Phases of Teaching


Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Teaching can be considered as the art of assisting another to learn  by providing the information and  appropriate situations, conditions or activities .It is an intimate contact between a more mature personality and a less mature one which is designed to further the education of later. The process by which one person helps other in the achievement of knowledge, skill and aptitudes.

The activities in teaching carry special importance. Its main cause is that through these activities, the pupils get much assistance in learning. In other words, the learning experiences are acquired in a natural way through these activities. It should be remembered that these activities are different in the different phases of teaching.

Phases of Teaching

Teaching is a complex task. For performing this task, a systematic planning is needed.            Teaching is to be considered in terms of various steps and the different steps constituting the process are called the phases of teaching.

The teaching can be divided into three phases:

Pre-active phase of teaching

In the pre-active phase of teaching, the planning of teaching is carried over. This phase includes all those activities which a teacher performs before class-room teaching or before entering the class- room.

Pre-teaching consists essentially of the planning of a lesson. The planning of lesson needs to be  seen  in  broader  terms,  not merely  the designing  of  a  lesson  plan. Planning  includes identifying the  objectives to be  achieved in terms  of  students  learning,  the  strategies and methods  to  be  adopted,  use  of  teaching aids  and  so  on.

It is the planning phase of instructional act. The foundation of this phase is set through the establishment of some kind of goals or objectives, and discovering ways and means to achieve those objectives.

Planning is done for taking decision about the following aspects-

  • Selection of the content to be taught
  • Organization of the content
  • Justification of the principles and maxims of teaching to be used
  • Selection  of the appropriate of methods of teaching
  • Decision about the preparation and usage of  evaluation tools.

Suggested activities in the Pre-active phase of teaching-

1-Determining goals and objectives:

First of all, the teacher determines the teaching objectives which are then defined in the form of behavioural changes. Thus, he ascertains the teaching objectives and what changes he requires in the pupils by achieving those objectives. These objectives are of two types—

A- In the form of entering behaviours of the pupils.

B- In the form of terminal behaviours of the pupils.

It is remarkable that these objectives are determined according to the psychology of the pupils and needs of the school and the society.

2.      Selection of the content to be taught: After fixing the teaching objectives, the teacher makes decisions about that content which is to be presented before the pupils and as a result he wants to bring the changes in their behaviours. This decision is taken by the teacher by considering the following points-

  • Level need and importance of the curriculum proposed by the teacher for the students.
  • The expected terminal behaviour of the student .Why the pupils need it to learn.
  • Selection of appropriate instrument and methods the teacher
  • Use to evaluate the knowledge related to the content.

3.       Sequencing the elements of content for presentation: After making selections regarding the contents to be presented to the students, the teacher arranges the elements of content in a logical and psychological manner, so that this arrangement of content may assist in transfer of learning.

4.        Selection about the instructional methodology: After sequencing the contents, the teacher makes decisions regarding the proper methods and strategies by keeping in view the contents , entering behaviour  and the level of the students.

5.      How and when of teaching strategies: Decision-making regarding the teaching methods and strategies for presenting the sequenced contents to the students is not sufficient. So the teacher  should also  decide how and when he will make use of the previously selected method and strategy during the class-room teaching.

-Inter-active Phase of Teaching

The second  phase includes  the execution  of  the plan,  where  learning experiences are provided to  students through suitable modes.

As instruction is the complex process by which learners are provided with a deliberately designed environment to interact with, keeping in focus pre-specified objective of bringing about specific desirable changes. Whether instruction  goes  in  a  classroom,  laboratory,  outdoors or  library, this environment is specifically designed by  a  teacher so that students interact with  certain specific environmental stimuli, like  natural  components (outdoor),  information from  books, certain equipment (laboratory) etc.

Learning is directed in pre-determined directions to achieve certain pre-specific goals. This does not, however, mean that, in the pre-determined environment no learning other than what a teacher has decided upon as instructional objectives does not take place. The variety of experiences that students go through with a teacher, among them- selves provide learning opportunities.

All those activities which are performed by a teacher after entering in a class are clubbed (to combine together) under inter-active phase of teaching. Generally these activities are concerned with the presentation and delivery of the content in a class. The teacher provides pupil verbal stimulation of various kinds, makes explanations, ask questions, listen to the student’s response and provide guidance.

The teacher provides pupils verbal stimulation of various kinds, makes explanations, asks questions, listens to students’ responses and provides guidance.

