Styles of teaching can highly impact the efficiency at which students grasp the knowledge that is been passed on to them by their tutor or teacher, in this article we will discuss four main types of teaching methodology that has its pros and cons.
1. Teacher-Centered Instruction
Recognized as the most conventional approach, the teacher-centered methodology is based on the idea that the teacher has the main responsibility in the learning environment. Teachers are in charge of the classroom and direct all activities. Typically, in this approach, students are seated at individual desks that face the teacher. While group work may take place, most classroom time is spent with the teacher explaining concepts and assigning individual work. In other words, students passively absorb the information while the teacher actively delivers it.
2. Small Group Instruction
Small group instruction (SGI) usually follows whole group instruction and provides students with a reduced student-teacher ratio, typically in groups of four to six students. SGI allows teachers to work more closely with each student on a specific learning objective, reinforce skills learned in whole group instruction, and check for student understanding. This teaching method is based on constant activities around workstations: groups working with the teacher and groups working independently on varied activities, such as using manipulatives or computer/online resources. Speaking of digital resources, they have been showing their huge potential lately, and Happy Numbers is no exception. The platform has been effectively used by many experienced teachers to improve their small group instructional techniques. The Happy Numbers curriculum perfectly integrates the main principles of the approach and helps teachers to plan their lessons accordingly.
3.Student-Centered / Constructivist Approach
As we consider shifting the focus from teacher to students, the rest of the approaches from this list are considered to be student-centered or constructivist. With the development of the educational sphere and society in general, the idea of a student-centered approach has become more popular, and there are good reasons for that. Student-centered classrooms include students in planning, implementation, and assessments. Involving the learners in these decisions places more responsibility and ownership on them rather than on the teacher. Also, teachers must become comfortable with changing their leadership style from directive to consultative. Meanwhile, students may work in small groups, access centers, and move about the classroom freely.
4. Project-Based Learning
A relatively new teaching method, project-based learning falls within the student-centered approach. As the name suggests, in project-based learning students complete projects. However, these are big, meaty projects in which students acquire knowledge, research, think critically, evaluate, analyze, make decisions, collaborate, and more.
Typically, projects are created in response to an open-ended question such as “How can our school be greener?” or “How was our city planned in the past and how could it be planned in the future?” Another important part of the projects is that they relate to real-world problems. The projects shouldn’t just apply to the classroom but have an impact, too. For example, students might make a radio show for the whole school to hear. Or, they might write a letter to the town council and attend a meeting to express an opinion.