One of the most important things an educator should determine is the teaching approach to apply in class. This is because the educators' techniques have a great impact on learners. Educators can also combine multiple teaching methods for students to grasp the information better. This article covers the benefits and drawbacks of different types of teaching methods to help educators make the best decisions.
Combining teaching methods makes lessons unique and intriguing. Moreover, your students can output excellent exam performance if your teaching style is enjoyable. A facilitator can pass information to pupils in numerous ways. If they don't understand a concept, try other teaching methods to make it easier for them to understand and remember it.
Types of teaching methods and strategies to implement in class
Once a teacher understands the needs of their students, then they can choose the most effective teaching methods to use. Below are a few different teaching methods and their advantages and disadvantages:
1. Teacher-centered teaching methods
In this teaching methodology, the teachers serve as an authority for their students. On the other hand, students tend to receive their knowledge passively by listening to lectures and the teacher's directions.
Types of teacher-centered teaching methods
Teacher-centered teaching aims to help students pass tests and assessments. For the teacher-centered approach, these methods of instruction are used.
a. Lecture-based or direct instruction
This teaching strategy involves making lesson plans for learners and sharing knowledge through lectures, presentations, and demonstrations.
How to implement lecture-based teaching
This teaching method does not factor in student preferences or opportunities for other types of learning. Here is how to apply lecture-based teaching:
- Find out what your students know about the topic by asking questions.
- Introduce a new topic with a story or a review of a related topic you covered before.
- Use examples from your students' experiences or things they can relate to.
- Use visual cues, such as icons, images, and videos, in presentations to keep your students interested in the content.
- Allow time for questions during and after the lecture to allow students to easily engage with the concept and remember it.
- Please encourage students to stay attentive during lectures and handwrite notes. It can also help them recall information better.
- Ensure your conclusion or summary has the key points.
- Keep lessons brief to maintain student attention and engagement.
b. Flipped classrooms
This approach involves students watching or listening to pre-recorded lessons (videos/audio) at home and completing assignments.
How to implement flipped teaching
- Break lessons into segments of about 7-10 minutes to allow students to digest every part of the lesson.
- Use visuals, animations, and images for students to see and connect with their lesson.
- Create questions for students to answer during or after the lesson. You can also create a task for them to do.
- Please encourage students to watch lectures or instructional videos at home to let them work at their own pace.
- Test their knowledge with questions and self-assessment.
c. Kinesthetic learning
This approach is widely known as tactile learning. Students learn by watching simulations, presentations, or moving around in a hands-on environment.
How to implement kinesthetic teaching
The kinesthetic teaching methodology becomes teacher-centered when they can choose how to learn from their environment. Here is how you can apply this learning method:
- Allow students to stand or move while learning.
- Give them frequent short breaks.
- Teach them using real-life objects like costumes and arts & crafts.
- Use animation in your teaching, e.g., singing and dancing.
- Use science experiments when teaching.
Advantages of teacher-centered teaching methods
Teacher-centered methods of instruction have the following benefits:
- The classroom remains orderly because the teacher has better control over the students and classroom activities.
- Teachers worry less about students missing an important topic because they direct all classroom activities.
- A teacher can develop cooperation among the students by giving them group assignments.
- Students focus better on the subject when they get short lectures or breaks within lessons.
- It is inexpensive because lectures are done in a central place (classrooms).
- Teaching can be done remotely by letting students watch or listen to pre-recorded lessons (videos/audio) at home.
Disadvantages of teacher-centered teaching methods
Teacher-centered methods of instruction have the following weaknesses:
- Students may entirely depend on teachers.
- Lecture-based teaching makes students work alone to work alone. Hence they may not learn how to collaborate and communicate with each other.
- Teacher-centered instruction may not allow students to express themselves, ask questions, and control their learning pace.
2. Student-centered teaching methods
In these teaching methods, teachers and learners become a part of the process more or less equal.
The teacher's primary role is coaching and facilitating student learning, as well as making sure that students understand the material. Additionally, they are supposed to evaluate students by assessing them formally and informally.
Types of student-centered teaching methods
In a learner-centered approach, the teacher acts as a guide. The learners get their grades by evaluating their student portfolios and participating in the class. A teacher can use the following methods of instruction:
a. Differentiated instruction
This teaching methodology involves understanding every student's learning needs and tailoring the teaching method to meet those needs.