The following activities are suggested for the  inclusion in the inter-active phase of teaching-

1. Sizing up of the class: As the teacher enters the classroom, first of all he perceives the size of the class. He throws his eyes on all the pupils of the class in a few moments. He comes to know the pupils who can help him in his teaching and the pupils who can create a problem for him as a result of this perception.

In the same way, the students can feel the personality of the teacher . Hence, at this stage, the teacher should look like a teacher. He should exhibit of course in a veiled manner all those characteristic which are supposed to be present in a good teacher. In nut-shell the teacher should appears as an   efficient and impressive personality.

2.      Knowing the learners: After having a feeling of class-size, the teacher makes efforts to know how much the new comers or pupils have previous knowledge. He tries to know the abilities, Interests and attitudes and academic background of learners.

The teacher starts teaching activities after diagnosing, by questioning regarding action and reaction: two types of activities are involved here in the teaching-

a.       Initiation,

b.      Response.

Both these activities are known as verbal interaction. Both these activities occur between the teacher and the students. In other words, when a teacher performs some activities, the student  reacts  or when students perform some activities, the teacher reacts  .This way the inter-action in the teaching take place.

The teachers performs the following activities in order to analyze the nature of verbal and non-verbal inter-action of teaching activities-

a.       Selection and presentation of stimuli.

b.      Feedback and reinforcement.

c.       Deployment of strategies.

a.       Selection and presentation of stimuli: The motive or new knowledge is a process of teaching. It can be verbal or non-verbal. The teacher should be aware of the motive which would prove effective and which would not be so for a particular teaching situation.

The teacher should select the appropriate stimulus as soon as the situation arises and an effort should be made to control the undesired activities to create the situation and for desired activities.

After selecting the stimuli, the teacher should present them before the students. The teacher should present that form of the stimulus which can motivate the students for learning. During such presentation of stimuli, the teacher should keep in mind the form context and order of the stimuli.

b.      Feedback and reinforcement: Feedback or reinforcement is that condition which increases the possibility for accepting a particular response in future. In other words those conditions which increase the possibility of occurrence of a particular response are termed as feedback or reinforcement. These conditions may be of two types which are as follows-

•         Positive reinforcement: These are the conditions which increase the possibility of recurrence of desired behavior or response.

•         Negative response: These are the conditions in which the possibility of recurrence of the undesired behavior or response is decreased, such as punishment or reprimanding etc.

Reinforcement is used for three purposes. These are –

•         For strengthening the response.

•         For changing the response, and

•         Modifying or correcting the response.

c.       Deployment of strategies: The teaching activities are directly related to the learning conditions. Therefore, at the time of interaction the teacher produces such activities and conditions by the reinforcement strategies which effect the activities of the pupils.

The development of the teaching strategies turns the pupil-teacher interaction impressive. From the very moment, the teacher starts the teaching task and till the movement, the teacher starts the teaching task and till the movement that task goes on, the verbal and non-verbal behaviours of the pupils are controlled by the reinforcement strategies and cooperates in presenting the contents in an impressive way.

In the deployment of the teaching strategies, three areas should be considered. These are –

•         Presentation of subject-matter,

•         Levels of learning.

•         Level or context of learners, their background, needs, motivation, attitudes and cooperation.

In the interactive stage, these activities are carried on not only by the teacher, but also carried on by the students. The students also feel about the teacher and diagnose his personality as a teacher. In order to be impressed themselves and to improve the teaching, they deploy the various strategies by selecting the different stimuli.

Operations at the interactive phase

We can present the activities of the interaction through the following chart-

Teacher                                                                                        Student

P———D——–A                                                                   P———D——–A

(Perceptual)(Diagnostic)(Achievement)                         (Perceptual)(Diagnostic)(Achievement)

This second phase of teaching is concerned with the implementation and carrying out what has been planned or decided at the planning stage. It is the stage for actual teaching.

Major operations in the interactive phase are-

1) Perception-

Interaction process demands an appropriate perception on the part of teacher as well as the students. When a teacher enters the class, his first activity is concerned with a perception of classroom climate. He tries to weigh himself, his abilities for teaching against the class group. Similarly students also tries to have perception of the abilities, behaviour and personality characteristics of the teacher.

2) Diagnosis-

A teacher tries to access the achievement level of his students with regards to their abilities, interest and aptitude. The teacher can asks several questions  to know  how far students know about the topic.

