Indirect Teaching--what we learn to do, we learn by doing.

Two major functions of education are the development of students' ability to think critically and the development of their ability to perform independent inquiry. Indirect methods are more participatory and less teacher directed; but, they are time consuming.

1. Discussion Method--how to use effectively: (LM)
  • Planning the Discussion- The four main areas to consider when planning a discussion activity are goals and student preparation in achieving these goals; decide whether the discussion should be in large or small groups; a seating arrangement to develop interaction; and the time allotted for the activity.

  • Whole-Class Discussions- They are similar to the class recitation method. A discussion leader poses questions, listens to student answers, react, and probe for more information.

  • Small- Group Discussions-It should follow the presentation of information through teacher-directed lessons, assignments, books, or films. Four types of small groups consist of the following:
  • (1) Brainstorming-the session is started by the leader, who introduces a topic or problem and asks each small group to generate ideas, solutions, or comments.
  • (2) Buzz group-a group that is established quickly to share opinions, viewpoints, or reactions for at least 15 minutes. Also, the session should be followed up with a
whole class discussion to elaborate on the findings or conclusions.
  • (3)Task group-it solves a problem or completes a project involving students in some kind of work or activity. Each group member has a role or an assignment that is clearly defined for all group members.
  • (4) Panels-(roundtables)-a group of students-usually five to eight- prepare in advance an informal discussion about an assigned issue to be presented in front of the class. One student serves as panal chairperson and directs the discussion. After each panel member makes an informal opening statement, a give-and-take
session between panal and class members take place. After this more formal portion of the panal presentation, the discussion should be opened up for a class
discussion of the topic or for a question-and-answer session from the audience. This open-ended session should be followed by a summary of the important
points by the panal chairperson. Do not forget the best panal discussions come from issues that are important and meaningful to students. (LM)

DIscussion Method: In a true discussion, students should talk more than the teacher. The discussion method is far more effective than the lecture method. Open communication and a supportive atmosphere are keys to effective discussions.
The teacher's role becomes less a director of learning and more a facilitator of or guide to learning. An active, purposeful leader is needed in the discussion.After the discussion everyone should understand the purpose and topic discussed. Always summarize the major points of the discussion. (CC)

2. Heuristic Method--how to use effectively: (BG) Heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution, where an exhaustive search is impractical.(TS)

  • Problem Solving: The intentional elimination of uncertainty through direct experiences and under supervision.


  • Discovery Learning: This is a means by which students engage in problem solving in developing knowledge or skills.



  • Inquiry Learning: Like discovery, inquiry basically is a problem-solving technique.



  • Systemic Problem Solving:The steps of this process are as follows:
  • 1. Defining the problem
  • 2. Brainstorming
  • 3. Researching and generating ideas
  • 4. Identifying criteria and specifying constraints
  • 5. Exploring possibilities
  • 6. Selecting an approach
  • 7. Developing a design proposal
  • 8. Making a model or prototype
  • 9. Testing and evaluating the design using specifications
  • 10. Refining the design
  • 11. Creating or making the solution
  • 12. Communicating the processes and results
  • (BG)



3. Discuss the teacher's role: a facilitator. usually call for continuous monitoring of students. Close working relationships between students and teacher. interact with the students on a one on one level. (CP)



4. Classroom environment needed to support indirect learning: Indirect methods require openness. Encourage the students when they make a mistake; we are not perfect all of the time! Indirect methods are most effective in classrooms where there is cooperation, trust, self-control, and conviction. This requires that you plan carefully and emphasize systematic skill building. (KB)
The indirect instruction strategy can be used by teachers in almost every lesson. This strategy is most appropriate when:
  • thinking outcomes are desired
  • attitudes, values, or interpersonal outcomes are desired
  • process is as important as product
  • students need to investigate or discover something in order to benefit from later instruction
  • there is more than one appropriate answer
  • the focus is personalized understanding and long term retention of concepts or generalizations
  • ego involvement and intrinsic motivation are desirable
  • decisions need to be made or problems need to be solved
  • life-long learning capability is desiredhttp://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/hutt/strateg/indexpl.htm (TS)