Teaching method

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A teaching method is a set of principles and methods used by teachers to enable student learning. These strategies are determined partly on subject matter to be taught and partly by the nature of the learner. For a particular teaching method to be appropriate and efficient it has take into account the learner, the nature of the subject matter, and the type of learning it is supposed to bring about.[1]

The approaches for teaching can be broadly classified into teacher-centered and student-centered. In a teacher-centered (authoritarian) approach to learning, teachers are the main authority figure in this model. Students are viewed as "empty vessels" whose primary role is to passively receive information (via lectures and direct instruction) with an end goal of testing and assessment. It is the primary role of teachers to pass knowledge and information onto their students. In this model, teaching and assessment are viewed as two separate entities. Student learning is measured through objectively scored tests and assessments.[2] In Student-Centered Approach to Learning, while teachers are the authority figure in this model, teachers and students play an equally active role in the learning process. This approach is also called authoritative.[3] The teacher's primary role is to coach and facilitate student learning and overall comprehension of material. Student learning is measured through both formal and informal forms of assessment, including group projects, student portfolios, and class participation. Teaching and assessments are connected; student learning is continuously measured during teacher instruction.[2]

Methods of teaching[edit]

Howard Gardner identified a wide range of modalities in his Multiple Intelligences theories. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, based on the works of Jung, focus on understanding how people's personality affects the way they interact personally, and how this affects the way individuals respond to each other within the learning environment.


The lecture method is just one of several teaching methods, though in schools it's usually considered the primary one. The lecture method is convenient for the institution and cost-efficient, especially with larger classroom sizes. This is why lecturing is the standard for most college courses, when there can be several hundred students in the classroom at once; lecturing lets professors address the most people at once, in the most general manner, while still conveying the information that they feel is most important, according to the lesson plan. While the lecture method gives the instructor or teacher chances to expose students to unpublished or not readily available material, the students plays a passive role which may hinder learning. While this method facilitates large-class communication, the lecturer must make constant and conscious effort to become aware of student problems and engage the students to give verbal feedback. It can be used to arouse interest in a subject provided the instructor has effective writing and speaking skills.


Demonstrating, which is also called the coaching style or the Lecture-cum-Demonstration method,[4] is the process of teaching through examples or experiments.[5] The framework mixes the instructional strategies of information imparting and showing how.[4] For example, a science teacher may teach an idea by performing an experiment for students. A demonstration may be used to prove a fact through a combination of visual evidence and associated reasoning.

Demonstrations are similar to written storytelling and examples in that they allow students to personally relate to the presented information. Memorization of a list of facts is a detached and impersonal experience, whereas the same information, conveyed through demonstration, becomes personally relatable. Demonstrations help to raise student interest and reinforce memory retention because they provide connections between facts and real-world applications of those facts. Lectures, on the other hand, are often geared more towards factual presentation than connective learning.

One of the advantages of the demonstration method involves the capability to include different formats and instruction materials to make the learning process engaging.[6] This leads to the activation of several of the learners' senses, creating more opportunities for learning.[7] The approach is also beneficial on the part of the teacher because it is adaptable to both group and individual teaching.[8] While demonstration teaching, however, can be effective in teaching Math, Science, and Art, it can prove ineffective in a classroom setting that calls for the accommodation of the learners' individual needs.[5]


Collaboration allows student to actively participate in the learning process by talking with each other and listening to others opinions. Collaboration establishes a personal connection between students and the topic of study and it helps students think in a less personally biased way. Group projects and discussions are examples of this teaching method. Teachers may employ collaboration to assess student's abilities to work as a team, leadership skills, or presentation abilities.[9]

Collaborative discussions can take a variety of forms, such as fishbowl discussions. It is important for teachers to provide students with instruction on how to collaborate. This includes teaching them rules to conversation, such as listening, and how to use argumentation versus arguing.[10] After some preparation and with clearly defined roles, a discussion may constitute most of a lesson, with the teacher only giving short feedback at the end or in the following lesson.

Some examples of collaborative learning tips and strategies for teachers are; to build trust, establish group interactions, keeps in mind the critics, include different types of learning, use real-world problems, consider assessment, create a pre-test, and post-test, use different strategies, help students use inquiry and use technology for easier learning.

