Teacher-Centered Classroom: Characteristics & Management

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  • 0:04 Teacher Vs. Student-Centered
  • 0:40 When To Use Direct Teaching
  • 2:03 Classroom Arrangement
  • 2:38 Learning Activities
  • 3:38 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Are there times when a teacher-centered classroom is more effective than a student-centered classroom? This lesson will explore teacher-centered classrooms and discuss some of its uses.

Teacher vs. Student-Centered

We've all been told that students need to be able to construct their own knowledge to improve critical thinking skills, so why would we consider a teacher-centered approach to instruction? In education, there is not a one-size-fits-all method that works for all students in all situations. There are times when a teacher will need to momentarily abandon constructivism in favor of more traditional classroom settings. Let's discuss some teacher-centered approaches to instruction that can be useful alternatives to student-centered instruction in the classroom.

When to Use Direct Teach

One instructional strategy teachers should know about is direct teaching. Direct teaching, which is sometimes called direct instruction, is a form of teacher-centered instruction where the focus of the lesson is on distributing facts to students. This is the type of instruction that is most commonly used in U.S. schools, despite half a century of research that suggests this may not always be the best approach. However, when a student is learning skill-based activities, such as computational fluency and content knowledge, are more readily learned through direct teach.

Classroom Arrangement

Teachers can also arrange their classroom for a teacher-centered activity. All students should face the teacher. Each student must have access to the learning materials, including the whiteboard, Smart Board, or projector screen. Additionally, the teacher must be able to easily circulate around the room to monitor the progress of students and offer additional assistance when necessary. Seating assignments should accommodate individual student needs, such as hearing, vision, or attention issues. In contrast, student-centered classrooms are generally arranged in groups or pairs to promote collaborative learning.

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