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What Are The 5 Different Teaching Styles?

by | Nov 27, 2023 | eLearning Tools

Teaching can be both challenging and difficult, but it’s also one of the most valuable and rewarding disciplines you can pursue as a professional in 2023. Whether you’re teaching in a classroom or teaching via online courses, passing on knowledge and facilitating learning offers a net good to the planet, the future, and even the economy! And while teaching is a professional vocation, it’s also something of an art form, with a variety of different teaching strategies that you can use to help your students learn, grow, and better understand their chosen subject.

So, what are the 5 methods of teaching, and why is each method important? Let’s take a look.

The Authority Style

If you’ve ever been in a classroom or university lecture hall in the last 30 or so years, you’re likely incredibly familiar with Authority-style teaching. Amongst the various different teaching styles within the education system, this one is the most traditional, and typically consists of a teacher or lecturer standing in front of the room (often accompanied by a whiteboard or a digital presentation) giving a lecture or lesson while students take their own notes.

There are some advantages to this method; it allows for effective self-learning, where students note down and study the concepts they find to be the most important, or the topics they need the most help remembering. It also means minimal classroom disruption, and allows students to immerse themselves in their own learning methods.

On the downside, authority-style teaching isn’t the best method teaching style for more practical disciplines, and is best kept to theoretical subjects. For example, if you’re looking to sell training online, authority-style teaching is one of the best options for pre-recorded lessons, as students can go back and replay any information they might have missed.

The Delegator Style

The Delegator style of teaching is a slightly more open-ended form of learning, and relies on peer-to-peer teaching between students to facilitate learning. The benefits of this teaching method is that students get to participate in what we call ‘active learning’, where the teacher or professor will observe rather than lead the class, allowing students to both self-teach while asking questions or asking for guidance. Best suited to small classes – so that the teacher can give everyone equal time and observation – delegation-style teaching is a modern teaching method, but one which can be incredibly useful when cultivating independent-minded and collaborative students.

The Facilitator Style

The Facilitator style of teaching is another more modern form of learning, and centres around teachers demanding that their students pose questions when looking for answers, rather than simply having the answer given to them. This helps students become more self-sufficient and adept at problem-solving, while also increasing their curiosity and their ability to roadmap their way out of complex problems.

On the downside, while the facilitator style of teaching does promote independent learning, it can’t be used to replace or substitute real theory teaching, which requires a mix of authority-style teaching and facilitating. It’s also best used in smaller classrooms in order to be time-effective.

The Demonstrator Style

Best used in practical disciplines but equally useful when teaching theoretical subjects, the Demonstrator style of teaching is similar to authority-style teaching, whereby the majority of time spent in the classroom is dedicated to the teacher or professor holding the attention of their class at the front of the room. However, unlike authority teaching where the teacher lectures the class on the subject, demonstrator-style teachers will instead use their classroom time to either demonstrate practical tasks, give presentations, or conduct class activities.

While this method does blend several teaching formats at once, it’s not always the best option when it comes to accommodating all students’ needs; some students might prefer lecture-style teaching for more complex subjects, while methods like the facilitator style or the delegator style are helpful for those who need a bit more support when it comes to understanding the subject or tasks at hand.

The Hybrid

Of the 5 teaching style examples we’re going over in this article, the Hybrid method is perhaps one of the most effective across all disciplines. The hybrid method is one of the best teaching methods as it offers flexibility across different subjects; for example, while science is a theoretical discipline and thus requires a lot of reading and learning, practical demonstrations are also necessary to see explained theories in action.

The same goes for humanities subjects like English; while certain forms of literary theory benefit from being taught or explained via authority-style teaching, group sessions and delegator-style observations allows students the time to dissect and analyse material, offering their own independent analysis which is vital when discussing open-ended subjects like literature, religion or politics. And when it comes to teaching styles UK, the Hybrid method is one of the most popular in higher education, with professors blending theoretical lectures with smaller, group-focused activities and tasks.

What’s The Best Teaching Style for Online Learning?

When it comes to the best teaching style for online courses and learning, it’s not just about your chosen subject, but also overcoming the natural limitations imposed by being in a digital space as opposed to a classroom. In general, authority-style teaching and demonstrator-style teaching methods work best for online courses, but you can also blend these to accommodate different students’ needs. You can also use digital tools like livestreaming and Q&A sessions to offer your students a more well-rounded, comprehensive learning experience – without limiting yourself to a single teaching style.

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