Teaching methods are principles used by a teacher to enable a student to understand a subject. It is mostly determined by the nature of the subject and the type of learner involved. Different methods are used for different learners and different subjects. Teaching can be classified into different method depending on the approach.
1. Instructor based approach
This type of approach is centered on the teacher being the master of the subject. Learners fully depend on the teacher and are passive.
2. Learner-centered methods
This is where the instructor is both the learner and the teacher. In the case the teacher is a resource and not an authority.
3. Content-centered methods
This type of teaching focuses mainly on the content of the subject. Emphasis is laid on the clarity and interpretation of the content rather than the instructor and learner.
4. Interactive or participative approach
This teaching method combines the aspects of instructor-centered, learner-centered and content centered methods of teaching. It is mostly driven by the situation at hand. This means what is important, whether it’s the content, learner or the instructor.
The following are the main teaching methods:
Lectures – This is where key principles, concepts and knowledge base of a topic is presented by a lecturer and students take notes. It is normally applied for fast learners who do not require much attention and are able to cope up with complex subjects and adapt
Seminars – These are forums that allow learners to learn and analyze a range of ideas, new concepts and ideas with the tutor. The main purpose of a tutorial is to provide an opportunity to explore a topic in depth and to evaluate different viewpoints. This will build confidence in students and enable easy communication between tutors and students.
Personal Tutors – This is a more personal approach where a tutor attends to the needs of a particular student. This is more preferred for slow learners or students with special needs and ability. The personal tutor will often give references about the student and advise them further in the career.
Laboratory and practical – This kind of teaching is mainly used in science and engineering subjects. This is because learning is hands-on and students have to perform most of the experiments in order to deeply understand the subject and develop a wide range of personal and discipline-based techniques. Practical and experiments enable a learner to manage time effectively and work more safely in a laboratory or field. It also improves skills in collecting, analyzing and interpreting results. It also provides the opportunity to apply and investigate theoretical and conceptual knowledge.
Discussion Method – This is a more active learning experience than a lecture, instructor spends some time listening while learners spend some time talking.
Brainstorming – This involves learners each giving their thoughts in the learning process.
Role Plays – Uses a learner’s experience in real life to understand a subject. This enables learners to put themselves in people’s shoes and also increases their self-confidence. It also enables learner to get practical solutions for real-life issues.
Buzz groups – This type of learning helps learners develop and express imaginative ideas, opinions and stimulate thinking.
In conclusion, different types of teaching methods are normally employed by an instructor depending on the subject and the capacity of learners. Sometimes one has to combine two or more methods in order for effective teaching.