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Teaching Methods: Types & Strategies

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  • 0:04 Categories of Instruction
  • 0:33 Teacher-Centered Instruction
  • 1:31 Student-Centered Instruction
  • 3:09 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.

In this lesson, we'll explore both teacher-centered and student-centered instruction and then define and discuss the effectiveness of various teaching methods, including lecture, assignment, dictation, project, and seminar.

Categories of Instruction

What is the best approach to teaching students? Which method you use depends on what you are hoping to accomplish. Teaching strategies are broken down into two major categories. Teacher-centered instruction focuses on the expertise of the teacher to pass knowledge on to the students. Student-centered instruction is facilitated by a teacher, but the students take a more active role in the learning process. Let's examine some specific examples of teaching methods.

Teacher-Centered Instruction

Teacher-centered instruction is typically less engaging for students but can be combined with other teaching methods to improve effectiveness. The following are some examples of teacher-centered instructional strategies:

Lecture

Lecture is a teacher-centered technique in which teachers provide direct instruction to students by telling them facts that students passively absorb. Research is clear that lectures are not an effective teaching method. When used, it's more effective to alternate lecture with a more active instructional method every 10-15 minutes.

Dictation

Dictation is a method that is often used in language classrooms. Basically, the teacher reads aloud while the student writes down what the teacher says. Students then check their punctuation and spelling using the original text. Dictation is not particularly engaging but can be used at various levels and requires little planning. Teachers can improve student interest by pairing students and turning it into a cooperative learning activity.

Student-Centered Instruction

Student-centered instruction is more active and engaging than other teaching methods. The following are examples of student-centered instructional techniques:

Assignment

The assignment method of teaching is the most popular form of student-centered instruction. Assignments may include essays, research papers, oral presentations, projects, labs, or collaborative learning activities. Using the assignment method, the teacher creates an assignment with clear instructions, milestones, and grading criteria based on an outcome that students need to achieve. The teacher monitors and advises students as they work on the assignment and provides feedback that challenges students to improve. The effectiveness of this method depends on the level of student engagement, teacher support, clarity of instruction, and alignment with learning objectives.

Project-Based Instruction

Project-based teaching methods are similar to the assignment method but are based on real-world challenges. This teaching method is highly engaging and effective as students work either collaboratively or independently across the curriculum to organize and present their learning in a relevant way. Students may use technology, video, photography, art, role-playing activities, or writing to demonstrate what they have learned.

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