Topic 2 Introduction to teaching methods

The term teaching method refers to the general principles, pedagogy and management strategies used for classroom instruction. Educators’ choice of teaching method depends on what fits for them — their educational philosophy, beneficiaries and subject areas. Teaching theories can be divided in four categories based on two major parameters: a teacher-led/centered approach versus a student-led/centered approach, and high-tech material use versus low-tech material use.

Teacher-led Class

A teacher-led class is designed for the teacher to be the centre of attention to deliver a presentation or lecture to the students. As the teacher will usually need a board, interactive whiteboard, or projector, the students will face the teacher for the lesson. In this method, the students take direction from the teacher, and follow a syllabus that all students have to conform to pass. Though the method is teacher-led, it does allow some interaction with the students, but it differs from a student-led approach both in the methodology, atmosphere, and the layout of the classroom.

Student-led Class

Student-led learning has a different focus that allows for more learner autonomy. Students are not left entirely to their own devices. Instead, they are guided in being independent learners, able to track their development and achieve their own goals. As the approach is different, so is the set up of the classroom. It is not just the arrangement of the class that is different, but the atmosphere too. If you walk into a SL class, you might find it noisier and more dynamic than a TL class. The hope for every teacher is that the students enjoy themselves and are motivated to engage with the material and each other. What this could entail is that the students themselves lead discussions and research areas that are relevant for their own development.

Write down a list of classroom technologies that you usually choose during teaching, or the ones you think are the most useful

Benefits of a Teacher-Centered Classroom

  • Order in the class! Students are quiet as the teacher exercises full control of the classroom and activities.
  • Being fully in control minimizes an instructor’s concern that students may be missing key material.
  • When a teacher takes full responsibility for educating a group of students, the class benefits from a focused approach to research, planning and preparation.
  • Teachers feel comfortable, confident and in charge of the classroom activities.
  • Students always know where to focus their attention — on the teacher.

Drawbacks of a Teacher-Centered Classroom

  • This method works best when the instructor can make the lesson interesting; absent this, students may get bored, their minds may wander and they may miss key information.
  • Students work alone, missing potential opportunities to share the process of discovery with their peers.
  • Collaboration, an essential and valuable skill in a learning environment and generally in life, is discouraged.
  • Students may have less opportunity to develop their communication and crucial-thinking skills.

Benefits of a Student-Centered Classroom

  • Education becomes a more shared experience between the instructor and the students, and between the students themselves.
  • Students build both collaboration and communication skills.
  • Students tend to be more interested in learning when they can interact with one another and participate actively in their own education.
  • Members of the class learn to work independently and to interact with others as part of the learning process.

Drawbacks of a Student-Centered Classroom

  • With learners free to interact, the classroom space can feel noisy or chaotic.
  • Classroom management can become more of an issue for the teacher, possibly cutting into instructional activities.
  • With less focus on lectures, there can be a concern that some students may miss important information.
  • Though collaboration is considered beneficial, this approach may not feel ideal for students who prefer to work alone.


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.

Some tech tools used:

G Suite (Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar)


Gamification software (such as 3DGameLab and Classcraft)

Education-focused social media platforms

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, students who take handwritten notes have better recall than students who take typed notes. 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.


The following researches give further relevant information on Teaching methods:

Advanced Teaching Methods for the Technology Classroom

Petrina, Stephen

Perfect Teacher-Led CPD

As an adult educator you should reflect on:

  • what teaching methods do I use?
  • how do I choose my teaching methods? Do I take in consideration my learners specific needs?

Which teaching methods could have the greatest impact on the learners I usually teach? Write them down the ones you consider the most relevant  and then discuss them with your colleagues.

This topic was an introduction to the existing teaching methods. Because instruction takes place in many formats, environments, and class sizes, there is no single most effective teaching method for all contexts. However, research does support a practical range of methods that can be adapted to the various circumstances in which we teach. The best strategy could be found only subsequently to a careful analysis that takes In consideration learners’ age and needs, environment, topic, and final aim of the class.