9 Teaching Strategies That Help Students Learn Effectively

In today’s digital age, where young learners are more connected than ever through the internet, television, and various electronic devices, the traditional methods of teaching are evolving. Recognising this shift, OWIS educators are at the forefront of adapting and innovating their teaching strategies to meet the unique needs and habits of this generation. By incorporating a diverse array of teaching techniques, we aim to actively engage our students and enrich their learning experiences.

This blog explores nine dynamic teaching strategies employed by OWIS to foster active participation and guide students through their educational journey. Each strategy has been carefully selected and tailored by our educators to optimise student engagement, understanding, and growth, demonstrating our commitment to meeting each learner where they are and elevating their academic and personal development. Join us as we delve into these methods and examples, each designed to resonate with our learners’ diverse needs, interests, and learning styles.

Understanding Effective Teaching Strategies

Effective teaching strategies are those that transcend traditional instruction, actively engaging students in the learning process and deepening their understanding of subjects. At OWIS, we believe that the effectiveness of a teaching strategy is measured by its ability to inspire curiosity, facilitate critical thinking, and foster a love for learning among students. These strategies not only support academic achievement but also encourage students to connect with the material on a personal level, making learning a meaningful and enjoyable experience.

The evolution of teaching methods has been significantly influenced by digital advancements and the recognition of diverse learner needs. Modern education has shifted towards more interactive and student-centred approaches, moving away from one-size-fits-all methods. This transformation acknowledges the varied ways in which students engage with and comprehend new information. Over time, educational models have evolved to embrace key principles of effective teaching, such as adaptability, continuous assessment, and a focus on developing not just academic skills but also emotional and social competencies. This evolution reflects a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to prepare students for a complex and rapidly changing world.

Key Principles of Effective Teaching

Effective teaching is built on foundational principles that foster an environment where every student can thrive. These principles guide educators in creating strategies that are responsive to the needs of their learners, promoting a rich and engaging educational experience.

  • Student-Centred Learning: Prioritises the interests and needs of students, making them active participants in their learning journey.
  • Adaptability: Allows educators to modify teaching approaches based on student feedback and changing educational landscapes.
  • Continuous Assessment: Involves regular evaluation of student progress to inform teaching methods and provide support where needed.
  • Differentiated Instruction: Tailors learning experiences to accommodate the diverse abilities and learning styles within a classroom.
  • Inclusive Practices: Ensures all students, regardless of background or ability, have access to learning opportunities.
  • Feedback and Reflection: Empowers students to reflect on their learning and benefit from constructive feedback.
  • Collaborative Learning: Encourages group work and discussion, enhancing learning through shared ideas.
  • Real-World Application: Connects classroom learning to real-life contexts, enhancing relevance and engagement.
  • Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: Cultivates skills necessary for students to analyse information and tackle complex problems.
  • Emotional and Social Learning: Integrates emotional and social development into academic learning, supporting holistic growth.

These foundational principles have shaped the development of critical teaching strategies that effectively respond to the diverse ways students learn. By embracing these key elements, educators at OWIS create dynamic learning environments that not only promote academic excellence but also prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

1. Inquiry-Based Learning

Children are naturally curious, and the OWIS inquiry-based learning model nurtures this trait. Inquiry-based Learning leverages children’s natural curiosity and encourages students to take an active role in their learning by posing questions, exploring, and researching to find solutions.


This method fosters a deeper understanding of the subject matter, enhancing critical thinking and research skills and increasing student engagement and motivation. By encouraging students to ask questions and seek answers, they develop a sense of ownership over their learning. Teachers also give your children time, materials, and space to explore, research, and identify possible solutions to their questions. Your children take a more active role in their education as they ask – and answer – questions.

Applications and Examples

Educators implement a cycle of inquiry by creating a learning environment that invites and motivates students to explore topics deeply. This involves providing students with the necessary time, materials, and space to conduct their inquiries and encouraging a classroom culture where questions are welcomed and valued.

In a science class, students might be asked to investigate the effects of sunlight on plant growth, formulating hypotheses, conducting experiments, and presenting their findings. When teaching history, instead of simply learning dates and events, students could research the causes and effects of a significant historical event, using primary sources to support their conclusions.

2. Storyboarding

Cave dwellers, ancient Egyptians and humans today rely on stories and drawings – storyboarding – to teach, learn and connect. We use storyboarding at OWIS, too, to engage learners and promote understanding. Storyboarding involves using stories and drawings to facilitate learning. At OWIS, storyboarding serves as a dynamic teaching tool that engages learners by combining visual, written, and oral elements. It effectively bridges concepts with creativity, making learning more accessible and memorable.


Storyboarding enhances memory retention through visual aids, simplifying complex concepts, and fostering creativity and imagination in learners. It also encourages a holistic understanding by integrating different learning disciplines, making it a versatile educational tool.

Applications and Examples

Storyboarding is employed at OWIS to help students grasp and memorise various academic concepts. Whether it’s memorising mathematical procedures, learning historical timelines, or conceptualising scientific theories, storyboarding transforms abstract ideas into tangible and relatable narratives.

