verify the truth of the generalization by applying it in particular instances or examples. It is needless to say that all good teaching begins with induction and ends in the deduction. Knowledge is formative and induction is a way of discovering the knowledge. The deduction is the result of such discoveries. Therefore, a teacher should always proceed from induction to deduction in his teaching. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

From analysis to synthesis

Analysis refers to a process of breaking or separating out a thing into simpler parts. Elements or constituents in order to understand its structure or composition. The causes of an event or behavior or understanding the complex nature of a thing or phenomenon. To know the composition of a salt (compound or mixture) may examine its elements and then knowledge about the composition or properties of various elements may become by (Principles and maxims of successful teaching) .

On the other hand, synthesis works quite opposite to analysis. It refers to a process of combining the different elements or parts of a thing in totality. In comparison to synthesis, the process of analysis represents a systematic and natural way of investigation and discovery. It is a formative approach quite applicable to the beginning of a learning or teaching act. Therefore, good teaching should always begin with analysis and lead to synthesis.

From empirical to rational

In a teaching-learning process, it is always safe to begin with what than with what we agree, generalize or explain. The former approach is empirical while the latter is rational. Development of the rational point of view is a goal, a result of a process of empirical findings. The concrete facts or empirical evidence are the rock bottom of a conclusion or rational knowledge. Rational thinking is not the product of empty ideas of lofty ideals having no naked truth or concrete happenings. A teacher has to place facts. Evidence, direct or indirect experiences, examples, and instances full of objectivity and validity. People, events, and phenomena. Therefore, in good teaching, one should always lead the student from empirical to rational goals.

From psychological to logical

The psychological point of view emphasizes the importance of psychological principles of learning and teaching in the process of education. Here, the child is the center of education; his needs. interests, abilities, and capacities are the deciding factors for the planning and organization of the teaching activities. The curriculum, teaching strategies, aid material, and teaching-learning environment. All are set in view of the psychology of the child and teaching-learning.

But it should not mean that a teacher has to go unplanned or move ambiguous in his teaching activities. The proper organization and sequencing of teaching activities in terms of the organization of learning experiences. Teaching strategies, evaluation activities, and feedback devices are very much essential for the effectiveness of teaching activity. Therefore, a wise teacher cares for a beautiful integration of psychological principles to the logical agreement in his teaching. He is to move on a psychological track, keeping in view the logic behind his sequences of activities. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)


1. The scholars and educationists working in the field of education and pedagogy have arrived through their investigations and experiences. At some generalized principles for the successful execution of the task of teaching. These generalized principles are termed the general principles of teaching in the language of educational technology. The mentionable ones of these general principles are the principle of definiteness of the educational objectives, principle of planning. Tenants of flexibility, principle, of utilizing the previous or past experiences, the principle of child centeredness. Principle of individual differences, the principle of correlating teaching with other subjects and real life. Tenants of utilizing appropriate methods, devices, and strategies for teaching. Principle of seeking the active participation of the student and principle of creating an appropriate learning environment. (Principles and maxims of successful teaching)

2. Besides the general principles of teaching, there exist a number of principles developed through the work done by great psychologists. That can be quite effective in making the task of teaching successfully. The mentionable ones on this account may name as the principle of interest and motivation. Tenants of repetition and exercise, the principle of change and rest, the principle of feedback and reinforcement. Principle of sympathy and cooperation, the principle of providing training to senses, the principle of utilizing group dynamics. Principle of encouraging self-learning, the principle of fostering creativity and self-expression, and the principle of remedial teaching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.