Classroom discussion[edit]

The most common type of collaborative method of teaching in a class is classroom discussion. It is also a democratic way of handling a class, where each student is given equal opportunity to interact and put forth their views. A discussion taking place in a classroom can be either facilitated by a teacher or by a student. A discussion could also follow a presentation or a demonstration. Class discussions can enhance student understanding, add context to academic content, broaden student perspectives, highlight opposing viewpoints, reinforce knowledge, build confidence, and support community in learning. The opportunities for meaningful and engaging in-class discussion may vary widely, depending on the subject matter and format of the course. Motivations for holding planned classroom discussion, however, remain consistent.[11] An effective classroom discussion can be achieved by probing more questions among the students, paraphrasing the information received, using questions to develop critical thinking with questions like "Can we take this one step further?;" "What solutions do you think might solve this problem?;" "How does this relate to what we have learned about..?;" "What are the differences between ... ?;" "How does this relate to your own experience?;" "What do you think causes .... ?;" "What are the implications of .... ?"[12]

It is clear from "the impact of teaching strategies on learning strategies in first-year higher education cannot be overlooked nor over interpreted, due to the importance of students' personality and academic motivation which also partly explain why students learn the way they do"[13] that Donche agrees with the previous points made in the above headings but he also believes that student's personalities contribute to their learning style. The way a student interprets and executes the instruction given by a teacher allows them to learn in a more effective and personal way. This interactive instruction is designed for the students to share their thoughts about a wide range of subjects.[14]

Class discussions have also proven to be an effective method of bullying prevention and intervention when teachers discuss the issue of bullying and its negative consequences with the entire class. These discussions have shown to increase the number of students who would help other students when they are victimized.[15]


The term "debriefing" refers to conversational sessions that revolve around the sharing and examining of information after a specific event has taken place. Depending on the situation, debriefing can serve a variety of purposes.[16] It takes into consideration the experiences and facilitates reflection and feedback. Debriefing may involve feedback to the students or among the students, but this is not the intent. The intent is to allow the students to "thaw" and to judge their experience and progress toward change or transformation. The intent is to help them come to terms with their experience. This process involves a cognizance of cycle that students may have to be guided to completely debrief. Teachers should not be overly critical of relapses in behaviour. Once the experience is completely integrated, the students will exit this cycle and get on with the next.[12]

Debriefing is a daily exercise in most professions. It might be in psychology, healthcare, politics, or business. This is also accepted as an everyday necessity.

Classroom Action Research[edit]

Classroom Action Research is a method of finding out what works best in your own classroom so that you can improve student learning. We know a great deal about good teaching in general (e.g. McKeachie, 1999; Chickering and Gamson, 1987; Weimer, 1996), but every teaching situation is unique in terms of content, level, student skills, and learning styles, teacher skills and teaching styles, and many other factors. To maximize student learning, a teacher must find out what works best in a particular situation.[17] Each teaching and research method, model and family is essential to the practice of technology studies. Teachers have their strengths and weaknesses, and adopt particular models to complement strengths and contradict weaknesses. Here, the teacher is well aware of the type of knowledge to be constructed. At other times, teachers equip their students with a research method to challenge them to construct new meanings and knowledge. In schools, the research methods are simplified, allowing the students to access the methods at their own levels.[12]

Evolution of teaching methods[edit]

Ancient education[edit]

About 3000 BC, with the advent of writing, education became more conscious or self-reflecting, with specialized occupations such as scribe and astronomer requiring particular skills and knowledge. Philosophy in ancient Greece led to questions of educational method entering national discourse.

In his literary work The Republic, Plato described a system of instruction that he felt would lead to an ideal state. In his dialogues, Plato described the Socratic method, a form of inquiry and debate intended to stimulate critical thinking and illuminate ideas.

It has been the intent of many educators since, such as the Roman educator Quintilian, to find specific, interesting ways to encourage students to use their intelligence and to help them to learn.

Medieval education[edit]

Comenius, in Bohemia, wanted all children to learn. In his The World in Pictures, he created an illustrated textbook of things children would be familiar with in everyday life and used it to teach children. Rabelais described how the student Gargantua learned about the world, and what is in it.

Much later, Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Emile, presented methodology to teach children the elements of science and other subjects. During Napoleonic warfare, the teaching methodology of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi of Switzerland enabled refugee children, of a class believed to be unteachable[by whom?], to learn. He described this in his account of an educational experiment at Stanz.[citation needed]

19th century[edit]

The Prussian education system was a system of mandatory education dating to the early 19th century. Parts of the Prussian education system have served as models for the education systems in a number of other countries, including Japan and the United States. The Prussian model required classroom management skills to be incorporated into the teaching process.[18]

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in England developed their distinctive method of teaching, the tutorial system, in the 19th century.[19] This involves very small groups, from one to three students, meeting on a regular basis with tutors (originally college fellows, and now also doctoral students and post-docs) to discuss and debate pre-prepared work (either essays or problems).[20][21] This is the central teaching method of these universities in both arts and science subjects,[22] and has been compared to the Socratic method.[23][24]

20th century[edit]