Storyboarding is especially helpful in memorisation-based subjects like history, where students could create a storyboard that outlines the events leading up to a significant historical moment, incorporating key dates, figures, and outcomes in a visual timeline.

Students presenting in class
Students presenting in class

3. Peer Tutoring and Assessment

Peer tutoring and assessment is a collaborative learning strategy where students take turns teaching each other and assessing each other’s understanding of the subject matter. This approach encourages learners to deeply engage with the material, articulate their knowledge, and participate in educational planning and knowledge testing.


This method offers several benefits, including enhancing organisational and collaborative skills among students. It also fosters a supportive learning environment where students learn the value of constructive feedback and self-assessment, leading to a deeper understanding and personal accountability for their learning.

Applications and Examples

In practice, peer tutoring and assessment can be used across various subjects and grade levels. It involves students working in pairs or small groups to teach each other, create educational activities, and conduct assessments. This approach not only reinforces the tutor’s learning but also provides the tutee with personalised instruction and feedback.

In language class, students can pair up to practice speaking skills, with one student acting as the speaker and the other providing feedback on pronunciation and grammar.

4. Brainstorming Sessions

Creative juices flow during simple or group brainstorming sessions. Brainstorming sessions are structured discussions that encourage students to freely express their ideas, thoughts, and opinions on a specific topic. There are no right or wrong answers during brainstorming sessions where numerous, creative ideas are put forth and debated on. These brainstorming sessions help your children develop confidence and their communication and collaboration skills.

Building reflective skills for students


Brainstorming sessions can help develop confidence in students as they learn to voice their opinions. Additionally, it enhances communication and collaboration skills as students listen to, build upon, and debate ideas with their peers, promoting a sense of teamwork and respect for diverse perspectives.

Applications and Examples

Brainstorming can be applied across all subjects and grade levels as a means to kickstart the exploration of a new concept, solve problems, or gather a variety of perspectives on a topic. It’s particularly useful in the initial stages of project-based learning or when introducing complex subjects, as it encourages students to think outside the box and engage deeply with the material.

The technique is best used in lessons that encourage big ideas like environmental science classes. Students might brainstorm sustainable solutions to local environmental issues, encouraging them to think creatively and critically about real-world problems.

5. Reflective Sessions

Building reflective skills helps students analyse their learning and understand what they have learnt and how they have learnt it. After students are introduced to new concepts, they sometimes complete a reflection activity when appropriate. Written or verbal reflections promote critical thinking. Students process information and show that they understand concepts as they explore their experiences and outcomes.


The practice of reflection significantly bolsters critical thinking skills, as students are prompted to consider not just what they learn but how they learn it. This introspection aids in solidifying knowledge, promoting self-awareness, and encouraging the application of concepts to new situations.

Applications and Examples

Reflective sessions can be integrated into the curriculum following the introduction of new concepts or the completion of significant assignments or projects. They may take the form of journal entries, discussions, essays, or presentations, providing students with the opportunity to express their learning experiences in a structured manner.

In most cases, students are encouraged to reflect on the dynamics of their teamwork after a group project, discussing what strategies led to successful collaboration and how conflicts were resolved, thereby linking personal experiences with broader lessons on communication and cooperation.

6. Student-Led Classes

Student-led classes are an innovative teaching strategy where students take charge of their learning by preparing and delivering lessons to their peers. Students must fully understand coursework, spend time to prepare an in-depth lesson and be prepared to answer questions in order to lead a class. With this teaching strategy, students take on individual tasks or group assignments to demonstrate their knowledge, boost their presentation skills and discover how to share and collaborate with their peers. Students are sometimes invited to lead the class at OWIS and are assessed for their lesson complexity, preparation and creativity.


Through this hands-on teaching process, students can enhance their understanding of the subject matter, improve presentation and communication skills, and increase their confidence. Additionally, this approach fosters collaboration among students and promotes ownership of learning, as students explore and share knowledge in a supportive environment.

Applications and Examples

This strategy can be applied across various subjects, where students are assigned topics to research, prepare, and teach. Tasks can be individual or group-based, encouraging students to collaborate in preparing lessons. It’s particularly effective for deepening knowledge in complex subjects, as teaching others requires a clear and thorough understanding.

For interpretive subjects like literature, students can make full use of this method to take turns leading discussions on different themes or characters in a novel, encouraging diverse interpretations and critical thinking.

7. Visual Aids

Seeing written words or pictures can help children understand ideas, learn concepts and retain information. Visual aids include smartboards, projectors, posters, infographics, checklists and charts. These aids play a crucial role in the learning process by visually presenting information, making complex ideas more understandable and accessible to students.


The use of visual aids enhances students’ ability to comprehend and retain information, facilitates a deeper understanding of concepts, and supports diverse learning styles. Additionally, visual aids can significantly increase student engagement and interest in the material being taught.

