5 Teaching Strategies Benjamin Franklin Taught Us

By: Admin 14 April, 2017

There is, without a doubt, a lot to learn about life from a man like Benjamin Franklin. When we read his autobiography and examine his approach to life, we come to know that not only his story is filled with examples of success, but we can also use some of his strategies for teaching and helping our students. Below are five teaching strategies we can use from the life of the legendary Benjamin Franklin :


  1. Imitating others to Learn

We live in a time where ‘Be yourself’ and ‘Do you’ are mantras to stand by. But Franklin lived otherwise. In his Autobiography, he explain that if anyone wants to be successful, they could imitate his actions. Franklin did this himself too. For example, when he wanted to improve his writing, he found someone else’s writing that he thought was excellent, and tried to imitate it. After a few days he would try to write without looking at the original, then compare and correct himself.


Benjamin Franklin’s life is full of such examples. He learned at an early stage that imitating others was the fastest route to self improvement. Our students, too, should be encouraged to proudly imitate those whom have admirable qualities, so they have a positive example to guide their development.


  1. Give Credit to yourself

Franklin didn’t sit at the sidelines and wait for an opportunity. He believed in himself and his abilities. For example, when he was just 15 years old, he tricked and got his work published . He had submitted letters to the editor of a publishing house which was owned by his older brother, but under a pseudonym of Silence Dogood. His brother and his colleagues appreciated his work, and they all thought it was a work of someone highly learned.


Franklin did not like to sit back and wait for the world to come to him. He excitedly sought opportunities to engage with the world. Later on he would run away from his brother and start his own printing business. He would go on to become a writer, philosopher, scientist, statesman, and inventor – all by believing in and applying himself.


Students often think lesser of themselves because of their youth and inexperience. Encourage students with his example; they’ll always have room for more learning and experience, but they’re never too young to engage with the world!


  1. Independent Study Time


It’s no secret that Franklin loved to learn. While his formal education only lasted until about the age of 10, Franklin spent a great of time educating himself. He understood the importance of intentionally carving time into his schedule for study.


In his formal schedule, Franklin wrote down time for reading in morning, noon, and evening. He always made time for reading and considered it a great virtue to expand his mind.Franklin’s curiosity was boundless, and he considered study so critical to his progress that he rarely missed an opportunity to engage in it.


  1. Don’t let Entertainment come in way of Learning

We so easily engage in time-wasting activities, and the opportunities for mindless entertainment seem to expand every year. Franklin, while known to enjoy laughter, leisure, and entertainment, never let it get in the way of his personal growth. When he was a young adult and trying to learn another language, Franklin had a friend who loved to play chess with him. But as the chess games began, it took a lot of time that he could have spent studying. So he refused to play.

Franklin didn’t entirely do away with entertainment, but he didn’t let it take over his time either. As our students grow and learn, they ought to understand the necessary balance between entertainment and productive growth, or how the two might be merged.


  1. Immense Ability to Reason


Perhaps more than anything else, Franklin is known for his ability to apply an intelligent, calculated rationale to nearly any circumstance. He sets a high precedent for students as he demonstrates throughout his life how much one can accomplish if they simply think.

Franklin’s mantra is that he sets a goal or observes a problem, then follows a step-by-step logical progression to arrive at an improvement. There’s no problem too big, no aspiration too lofty toward which our reason cannot be applied. All it takes is affording ourselves time to think it through rationally and then acting upon the logical conclusions our thinking yields. When students are taught to elevate their ability to think over their immediate emotional concerns or doubts, there is much they can accomplish.


As I mentioned, Franklin proudly tells readers that his life is filled with lessons that could be imitated. As we want our students to experience the growth, happiness, success, and comfort that Franklin enjoyed, then it may be worthwhile to point to his example. At the very least, they can observe the connection between the daily habits of excellence Franklin practiced and the legendary status he achieved.


This article has excerpts from TeachHub website. Read the original here.