Is Learning by Topic Over Subject the Way Forward

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Do students benefit more by teaching by topic or by subject?


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Is Learning by Topic Over Subject the Way Forward Teachers have different methods of teaching but the goal is always the same: to make sure that the students learn something. There have always been debates on which method of teaching is more effective. One argument is that learning by topic is better than learning by subject. The next paragraphs can give you a glimpse of why this is so. Learning by subject is the traditional method used by most schools. Information on the particular subject is laid out sequentially in a lesson plan that covers basic topics at the beginning then moving up to more complex lessons. The more complex lessons challenge the critical and logical thinking abilities of the child thus enabling him to learn and understand the subject. Learning by subject means you get a good look at the entire picture or an overview of everything there is to know about the subject. Learning by topic is a more focused approach to learning. Instead of teaching the students everything there is to know about a particular subject the teacher focuses on a topic within the subject that the student is interested in. Learning by topic means that the student gets an in depth understanding of a particular topic instead of just getting the whole picture. So if the student decides to take up history but is more interested in just ancient history he can take only courses that focus on ancient history. This method of learning immerses the students into something they really want to learn about and not be bothered by the other elements related to the topic. Both styles of learning are great but learning by topic can really be the way forward. One of the reasons this is so is because learning by topic feeds the interest of the student. A student who is hungry for information on a particular topic will easily pay attention and would want to hold on to everything that the teacher is saying. He will work hard to find out more about the topic and will take on assignments without complaints. He will research on the topic even without being asked. It is because he wants to gain more information about the topic that he is interested in. Another reason why learning by topic is a great way to learn is because it provides focus to the student. When a student is given 10 different topics to study he can get bombarded by loads of information at the same time. The information on these topics can be totally unrelated so

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the student ends up memorizing the information instead of really understanding what it is about. By focusing on one topic at a time the student gets to focus all his efforts on learning and understanding the topic at hand instead of getting distracted from learning about other unrelated topics. Learning by topic also helps teachers and students identify and focus on their strengths. Students who are great at math may not be great at all the aspects of math. Some are good at geometry while others are calculus geniuses. By finding out which topic they are more inclined to the teachers can adjust their teaching methods to relate to the topic that students understand and are good at. When students learn by topic they get to spend more time doing things that will give them better understanding of that topic. This gives them more chance to practice and harness their skills. If a student is having a hard time at a particular topic for example spending more time on it and focusing all his energy on understanding that topic will help him learn it. The teacher can give him more exercises on that particular topic so that he can have extra practice until he gets a better understanding of the material. Learning by topic is a great way to learn for some students. This is also a great way for others to practice and improve their skills on that particular topic. For other students this may not be the case. Some of them thrive of learning about different topics at the same time. Some are more mentally stimulated when they are presented with different topics instead of focusing on just one. When this is the case the teacher must adjust accordingly. Whatever method of teaching you prefer make sure that it jives with the student’s learning style. Take all the points mentioned in this article into consideration before adapting any change in your teaching style. It can be challenging to make adjustments but the rewards of knowing that the student has learned something is priceless.

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