3) Reaction Process-

Under this stage teacher observes the students that how they response to the teacher’s questions. The student has to learn the proper way of reacting and responding to the various stimuli and teaching techniques presented to it. This phase is responsible for establishing appropriate verbal and non verbal class room interaction between teacher and pupils.

Post-active Phase of Teaching

Post-teaching phase,  , is the one that involves teacher’s activities such as analysing evaluation results to determine students’ learning, especially their problems in understanding specific areas, to reflect on the teaching by self, and to decide on the necessary changes to be brought in the system in the next instructional period.

The Post-active phase concerns with the evaluation activities. This can be done in number of ways including tests or quizzes or by observing student’s reaction of questions, comments, structures and unstructured situations.

In this phase, as the teaching task sums up, the teacher asks the questions from the pupils, verbally or in written form, to measure the behaviours of the pupils so that their achievements may be evaluated correctly.

Therefore, evaluation aspect includes all those activities which can evaluate the achievements of the pupils and attainment of the objectives. Without evaluation teaching is an incomplete process. It is related with both teaching and learning. The following activities are suggested in the post-active of teaching-

1.      Defining the exact dimensions of the changes caused by teaching.

2.      Selecting appropriate testing devices and techniques.

3.       Changing the strategies in terms of evidences gathered.

Defining the exact dimensions of the changes caused by teaching: At the end of the teaching,the teacher defines the exact dimensions of changes in the behaviours as a result of teaching, this is termed as criterion behaviour. For this the teacher compares the actual behavioural changes in the students with their expected behavioural changes. If he observes the desired behavioural changes in the maximum numbers of pupils, he concludes that his teaching strategies and tactics worked effectively with the help of which teaching objectives have been achieved.

Selecting appropriate testing devices and techniques: The teacher selects those testing devices and techniques to compare the actual behavioural changes with the desired behavioural change which are reliable and valid and which can evaluate the cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of the pupils. Therefore, criterion tests are more preferred than the performance tests.

Changing the strategies in terms of evidences gathered: While, by using the reliable and valid testing devices, the teacher gets the knowledge regarding the performances of pupils and attainment of objectives on one hand, and on the other hand he also gets clarity regarding his instruction, teaching strategies and tactics. He also comes to know about the required modification in the teaching strategies and situations along with the drawbacks of his teaching in order to achieve the teaching objectives. In this way, through evaluation, the teaching activities are diagnosed and these can be made effective by necessary modifications and changes in them.

Teaching is viewed as a comprehensive process, and there has been a tremendous change in the way  of understanding teaching and a teacher’s roles. Teaching is conceptualized as an active interactive process that goes on between the consciously designed environment and  the student, (where teachers may  or  may  not  be present), with a definite purpose. It includes all the activities organized by a teacher to bring about learning, be it inside or outside a classroom, with or without the presence of the teacher.

4.5 -  Teaching Unit based on Phases of teaching

Morrison, the foremost educationist who propounded the basic concept of teaching unit, concentrated on actual change in the behavior of the learner. Rejecting the notion that learning referred only to the acquisition of subject matter, the unit was the procedure used for the teaching of an adaptation based on a stimulus-response psychology.

Steps of a Teaching Unit

1.   Pre-active phase or introductory phase. New knowledge is linked with the previous knowledge so as to develop appreciative mass of the students by teaching units. These units help in motivating students. They provide awareness of teaching objectives to learners.

2.   Inter-active phase. With the help of nits, appropriate learning experience is provided to perform certain activities to facilitate student-learning.

3.   Post-active phase. The teaching units help in evaluating learning objectives in terms of student’s performance. It also provides feed-back to teaching learning process.

Elements of a Teaching Unit

1. Overview. Objectives of teaching unit are formulated on the basis of level of student i.e. their previous knowledge, age, intelligence, interest and social, cultural and personal need; and nature of the subject-matter.

2. Inventory or Back-ground. Previous knowledge of students is explored. Their motivational state and level of aspiration are also explored by asking some question or giving a pre-test.

3. Presentation. Every element of teaching unit provides new learning situations or experiences to learners. They are presented in a logical sequence which helps in more retainable learning.   Lecture, discussion, demonstration or any teaching strategy supplemented with teaching aids and question – answer technique encourage student’s participation.

4. Motivation. It is an important factor for facilitating learning. It is also known as leading phase of learning. It involves several techniques, use of audio-visual aids etc.

5. Summarization. Induction-deduction approach (i.e. whole to part teaching) is utilized for comprehension of the unit. The elements of teaching-units are summarized   at the end of presentation.

