Instructional Methods: Is teaching a science or an art?


1b.Teaching has been defined as both an art and a science.Discuss.

The view that teaching is an art  is held by those who argue that teachers are born not made.That no training is required to make one a teacher.It is God given and there is little one can do to change the state.Gage (1984) describes it as an instrumental or practical art which requires improvisation, and spontaneity

The proponents of this view argue that teaching calls for inspiration.The  teacher must have an inner argue to inform and  transform others and derive satisfaction by doing so. The one teaching is inspired and should also be able to inspire those he/she is teaching.

As an art , the profession  calls for talent.That teachers have inborn attributes which are a mystical part of their persona and is priceless. These talents are what make them successful teachers. The talents must be identified  and harnessed  to impact the generations of tomorrow.

Being  an art teaching calls for creativity and reflective thinking (i.e. being thoughtful and inventive) about the content, methodology, resources, etc. It means being dynamic and ready to adapt to changes taking place in the curriculum, in the methodology of teaching, in research and in the field of science, and technology. It involves knowing where to get new knowledge, how to get it and how to help learners understand it. Therefore, planning, solving problems, creating instruction and making decisions become key elements in  teaching thus making the profession an art.

Although it qualifies to be an art it is perceived as a science because it requires one to have knowledge and skills on how to teach, how to select and apply the correct formula for each classroom situation.

Other scholars   have argued that as a science, it involves a repertoire of techniques, procedures, and skills that can be systematically studied and described and therefore transmitted and improved.

In view of the above it can be concluded that  teaching is both an art and science.

One student rises her hand and asks question
One student raises her hand and asks question

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