While Herbart emphasized only four steps, i.e. clarity, association, system and 

method, his followers modified the four steps. Thus, the five steps are termed as Herbartian 

five steps of teaching.


 Some questions are asked from the pupils in order to test their previous 

knowledge so that curiosity may arouse in them for learning of new knowledge. By testing 

their previous experiences pupils are prepared for acquiring new knowledge.

Statement of aim

 Here, the topic becomes clear to the pupils and the teacher himself is supposed to 

write the topic on black- board in clear words.


 The lesson is developed with the cooperation of the pupils. Opportunities are 

provided to pupils to learn themselves by stimulating their mental activity. The teacher tries 

to receive most of the point from the pupils by questioning so that the new knowledge may 

get related to the previous knowledge.

Comparison and Association

 In this, the facts, events and application taught are related mutually by 

comparison to enable the pupils to understand the taught material. The teacher establishes 

a relationship between two subjects and also between the facts and events of one subject 

and the facts and events of other subject. The compares them so that the new knowledge 

may get stabilized and clarified in the minds of the pupils.


 Herbart termed this step as ‘system’. After explaining the main lesson, the pupils 

are provided with opportunities to think. They formulate such principles and rules which 

may be used in various situations of the future life.


 In Application it is observed whether the acquired knowledge may be applied to the 

new situations. The teacher verifies this by asking recapitulate question or by providing 

opportunities to apply the acquired knowledge in the new situations. This stabilizes the new 

knowledge and validity of the rules may also be proved.