When I was in middle school, I had a biology teacher who was rather trained in philosophy. So, he had little background in biology, and yet he was asked to teach a subject he didn’t control. The class turned out to be a dictation class. No substantial learning took place. We didn’t know what to expect, and the class turned out to be chaotic. Students didn't follow him. Mostly, they were busy chitchatting. By taking this course in instructional design, I realize that behaviorism could have helped create a better classroom environment.
In hindsight, it is clear that teaching requires the mastery of the content, a clear definition of learning objectives and the techniques to deliver content: what to teach, how to teach it, and why to teach what to teach, and to whom. Also, classroom management is also critical to the creation of a learning environment.
On a different note, my English teacher used different teaching techniques including audio-visual materials, simulation & role plays and grammar-based exercises. Communication was emphasized in the classroom. We also had a small English club where students could meet to practice their English. It was indeed a friendly learning environment. My professor inspired me so much so that I wanted to become an English teacher.
Today, as I teach adult learners, I have been taking professional development courses in andragogy or adult education, blended learning, etc. Just like in any teaching, I learned that in adult education, the teacher should pay attention to learners’ experience and connect what is taught to their aspirations and objectives. Adults don’t learn like children because they already come in the class with a strong knowledge, deeply-seated learning habits, and the teacher should pay attention to such needs to be successful. Experience matters in adult education. Adults learn differently from children. They build on their previous learning experience and skills as they learn new things. Their experience could be productive when it is well channeled, personalized, and engaging.