Practical Methods in Teaching
the theoretical aspect of the learning process is not enough to achieve the educational objectives. there should be a practical aspect in order to enhance and complement the theoretical aspect. combining between such two aspects helps the students to get more understanding of the information they receive and facilitate remembering and applying them in the best manner. the practical aspect is useful to both teachers and students, as the following:
a) practical examples by the teacher:
1- the hadith narrated by sahl bin saad (about how the prophet taught his companions to perform the prayer while he was standing on his pulpit), he said:
“then i saw the prophet, peace be upon him, standing on the pulpit, he raised his hands saying “allahu akbar”, then he bowed, prostrated and then he stood up facing us and said: ((o people, i performed a prayer in front of you so that you can learn and pray like me)).
2. anas bin malik narrated that the prophet, peace be upon him, saw some sputum in the direction of the qibla (on the wall of the masjed) and he disliked that and the sign of disgust was apparent on his face. so he got up and scraped it off with his hand and said, "whenever anyone of you stands for the prayer, he is speaking in private to his lord or his lord is between him and his qibla. so, none of you should spit in the direction of the qibla but one can spit to the left or under his foot." the prophet then took the corner of his sheet and spat in it and folded it and said, "or you can do like this”. al-hafez commented on this hadith saying: this shows that practicing something in front of the learner helps him to get better understanding.
3- al-bukhari narrated that othman bin affan made wudu’ (ablution) and said when he finished: "the prophet, peace be upon him, said ((if anyone performs ablution like that of mine and offers a two-rak'at prayer during which he does not think of anything else (not related to the present prayer) then his past sins will be forgiven)). ibn hijr said: this hadith shows the importance of teaching by practice because it makes the learner masters the required action. another example; the prophet, peace be upon him, said at the pilgrimage: ((learn your rituals by seeing me performing them)). these hadiths shows that the teacher should take care of practice in order to save time and efforts and help the students to get better understanding. for example, instead of speaking theoretically about wudu’ (ablution) and consuming long time in explanation, the teacher can bring some water and perform wudu’ in front of his students and allow them to perform wudu’ in front of him. by this way, they will understand and will never forget wudu’.
sometimes the practical method cannot be applied in all fields of knowledge; however, the teacher should exert all out efforts to apply this method as long as it is possible.
b) practical examples by the students:
abu huraira, may allah be pleased with him, reported: the prophet, peace be upon him, entered the majed and a person also entered therein and offered prayer quickly, and then came and paid salutation to the prophet, peace be upon him. the prophet, peace be upon him, saluted him in return and said: “go back and pray, for you have not offered the prayer”. he again prayed as he had done before, and came to the prophet, peace be upon him, and saluted him. the prophet, peace be upon him, saluted him in return and said: “go back and pray, for you have not offered the prayer”. this (act of repeating the prayer) was done three times. upon this the person said : by him who has sent you with truth, whatever better i can do than this, please teach me. the prophet, peace be upon him, said: “when you get up to pray, recite takbir, and then recite whatever you conveniently can from the koran, then bow down and remain quietly in that position, then raise your- self and stand erect; then prostrate yourself and remain quietly in that attitude; then raise yourself and sit quietly; and do that throughout all your prayers.” the prophet, peace be upon him, taught that person how to perform the prayer quietly and gave him a chance to discover his mistake by himself. moreover, he let the person try three times so that all companions learn how to avoid such mistake and to enable such person to think more and find his mistake.
1- anas bin malik reported that a man asked the prophet, peace be upon him, about the time of fajr prayer. the prophet, peace be upon him, answered: “come here tomorrow to perform fajr prayer with us”. on the next day, the prophet, peace be upon him, performed fajr prayer at beginning of dawn (while darkness is still prevailing), and on the second day, he performed farjr prayer at the daybreak. the prophet asked then: “where is the man who asked about fajr prayer time?” the man answered: i am here o prophet of allah. the prophet asked him: “did you attend fajr prayer with us yesterday and today?” the man said: yes. the prophet said then: “fajr prayer should be performed between such two times”. this hadith shows how the prophet, peace be upon him, taught the man by practice.
1) combining between the theoretical and practical aspects enhances education and learning.
2) practice helps saving time and efforts for the teacher.
3) allowing the students to practice enables them to have better understanding.
4) it is advisable that the teacher let his student discover the mistakes in his homework by himself.
5) practice helps the students to keep information and never forget them.