How to implement differentiated teaching
Here is how you can apply tailored instructions to all students depending on their learning needs:
- Provide textbooks for visual and word learners and let them present the stories they read using graphic methods.
- Allow auditory learners to listen to audiobooks and give an oral report.
- Help kinesthetic learners do an online interactive assignment and build a diorama illustrating the story.
- Break some students into reading groups to discuss the assignment.
- Allow students to read individually and create quiet spaces for them.
- Have a series of tiered projects for each of your lessons.
b. Inquiry-based learning
In this approach, a teacher serves as a supporter and guide that merely helps the students while they actively participate in their project and ask questions that interest them. Eventually, they demonstrate their research results to the authority figure.
How to implement inquiry-based learning
Below are different ways of applying inquiry-based learning in a classroom:
- Initiate the inquiry process by asking students questions.
- Promote classroom discussions by putting students in small groups.
- Intervene to clear misconceptions and help students understand the content.
- Allow students to share their findings with classmates and the teacher.
- Use student experiences to create new content knowledge.
- Assess students' knowledge through tests or projects to know what they have learned from the activity.
c. Expeditionary learning
The primary focus of this teaching methodology is for students to learn outside the classroom through expeditions, trips, and educational visits.
How to implement expeditionary learning
Gone are the ringing bells, rows of desks, and fill-in-the-blank worksheets. Rather than making students sit in a classroom to learn one subject at a time, here are ways to apply expeditionary teaching:
- Give students field assignments in groups, e.g., let them interview local business owners or customers.
- Let students explore a topic in depth by working on community service projects.
- Allow students to do scientific research in natural areas.
- Ask them to write what they learn from field assignments, research, and projects in their journals.
- Give learners some quiet reflection space or time. It will help them gather their thoughts on what they have learned.
d. Personalized learning
In this teaching method, students follow a lesson plan tailored to their interests and abilities. This way, one learns at their own pace and gets enough time to understand the concepts.
How to implement individual learning
A personalized learning approach customizes the learning process to meet each student's strengths, needs, skills, and interests. Here is how you can apply individual learning in a classroom:
- Pose an open-ended question and ask each student to come up with their best answer.
- Please put them in groups or pairs and request them to agree on a response.
- Have time or build a space for individual reflection. It helps each student develop better ideas without relying on classmates.
- Help students build accountability by teaching each other.
- Improvise games to make the classroom lively, e.g., Request each student to write their response to a question without showing the other. Let the desk-mates exchange their papers and discuss their answers.
e. Game-based learning
This approach uses card games, board games, and video games. This way, they have fun while learning concepts and how to solve problems.
How to implement game-based learning
Game-based learning allows teachers to use fun activities related to real-world concepts. As a result, this can lead to more immersive and collaborative learning for students. Below are some ways one can apply game-based learning in a classroom:
- Capture the learner's attention right from the start. Storytelling is a great way to hold your students' attention.
- Let the players/learners explore the game, and give them choices to make and goals to fulfill.
- Provide players/learners with relevant and practical knowledge within the game.
- Use badges, points, collectibles, or rewards to motivate learners to play the game more and for longer.
- Introduce risks using high-stakes scenarios or questions. For instance, players should risk losing all or winning big (points, badges, collectibles, or rewards) based on simple decisions.
- Make the game challenging but also allow players to take a few attempts.
Advantages of learner-centered teaching methods
Student-based teaching methods have the following benefits:
- It engages students in education even more and makes them more disciplined in classrooms.
- Students learn essential communicative and collaborative skills through group work.
- Students are more interested in learning activities when they can interact with one another and participate actively.
- Students learn to control their learning, ask questions, and complete tasks independently.
- Creating a culture of reflection, critique, and revision pushes students to better performances.
Disadvantages of student-centered teaching methods
Learner-centered teaching methods have the following shortcomings:
- Differentiated teaching requires a lot of research because you must know the learning needs of each student.
- Some schools lack practical and professional development resources for most student-based learning methods.
- Classrooms may often be noisy or chaotic because students should be allowed talk more often.
- Teachers may be overwhelmed when trying to manage all students' activities at once, and it can be difficult if students are in different stages of the same project.
- Since the teacher may not instruct all students simultaneously, some may miss essential facts.
