The term teaching method refers to the general principles, pedagogy and management strategies used for classroom instruction.
Your choice of teaching method depends on what fits you — your educational philosophy, classroom demographic, subject area(s) and school mission statement.
Teaching theories can be organized into four categories based on two major parameters: a teacher-centered approach versus a student-centered approach, and high-tech material use versus low-tech material use.
Teacher-Centered Approach to Learning
Taken to its most extreme interpretation, teachers are the main authority figure in a teacher-centered instruction model. Students are viewed as “empty vessels” External link who passively receive knowledge from their teachers through lectures and direct instruction, with an end goal of positive results from testing and assessment. In this style, teaching and assessment are viewed as two separate entities; student learning is measured through objectively scored tests and assessments.
Student-Centered Approach to Learning
While teachers are still an authority figure in a student-centered teaching model, teachers and students play an equally active role in the learning process.
The teacher’s primary role is to coach and facilitate student learning and overall comprehension of material, and to measure student learning through both formal and informal forms of assessment, like group projects, student portfolios, and class participation. In the student-centered classroom, teaching and assessment are connected because student learning is continuously measured during teacher instruction.
High Tech Approach to Learning
Advancements in technology have propelled the education sector in the last few decades. As the name suggests, the high tech approach to learning utilizes different technology to aid students in their classroom learning. Many educators use computers and tablets in the classroom, and others may use the internet to assign homework. The internet is also beneficial in a classroom setting as it provides unlimited resources. Teachers may also use the internet in order to connect their students with people from around the world.
Low Tech Approach to Learning
While technology undoubtedly has changed education, many educators opt to use a more traditional, low tech approach to learning. Some learning styles require a physical presence and interaction between the educator and the student. Additionally, some research has shown that low-tech classrooms may boost learning. For example, . Another downside of technology in the classroom may be that Ultimately, tailoring the learning experience to different types of learners is incredibly important, and sometimes students work better with a low-tech approach.
Here are some examples of low technology usage in different teaching methodologies:
- Kinesthetic learners have a need for movement when learning. Teachers should allow students to move around, speak with hands and gestures.
- Expeditionary learning involves “learning by doing” and participating in a hands-on experience. Students may participate in fieldwork, learning expeditions, projects or case studies to be able to apply knowledge learned in the classroom to the real world, rather than learning through the virtual world.
- Many types of vocational or practical training cannot be learned virtually, whether it be a laboratory experiment or woodworking.
Teacher-Centered Methods of Instruction
Direct instruction is the general term that refers to the traditional teaching strategy that relies on explicit teaching through lectures and teacher-led demonstrations.
In this method of instruction, the teacher might play one or all of the following roles:
|Formal authority||Expert||Personal Model|
|formal authority teachers are in positions in power and authority because of there examplary knowledge and status of their students||Expert teacher are in possession of all knowledge and expertise within the class room their primary role is to guide learner through the learning process||Teachers who operate the under personal model style are those who lead by Example demonstrating to students how access and comrehend|
As the primary teaching strategy under the teacher-centered approach, direct instruction utilizes passive learning, or the idea that students can learn what they need to through listening and watching very precise instruction. Teachers and professors act as the sole supplier of knowledge, and under the direct instruction model, teachers often utilize systematic, scripted lesson plans. Direct instruction programs include exactly what the teacher should say, and activities that students should complete, for every minute of the lesson.
Because it does not include student preferences or give them opportunities for hands-on or alternative types of learning, direct instruction is extremely teacher-centered. it’s also fairly low-tech, often relying on the use of textbooks and workbooks instead of computers and 1:1 devices
Flipped Classrooms (High Tech)
Broadly, the flipped classroom label describes the teaching structure that has students watching pre-recorded lessons at home and completing in-class assignments, as opposed to hearing lectures in class and doing homework at home. Teachers who implement the flipped classroom model often film their own instructional videos, but many also use pre-made videos from online sources.
A key benefit of the flipped classroom model is that it allows for students to work at their own pace if that is how the teacher chooses to implement it. In some cases, teachers may assign the same videos to all students, while in others, teachers may choose to allow students to watch new videos as they master topics (taking on a more “differentiated” approach).
But despite this potential for more student-centeredness, flipped classroom models are still mostly based on a teacher’s idea of how learning should happen and what information students need, making it chiefly teacher-centered. From a technology perspective, the system hinges on pre-recorded lessons and online activities, meaning both students and teachers need a good internet connection and devices that can access it.
Kinesthetic Learning (Low Tech)
Sometimes known as tactile learning”or “hands-on learning”, kinesthetic learning is based on the idea of , requiring students to do, make, or create. In a kinesthetic learning environment, students perform physical activities rather than listen to lectures or watch demonstrations. Hands-on experiences, drawing, role-play, building, and the use of drama and sports are all examples of kinesthetic classroom activities.
Though a great way to keep students engaged and, at times, simply awake, very few classrooms employ kinesthetic learning activities exclusively. One reason is that, despite the popularity of learning style theories, there is a lack of research-based evidence that shows that
One upside is that kinesthetic learning is rarely based on technology, as the method values movement and creativity over technological skills. That means it’s cheap and fairly low-barrier to adopt, as well as a welcome break from students’ existing screen time. Kinesthetic learning can be more student-centered than teacher-centered when students are given the choice of how to use movement to learn new information or experience new skills, so it’s also adaptable to a teacher’s particular classroom preferences.