The term teaching method covers the overall standards, instructional strategies, and the process that a teacher follows in the classroom.
There are various teaching methods and one cannot say which is the best. Your decision of teaching method relies upon what fits you — your way of thinking, the kind of students in your classroom, the subject you teach, and the vision statement of the educational institution you are a part of.
Teaching methods can be sorted out into different classes dependent on two significant boundaries: a teacher-focused methodology versus a student-focused methodology. Teaching methods are further divided based on the level of involvement of technology. However, today we will be talking about the high- tech method since most of the schools and coaching centers and other educational institutions have moved online.
What are the different methods of teaching?
Different teaching methods have evolved over the years and new teaching methods are invented as time goes by. We cannot say that one method is better than the other. It differs based on the kind of students and also from situation to situation. Before moving on to the different teaching methods, let’s have a look at teacher-centric learning and student-centric learning:
Teacher- Centric Approach
As the name suggests, in the teacher-centric approach, the teachers play a major role. The students are seen as passive listeners and they don't have many roles in the classroom. The teacher imparts knowledge through a direct instruction approach and the students take notes and there’s not much interaction between the teacher and students. This is a usual method of teaching and the result is evaluated through exams and tests. This is a kind of spoon-feeding method. This method has undergone a lot of changes. Now, the main focus is on the students and they are left to research and learn things on their own. And that brings us to our next point, student-centric approach.
Student Centric Approach
In this approach, the students are seen as capable, individuals and the teachers act as a guide. While the teachers do have a lot of authority, the students are given equal importance and they are taken into consideration. Continuous evaluation and assessments are done to understand the results and whether the goal has been achieved. In this approach, students bring their ideas and thoughts to the classroom.
Importance of Teaching Methods
Why is it important to have teaching methods? Learning is a two-way process and it is significant to employ different methods and strategies to ensure that the learning is effective and efficient. There are different types of teaching methods and these are important because:
- Ensures learning is effective
- Establishes a routine
- Involving different methods of teaching improves the quality of education
- Student-centric approaches increase student involvement and engagement
Different Teaching Methods
When it comes to teaching methods, inquiry-based learning has a high priority because this teaching method urges students to ask questions, inquire, research, and learn by themselves while the teachers guide them, direct them and give the necessary push and guidelines whenever it is necessary. This is based on experiments, projects, investigations, and likewise. The students reach their own assumptions and results and then the teacher advises and supports them In this method, the teacher’s role is very limited. It is that of a supporter or a guide. This has proved to be helpful for students. It makes them independent and polishes their skills.
Expeditionary learning is another method of teaching that is student-centric. Similar to inquiry-based learning, expeditionary learning urges students to conduct in-depth analysis and apply problem-solving to real-life situations so that they can understand the subject matter in a better way. The teacher, again, plays the role of a supporter or a facilitator who helps the students when they are stuck and guides them through the process.
Personalized learning is a relatively new concept. This is a very effective teaching method wherein the lessons and concepts are customized for each student. Though the approach is effective and is beneficial for the students, the feasibility of such a teaching methodology in India is a concern. The curriculum and the lessons are not constructed in such a way to give room for personalized learning. However, with the help of online teaching apps and tools, teachers can cater to each student separately and incorporate this teaching methodology into their learning. The assessments, tests are all different for each student according to their skills and abilities. This is a highly student-centric approach with equal importance given to the teacher. It is more of a one to one approach where a teacher focuses on the individual interests of the students.
One of the major issues that teachers face is low engagement from students. Lack of attention and lack of interest brings down the efficiency in learning. Game-based learning is one of the different teaching methods that teachers use to cultivate interest among the students. As the name suggests, it is a teaching method that involves games to teach a particular concept or lesson. With the advancement in technology and the numerous online teaching tools available, it is easy to gamify the classroom and lessons. You can include quizzes, buzzer games, and more to ensure that learning is effective. We have discussed in detail about mobile applications that are useful for teachers, read it here.
The flipped classroom is a teaching method that a lot of teachers and students are following right now. It is nothing but students turning into a set of pre-recorded classes from their teachers. As opposed to sitting in the classroom, virtual or physical, and listening to the teachers, this model helps the students to rewind and listen to parts that they have not understood. They get to learn at their own pace and time. With the onset of this pandemic, more schools and coaching institutes have adopted the flipped classroom method. However, two-way interaction and live classes surpass the quality of flipped classrooms.
Technology has a high involvement in all the above-mentioned teaching methods. In a classroom, a teacher usually assumes one or a combination of five different roles. They are:
In this role, the teacher lectures and takes control of the classroom. There’s no or little participation from the students. This is a teacher-centric learning approach and while this works some of the time, it is advisable to gather feedback and involve students in the learning process.
The demonstrator role of a teacher is one that facilitates experimentation and self earning. These teachers act as a coach and guide students. In the inquiry-based teaching method, the teachers assume the role of a demonstrator. They show and demonstrate the concepts and leave a window open for the students to ask questions and learn.
Similar to the demonstrator, when a teacher assumes the role of a facilitator, they promote self-learning and just guide the students whenever necessary. The expeditionary teaching method has a teacher who is a facilitator. When the teacher assumes this role, it develops the critical thinking of the students and pushes them to explore more.
When learning occurs through group activities and classroom discussions, the teacher becomes the delegator. They delegate responsibilities to the students and act as a mediator between the activities and discussions. This is best suited for subjects that require group activities.
When we say that a teacher is hybrid, it means that they blend their interests with that of the students and create a classroom environment that is inclusive and engaging.
Which type of teaching method is the best for student’s learning?
As mentioned, most teachers would be a mix of the above-mentioned roles. We cannot put our finger on one single role and say that it is the best. The same applies to the types of teaching methods. We cannot say that one is better than another. Choosing the right teaching methodology is important because that decides the effectiveness of learning. The teachers have to ensure to choose the right methods of teaching. They can choose from the different types of teaching methods based on the demographics of their students, the subject that they teach, and the gravity of the lesson.
We hope this teaching methods list helps you to better understand the teaching strategies and classroom management. If you feel that we have missed mentioning some points, please drop them in the comments section. We will be back with a more informative blog, until then, happy teaching.
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