- Since some students prefer to work alone, group work can become problematic.
3. High-tech learning method
This teaching methodology utilizes different technology. Many educators use the internet, computers, and tablets in the classroom. Others may use the internet to assign homework.
Advantages of the high-tech learning method
Teachers are embracing new technological tools because of their benefits. Below are the advantages of using a high-tech learning method:
- Learning can happen anywhere and anytime when students and teachers use the internet, computers, and tablets.
- Students and teachers can access a wide range of online learning resources.
- Online classes improve collaboration skills among the students and between the teacher and learners. For instance, they can make presentations on video calls.
- High-tech learning promotes competency in education as the world embraces digital learning methods.
- It promotes active or hands-on learning because tech learning tools are fun. They also allow students to create their learning materials.
- It promotes blended learning (traditional plus high-tech learning). Teachers are present to guide students as they interact with tech learning tools.
Disadvantages of the high-tech learning method
From apps and e-textbooks to organizational platforms and “gamification,” there’s no shortage of classroom tech tools. However, all these have some shortcomings. Below are the main disadvantages of using a high-tech learning method:
- Technology (computers and the internet) can be a distraction for both teachers and students.
- It reduces direct social interaction since students can research online individually.
- The students and teachers require training to use tech learning tools and materials.
- Technical errors like slow internet can disrupt lessons.
- It can promote faster but less memorable learning.
- It is expensive for most parents and schools in developing countries.
- It can encourage cheating in exams if students do assessments and research online.
4. Low-tech learning method
Low-tech learning is the traditional face-to-face teaching technique that encourages teachers and students to interact frequently in person.
Advantages of the low-tech learning method
In most cases, low-tech learning requires minimal or no interaction with the internet and computers. Below are some advantages of low-tech learning:
- It improves a student's writing and spelling skills.
- Face-to-face learning keeps students and teachers focused on what is important.
- It encourages students to dig deeper into the topic outside the school or classroom.
- It improves the relationship between teachers and their students and the relationship among the learners.
- It is cheap for most schools and parents in developing countries.
Disadvantages of the low-tech learning method
- Students may not develop strong digital literacy skills like those using modern tech learning tools.
- Unlike those using modern tech learning tools, students using low-tech learning techniques might have limited access to educational resources.
What is the definition of a teaching method?
The term "teaching method" refers to the general principles and strategies teachers use to instruct a classroom. The combination of different methods of teaching in education is something every teacher should practice.
What are the best teaching methods?
All teacher and student-centered learning approaches have their pros and cons. Therefore, none is superior to the other. The best thing to do is to combine various teaching methods to help your students understand the concepts deeper. Some efficient methods of teaching in education are:
- Lecture-based learning.
- Differentiated instruction.
- Kinesthetic learning.
- Technology-based learning.
- Individual learning.
- Group learning.
- Inquiry-based learning.
- Game-based learning.
- Expeditionary learning
- Flipped classrooms.
What is blended learning?
A blended teaching methodology combines traditional face-to-face learning techniques with online and mobile technologies. It allows educators to link online and in-class activities. However, students with different needs and digital literacies may not access technology-based learning without enough support and training.
What is a universal design for learning?
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach that believes in giving all students equal opportunities to succeed. It accommodates the needs and abilities of all learners and eliminates unnecessary challenges in the learning process. For instance, classrooms that follow UDL allow students to work on different projects within the same topic.
What are the new methods of teaching?
Blended and high-tech learning techniques are the latest methods of teaching in education. Teachers and students use virtual reality technology and AI in a classroom setup. They usually implement VAK teaching (Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic) and gamification (game design elements).
What are the general methods of teaching?
The lecture method is the oldest teaching method of teaching. In addition, most schools worldwide are also embracing group and project-based teaching methods.
What determines the methods of teaching in education?
There are various methods of teaching in education. The following factors can influence the technique a teacher chooses:
- The educator's teaching objectives.
- The mastery of content and teacher's experience.
- The nature of the subject matter.
- Learning tools and materials the teacher and learners can access.
- The learning environment the teacher and learners are in.
- The age of the learners and other demographics of your classroom.
As a teacher, the most crucial thing to decide is the types of teaching methods you will use in your classroom. To do this, you first have to understand your students' needs and find out which methods will be most suitable.
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