It’s usually very true that there are two sides to every story. In order to compliment last month’s feature on learning styles, it seemed logical to take a look at teaching styles to bring the process full circle. It makes sense that if an instructor’s teaching style matches a child’s learning style, the student will learn better, retain more and perform at a level that is satisfactory or greater. But how is that done in a classroom of many students with varied learning styles? Just as there are multiple learning styles there are also various teaching styles. The key is for the teacher to strike a balance and use a combination of styles when doing lesson plans and choosing educational materials. In this way a large number of students will benefit by the teacher’s daily lessons. There is sure to be one method or another presented that each student can relate to and therefore respond to in a positive manner. Let’s explore four basic styles of teaching.
Formal Authority-This approach is centered around the teacher. He/she provides and controls the information sent out to the student. There is little concern as to whether a relationship is established between the teacher and student.
Demonstrator or Personal Model-This method also revolves around the teacher but he/she gives examples and then guides or coaches students to apply what they are learning.
Facilitator-This approach is student-based and puts much responsibility on the students. The teacher may plan a group project but then students have to work together to achieve a goal.
Delegator-This last method takes the student centered approach one step further. Not only do students work together and collaborate, but they design the actual project instead of the instructor. This fosters an almost totally independent, very interactive group dynamic.
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