Teaching Method: Guest Speakers

Inviting guest speakers to the classroom is another effective teaching strategy in subjects. In social. studies, there are a number of experts whose rich experience, of knowledge and skills could be made use of in instructional activities. They not only provide students the experience of the real world but also motivate them for effective learning. For example, a political worker may be invited to talk on the national character of India and on the forces which act against the unity of the country. Similarly, an economist, when invited as a guest speaker, would provide comprehensive knowledge on the factors responsible for the economic growth of the country.
Though textbooks and classroom teaching in subjects do provide students 'knowledge on various content areas, lectures given by guest speakers strengthen the knowledge acquired by. Students  from textbooks and classroom teaching.

Sometimes, guest speakers can also serve as role models for students. For example a freedom fighter, if invited to speak on the role of freedom fighters during the independence movement, would certainly act as a role model for students. Students would, thus, learn the virtue of patriotism and mould their character for the cause of the nation. Guest speakers could be chosen from any discipline or from any human occupations. They may be academicians, social workers, businessmen, religious workers, political workers, parents, etc. 

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Woolever and Scott (1988) have given certain guidelines which may be followed while selecting and preparing for an outside speaker. These are:

 i.  Determine specific instructional objectives for the guest speaker person.

ii. Choose a speaker with acknowledged expertise.

iii. Select a speaker who can be effective with students and who won't talk over their heads or down to them.

iv. Communicate the expected learner outcomes to the speaker, and encourage him or her to tell you what is planned; make suggestions or additions or changes as appropriate.

v. .Encourage your guest to use audio-visual. and tactile materials to enhance the value of the .presentation.

vi. Check with the guest speaker to determine if any special equipment or material (overhead projector, paper and crayons, slide projector, etc.) will be required,

vii. Reconfirm the date and time a day or two before the scheduled visit.

viii. Prepare students for the speaker; establish motivation and a focus for learning from the guest.

ix. Follow up with one or more lessons to ensure that expected outcomes have been achieved.

x. It is customary to send a classroom guest a thank you letter.

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