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Chapter 6

Releasing Understanding: Three Broad Approaches to Teaching

The evidence shows that the extent of understanding is controlled by the limited and fixed nature of the working memory capacity and not by the teaching method employed. This chapter looks at the three main approaches to teaching and considers their strengths and weakness, interpreted in terms of the triangle model. There is the didactic approach (teaching as telling), group work (teaching as teamwork), and laboratory work (teaching as doing). All these approaches can be effective provided that they are employed within the limitations of working memory capacity. Overall, in terms of knowledge and understanding gained, there is no advantage in employing group work activities or practical activities. However, group work has enormous advantages when seeking to achieve some specific goals. Laboratory work can also achieve specific very valuable goals, not easy to achieve easily in any other way. The three approaches are considered in the context of the triangle model and in the light of the evidence from much research. Illustrations are offered showing the potential of both group work and laboratory work in chemistry education.

Publication details

Print publication date
29 Jan 2021
Copyright year
2021
Print ISBN
978-1-83916-168-1
PDF eISBN
978-1-83916-366-1
ePub eISBN
978-1-83916-367-8