Newer teaching methods may incorporate television, radio, internet, multi media, and other modern devices. Some educators[who?] believe that the use of technology, while facilitating learning to some degree, is not a substitute for educational methods that encourage critical thinking and a desire to learn. Inquiry learning is another modern teaching method. A popular teaching method that is being used by many teachers is hands on activities. Hands-on activities are activities that require movement, talking, and listening.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Westwood, P. (2008). What teachers need to know about Teaching methods. Camberwell, Vic, ACER Press
  2. ^ a b "Teaching Methods". Teach.com. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  3. ^ Burger, C., Strohmeier, D., Spröber, N., Bauman, S., Rigby, K. (2015). "How teachers respond to school bullying: An examination of self-reported intervention strategy use, moderator effects, and concurrent use of multiple strategies". Teaching and Teacher Education. 51: 191–202. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2015.07.004. ISSN 0742-051X.
  4. ^ a b Vanaja, M. (2004). Methods Of Teaching Physics. New Delhi: Discovery Publishing House. p. 100. ISBN 978-8171418671.
  5. ^ a b "Teaching Styles: Different Teaching Methods & Strategies". Concordia University-Portland. 2013-01-05. Archived from the original on 2018-07-28. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  6. ^ Du, Wenjiang (2012). Informatics and Management Science V. London: Springer. p. 267. ISBN 9781447147954.
  7. ^ Neeraja, K.P. (2011). Textbook of Communication and Education Technology for Nurses. London: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers Ltd. p. 313. ISBN 9789350253502.
  8. ^ Heidgerken, Loretta (1965). Teaching in Schools of Nursing: Principles and Methods. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott. p. 390.
  9. ^ "What Is the Collaborative Classroom?". Archived from the original on 27 June 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  10. ^ Frey, Nancy; Fisher, Douglas; Hattie, John (2016-06-13). "Surface, Deep, and Transfer? Considering the Role of Content Literacy Instructional Strategies". Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 60 (5): 567–575. doi:10.1002/jaal.576. hdl:11343/291407. ISSN 1081-3004.
  11. ^ "Leading Classroom Discussion – Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching". Archived from the original on 2015-09-26. Retrieved 2015-09-25.
  12. ^ a b c Petrina, S. (2007) Advance Teaching Methods for the Technology Classroom (pp.125 - 153). Hershey, PA : Information Science Publishing.
  13. ^ Donche, V (2013). "Differential use of Learning Strategies in First-Year Higher Education: The impact of Personality, Academic Motivation, and Teaching Strategies". The British Journal of Educational Psychology. 83 (2): 238–251. doi:10.1111/bjep.12016. PMID 23692533.
  14. ^ Salvucci, Dario D. (2021). "Topics in Cognitive Science 13". Topics in Cognitive Science. 13 (3): 488–498. doi:10.1111/tops.12535. PMID 33900673. S2CID 233399405. Archived from the original on 20 September 2022. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  15. ^ Burger, C., Strohmeier, D., Kollerová, L. (2022). "Teachers can make a difference in bullying: Effects of teacher interventions on students' adoption of bully, victim, bully-victim or defender roles across time". Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 51 (12): 2312–2327. doi:10.1007/s10964-022-01674-6. ISSN 0047-2891. PMC 9596519. PMID 36053439. S2CID 252009527.
  16. ^ "Debriefing". Debriefing.com. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  17. ^ "The What, Why and How of Classroom Action Research". josotl.indiana.edu. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  18. ^ Gatto, John Taylor (2001). A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling. Berkeley Hills Books. ISBN 978-1-893163-21-8.
  19. ^ Mills, David; Alexander, Patrick (March 2013). Small group teaching: a toolkit for learning. York: The Higher Education Academy.
  20. ^ "Personalised learning". University of Oxford. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  21. ^ Bonetti, Lisa (6 February 2018). "How will I be taught?". undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  22. ^ Penny Probert Smith (2001). "7. Engineering the Tutorial Experience". In Palfreyman, David (ed.). The Oxford Tutorial: Thanks, You Taught Me How to Think (PDF). Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies. ISBN 978-1099191343. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-09. Yet in spite of the provision of lectures and practicals by the University departments, the tutorial retains a central position in the teaching of Oxford sciences.
  23. ^ Williams, Gavin. "Socrates in Stellenbosch and Tutorials in Oxford." Paper presented at the Tutorial Education: History, Pedagogy, and Evolution conference, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, 31 March – 1 April 2007. See [1][dead link]
  24. ^ "Understanding the Socratic Method of Teaching". Abraham Lincoln University. 10 February 2020. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • Highet, Gilbert (1989). The Art of Teaching. Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0679723141.
  • Monroe, Paul (1915). A Text-Book in the History of Education. Macmillan. OL 1540509W.