6. Drilling and Review. Drilling or practice of elements of a unit is must. The student learns better and retains longer if the drill is organized or review is done. Drilling and reviewing is done orally.

7. Organization. Assignments are given to students to organize their learning experiences according to their own ability.

8. Evaluation. Evaluation is done by short answer questions orally to ascertain how far the teacher could achieve real learning outcomes by presenting teaching units.

Basic Principles of Unit Method

  1. .Principle of Interest and Purpose. In order to achieve the objectives of the unit the teacher creates interest in the pupils. This brings the desired changes in their behavior.
  2. Principle of Unit. The process of acquiring knowledge, the teacher presents the content of a unit before the pupils giving supremacy to the unity of ‘Wholeness’.
  3. Principle of Child’ Supremacy. The activities of the pupils are emphasized in the entire teaching while assigning the special importance to the needs and basic instincts of the pupils.
  4. Principle of Organization. In order to provide complete knowledge to the pupils, various teaching materials should be used and organized.
  5. Principle of Dynamism. All the teaching units should be dynamic. Dynamism is the key to teaching. The teacher should apply the principle of dynamism according to the need. It makes the scope of each unit wider and pupils acquire it easily.
  6. Principle of Recitation. From psychological point of view, recitation marks the new knowledge in the minds of pupils. Hence, recitation by the pupils is encouraged in unit-method.

Elements of Teaching Unit

Division of Content. The entire subject-matter is divided into smaller units. By concentrating on them pupils understand these smaller units easily.

Giving Practical Shape to Teaching Process. After understanding the smaller units of the subject matter they are given practical shape.

Overview. The teacher determines the objectives of the teaching unit in such a way that the needs of the pupils are fulfilled and they are so much motivated that they may acquire new knowledge with interest. After introduction the teacher states the aim so that the pupils get aware of the scope of teaching units.

Previous Knowledge. The get aware of the previous knowledge of the pupils for their knowledge, the teacher asks questions from the pupils so that after relating the previous knowledge to the new knowledge is may decide the point to start.

The elements of the contents The elements of the contents are presented in a logical order. The lessons is developed with the cooperation of the pupils .Question answer method is used. If the pupils fail to answer the questions the teacher interprets the elements himself.

Motivation. As every activity of the teaching unit is performed for learning, the teacher should motivate the pupils at intervals so that they may continuously show interest in the teaching and get ready to learn.

Summarize. It enables the teacher to give the summarized form of the lesson.

Drill and Recapitulation. These techniques are important to minimize forgetting in learning. The pupils may retain the learning experiences for longer duration.

Organization. To provide proper provision for organizing the acquired experiences, the teacher assigns home work to the pupil which helps them in organizing the acquired Knowledge.

Evaluation. There is a provision of evaluation the knowledge acquired by the pupils which makes them aware of the limit of acquisition of the objective. Oral questions or oral and written tests are used for this purpose.

Suggested Administration of Teaching Unit

Pre-active phase or introductory phase- New knowledge is linked with the previous knowledge so as to develop appreciative mass of the students by teaching units. These units help in motivating students. They provide awareness of teaching objectives to learners. The pupils are made clear about the teaching objectives to make them curious to gain new knowledge

Inter-active phase/ Presentation Phase- With the help of units, appropriate learning experience are provided to perform certain activities to facilitate student-learning. Learning experiences are provided to the pupils while presenting the contents

Post-active phase/ Evaluation Phase- The teaching units help in evaluating learning objectives in terms of student’s performance. It also provides feed-back to teaching learning process. Pupils repeat the acquired experiences while interpreting them.

Morrison identified a five-step instructional pattern. Morrison’s general pattern for the instructional process (his plan or method) involves the following sequential steps:

(1) Pretest,

(2) Teaching,

(3) Testing the result of instruction,

(4) Changing the instruction procedure, and

(5) Teaching and testing again until the unit has been completely mastered by the student.

On the basis of the above referred pattern the following steps can be developed;

Steps Related with what aspect- Morrison analyzed the school curriculum into units of five types: Science Appreciation, Practical art, Language arts, and Pure-practice. He firmly believes that instruction would vary among the different types of units, On the basis of this analysis; a teacher gets an opportunity to study the content deeply. It cultivate a feeling of self confidence in him .This analysis ensures continuity of teaching.

Steps Related with Why aspect- Teaching objectives are those central points around which the whole teaching process revolves. Thus it is essential that the teacher identify and analyze them in consideration with learning experience and entering behavior of students.

