Educational theory is a theory that discusses the purpose and application of education and learning during different phases and includes educational ideas and values. The educational theory focuses on the thought process, generalization and development of an explanation of different phenomena. The theory defines the aims for education which include preparing students for participating in politics and policy making processes, defining national policy and government, as well as preparing them for being successful financially by imparting economic education. The theory also includes self development and character development as aims of education. Together the aims of education strive to make a considerate, caring, selfless, responsible and dependable community that can become a model for others to follow.
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Educational theories also set down the standards for means of education, such as progressive education which states that we can learn best by practically doing or experiencing something. The progressive method of education is in agreement with most scientific methods and is the preferred method of teaching most scientific subjects. Another method of education is the lecture method, which presents information orally to students. Lectures are the most commonly used means of education from primary schools to universities and are popular because of direct student-teacher interaction and being a quick and effective way of conveying ideas to students. Another method that is becoming increasingly popular is the Coyote method, in which a student’s question is answered by another question, encouraging the student to dig deep and find the answer on his own. This method is increasing in popularity as scientific research indicates that allowing students to strive for excellence on their own proves much more effective than handing down everything to them.
Alternative methods of education are also explained by the educational theory. One of these methods is the one formulated by Italian Dr. Maria Montessori, and is in common use throughout the world today. This method dictates that children should be allowed to develop in their own space and allowed to follow their natural instincts on a self-guided development path. The teacher only observes the children and steps in only for conflict resolution. The Waldorf method of education approached education on the basis of providing young people with opportunities to develop into integral parts of a community by allowing free development and giving students the freedom to define their own curriculum in order to achieve their individual goals.
Educational theories are meant to be used as a resource by educators and parents to provide the best possible solutions for students. While there are many educational theories it is important to realize that not everyone learns in the same way, and as such, the best way forward is to use a combination of the theories in a way that ensures positive reception from the students. The concept of life and different ideas also changes with age, so it is important for teachers to consider the views of parents and students alike when approaching a subject. Teachers also need to be aware of subtle emotional responses to a particular subject or activity they are conducting and take appropriate actions to curb fear and anxiety in students by emotionally engaging them to focus on the task at hand.