Seven Laws of Teaching

This is a clear and simple statement of the important factors governing the art of teaching. It has been used with great success as a handbook for teachers in the church school.

Seven Laws of TeachingStated as Rules for Teaching
  1. A TEACHER must be one who KNOWS the lesson or truth or art to be taught.
  1. Know thoroughly and familiarly the lesson you wish to teach -- teach from a full mind and a clear understanding.
  1. A LEARNER is one who ATTENDS with interest to the lesson.
  1. Gain and keep the attention and interest of the pupils upon the lesson. Do not try to teach without attention.
  1. The LANGUAGE used as a MEDIUM between teacher and learner must be COMMON to both.
  1. Use words understood in the same way by the pupils and yourself -- language clear and vivid to both.
  1. The LESSON to be mastered must be explicable in the terms of truth already known by the learner -- the UNKNOWN must be explained by means of the KNOWN.
  1. Begin with what is already well known to the pupil upon the subject and with what he has himself experienced -- and proceed to the new material by single, easy, and natural steps, letting the known explain the unknown.
  1. TEACHING is AROUSING and USING the PUPIL'S MIND to grasp the desired thought or to master the desired art.
  1. Stimulate the pupil's own mind to action. Keep his thought as much as possible ahead of your expression, placing him in the attitude of a discoverer, an anticipator.
  1. LEARNING is THINKING into one's own UNDERSTANDING a new idea or truth or working into HABIT a new art or skill.
  1. Require the pupil to reproduce in thought the lesson he is learning -- thinking it out in its various phases and applications till he can express it in his own language.
  1. The TEST AND PROOF of teaching done -- the finishing and fastening process -- must be a REVIEWING, RETHINKING, REKNOWING, REPRODUCING, and APPLYING of the material that has been taught, the knowledge and ideals and arts that have been communicated.
  1. Review, review, review, reproducing the old, deepening its impression with new thought, linking it with added meanings, finding new applications, correcting any false views, and completing the true.
Source: "The Seven Laws of Teaching," John Milton Gregory, 1884.


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