Steps Related with How aspect-Learning is a continuous process of acquiring experiences, through which the predetermined objectives can be achieved. It is related with active aspect of teaching. Determinations of instructional methodology including strategies are come under this step.

Steps related with how much aspect- This is the final and most important step of a teaching unit. Feedback regarding quality of instruction is given in this step. .

Every teaching unit has its own structure. The structure of a unit is based on the nature of the subject-matter and the teaching objective. A teaching unit marks the contents, the subject-matter and methods of presentation.

As objectives provide the base for the determination of teaching objectives, so objectives should be kept in mind while analyzing the content. In reality, the whole content should be divided as per the objectives. It depends on the fact that how much time a teacher has, for the realization of the pre set objectives. However in day to day teaching it is not possible to analyze/ divide the whole content at one time. Thus the total content at the disposal of the teacher is divided in the form of small topics. After that required time period is determined for the realization of the objectives.

In order to inculcate more objectivity in this process a two dimensional blue print chart should be prepared. In this blue print the objective should be placed on one side and necessary time periods are on other side. This two dimensional blue print can be analyzed as per the daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.


S. No Teaching Topics Cognitive Domain Affective


Expected Periods Duration
—- Knowledge Receiving Impulsion
—- Understanding Responding Manipulation
—- Application Valuing Control
—— Analysis Conceptualization Coordination
—— Synthesis Organization Naturalization
—— Evaluation Characterization Habit formation



After the time periods, the topics of the contents are specified. It enables a teacher to foresee the contents to be given to students, and they have to be sequenced so that their inherent mutual relationship can be preserved.

Next, the content is analyzed in terms of objectives and desirable behavioral changes. Content should be analyzed in the form of following teaching points-


Contents related with objectives of Cognitive Domain

Objectives Teaching Points Related to-
  • Knowledge of Terms
  • Knowledge of Concepts
  • Knowledge of Principles
  • Knowledge of processes
  • Knowledge of relationships
  • Translation
  • Interpretation
  • Extrapolation
  • Generalization
  • Diagnosis
  • Use in new situation
  • Analysis of Elements
  • Analysis of Relationship
  • Analysis of organizational  principles
  • Production of unique
  • Communication
  • Production of proposed set of  operation


Thus if at the time of determining teaching units, desirable behavioral changes are kept in view and the content is divided into small topics, then attention should be given to the entering behavior of the students and the time to be taken. If these points are kept in view there is every possibility that a teacher will be successful in his teaching.


  • Habit of Healthy Study. In helps in the habit of healthy study. This makes them self-learners.
  • Interesting. The interest of the pupils is emphasized. Easy acquisition of teaching objectives is preferred.
  • Child Centered Method. The capacities and needs of the pupils are considered supreme.
  • Psychological Method. Based on Gestalt psychology. This method gives importance the ‘whole’ instead of part.
  • Development of social values. An important method of group teaching, the unit method helps in developing social values in the pupils.
  • Organized learning. Learning occur in an organized from. Consequently, it becomes the permanent part of the brain.
  • Encouragement to Expression of Ideas. A child centered method encourages the development of social values as well as the capacity of express ideas.
  • Use of Appropriate Teaching Aids. The knowledge is imparted with the help of appropriate aid. This enables them to learn how to apply properly the teaching aid.


  • End of Originality. While using unit method; pupils are to restrict themselves. This finishes the originality of the teaching and learning.
  • Waste of Time. The pupils are provided with organized and detailed knowledge. This wastes the time.
  • Limited Scope. Due to the detailed Knowledge provided to the pupils, this unit –method has very limited scope.
  • Mechanical Method of teaching. The freedom of the teacher is delimited so much that he fails to present his thoughts before the pupils. The learning becomes lifeless, boring and mechanical in such a situation.
  • Possibility of Gaining Less Knowledge- It is possible that the pupils acquire sufficient knowledge in some subjects and insufficient knowledge in others.

Teaching Unit is a core, a back-bone a key concept or pivot of lesson planning. It concerns with the subject-matter, content and teaching strategies. The content is analyzed into units. These units are complete in it. These are arranged logically which work psychologically in effective and permanent learning. These units can be taught independently and can be measured independently these teaching units help to decide the teaching strategies, teaching tactics and audio-visual aids. These units provide basis for liking new knowledge with the previous knowledge of student’s Units help in relating teaching with learning







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