Applications and Examples

In OWIS classrooms, visual aids are employed in various ways to support and enrich the learning experience. Students are not only recipients of information through visual means but also creators, engaging with content by making their own visual aids. This active involvement helps solidify their understanding and fosters creativity.

Complex subjects with a broad scope, like geography or science, can use an infographic to illustrate concepts like the water cycle, offering a visual representation that enhances students’ comprehension of the process.

8. Interdisciplinary Approach

Children gain a deeper and more meaningful learning experience when they make connections and apply knowledge across subjects and disciplines. This teaching strategy is known as an interdisciplinary approach. The interdisciplinary approach in education involves integrating multiple subjects and disciplines to create a more connected and comprehensive learning experience. This strategy encourages students to apply knowledge from one subject area to others, fostering a deeper understanding of content by highlighting real-world connections.


This approach of experiential learning for students enhances their ability to make connections between different subjects, promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It also supports the development of a more holistic perspective, as students learn to see the relevance of their studies in a broader context.

Applications and Examples

In practice, the interdisciplinary approach might involve projects or lessons where students use mathematical concepts to solve scientific problems or apply artistic creativity to explore historical themes. This method encourages students to draw upon a wide range of knowledge and skills, breaking down traditional subject barriers.

An interdisciplinary approach can even be applied to projects combining science and physical education, students could study the physics of different sports movements, analysing and presenting on the biomechanics involved.

9. Flip Models

Flip models in education use videos, images, charts, and other visual aids to introduce concepts, ideas, and lessons to students before class. This approach encourages students to engage with new material at their own pace, allowing in-class time to be used for exploratory questions and deeper discussion, fostering a more interactive and student-centred learning environment.


This teaching strategy enhances students’ engagement and allows them to develop critical thinking skills as they explore subjects more deeply. It also encourages a sense of curiosity, as students come prepared to class with questions and reflections on the material they’ve engaged with independently..

Applications and Examples

Flip models are applied by assigning students to view or interact with visual aids as homework. Classroom time is then dedicated to activities that reinforce this learning, such as discussions, project work, or further exploration of topics, allowing students to apply what they have learned and explore concepts in greater depth.

In a biology class, students might watch a video on cellular processes at home, then engage in a lab activity during class to observe these processes under a microscope, applying and deepening their understanding.

Why OWIS Uses These Nine Teaching Strategies

Challenges of Implementing Effective Teaching Strategies

Implementing effective teaching strategies is a complex process that requires more than just a simple fix; it’s a nuanced journey toward enhancing educational experiences. Below are some potential challenges educators may face and strategies to overcome them:

  • Limited Resources: Schools may lack the necessary materials, technology, or financial support. Leverage community resources, seek grants, and use open educational resources (OERs) to maximise available materials.
  • Large Class Size: Individual student attention and personalised learning can be challenging to achieve. Implement group work and peer teaching to ensure each student remains engaged and receives personalised feedback.
  • Curriculum Constraints: Strict curriculum guidelines can limit the flexibility of teaching methods. Integrate creative elements and student choice within the confines of the curriculum to foster engagement and deeper understanding.
  • Professional Development: Teachers may not have access to ongoing training on new teaching. Schools should prioritise professional development opportunities and create a culture of continuous learning among staff.
  • Student Resistance: Students accustomed to traditional learning may resist new teaching methods. Gradually introduce new strategies and involve students in the learning process to increase buy-in and participation.
  • Time Constraints: Covering extensive curriculum content in a limited time frame can be daunting. Focus on depth over breadth, ensuring students grasp core concepts thoroughly, and utilise efficient teaching methods.
  • Assessment Practices: Traditional assessment methods may not align with innovative teaching strategies. Employ a variety of assessment methods that reflect the diversity of learning styles and the objectives of modern teaching strategies.

Adapting Teaching Strategies For Various Environments And Needs

Adapting teaching strategies to different learning environments and student needs requires a thoughtful and flexible approach. Teaching strategies in physical classrooms might emphasise interactive, group-based learning, while online platforms could leverage digital tools for engagement and collaboration. Understanding the unique dynamics of each setting is crucial for optimising learning outcomes.

Students process information differently, necessitating a diversification of teaching materials to cater to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Incorporating a mix of written materials, audio-visual content, and hands-on activities can help engage students on multiple levels, ensuring that each learner’s needs are met.

Other factors such as technological access, the nature of the subject matter, and the variety of assessment formats significantly influence how effectively students can learn. By considering these elements, educators can tailor their teaching strategies to better align with their students’ preferences, capabilities, and the learning context, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and effective learning environment.


We prioritise learning and self-exploration at OWIS, which is why we embrace modern tools and technologies. To personalise your child’s learning experiences, we tailor our teaching practices based on the needs of your children, the needs of the class and the group dynamics. These nine different teaching strategies promote engagement, understanding and mastery while making school fun. To know more about our teachers or our model, contact us. We also invite you to schedule a virtual tour and understand more about our teaching practices at OWIS.

(This blog was originally written in collaboration with Ms Preeti Khurana, former Science Teacher, OWIS Nanyang.)

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