Teachers are the main asset of a country because they are nation builders. Teachers and education systems play a vital role in building an individual’s character, and great teachers have set examples of changing their student’s lives. Therefore, one country should invest more in its educational institutes and teachers to succeed. You can find an endless amount of stories about how appropriate teaching methods and strategies have brought remarkable changes in a student’s life. The art of teaching matters a lot. To be a successful teacher, one should know all the possible teaching methods and strategies and use them correctly because students learn better when their teacher knows which teaching method will engage the students more.
Bertrand Russell has summed up the whole process in his quote as:
‘More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given.’
After reading this blog, you will understand the difference between teaching methods and strategies, different teaching methodologies and strategies, their advantages and disadvantages, and how a teacher should prepare himself before the class lecture.
So let’s get started.
Difference between teaching methods and strategies
Methods and strategies are two different terms, but both are essential to make a class full of students of different caliber and understand the same subject. The method is a process, procedure, or way something is done or implementing a plan. While on the other hand, strategy is the goal, set of actions, or plans to achieve one aim or something. Let me clarify it with an example: strategy is how a teacher makes a whole year’s plan to complete a specific book or syllabus, and the method is how that teacher delivered the lecture or which way the teacher selects to do a task.
And there is a list of teaching methods and strategies acquired by the teachers or instructors that you will read below. The ideal teaching method is the one in which the learning of students occurs the most. Teaching and learning are considered the two sides of a coin, and for completing the teaching side, teachers should consider all the teaching strategies and methods.
Types of teaching methods
The way of teaching is categorized into different types of teaching methods adopted by the teachers, and most of them are mentioned below:
Teacher centered method
It is the method where the teacher is the only expert or an authority figure for the learners or students. They rely on the expert and receive knowledge to achieve positive grades in the end exams or assessments. The lecture method is used in the teacher-centered method, and it requires very little involvement of students or learners during the teaching process. It is also called a closed-ended method if the involvement of learners or students is zero.
In this teaching method, the teachers play a dual role. They act as learners and teachers; they learn new things every day while delivering the lecture. The learner-centered method is beneficial for both teacher and the student. The best way to implement this method is to follow the class’s discussion, inquiry-based, or discovery strategies.
Among different teaching methodologies, the teacher can use the content-focused method when the content, set of information, or skill taught by the teachers or experts cannot be changed or altered. It means the content to be taught is so important or unimpeachable that both the learner and the teacher have to fit in the subject without being critical about the content.
Interactive or participative method
It is the type of learning method that is considered beneficial for both the learners and the teachers. The teacher’s responsibility is to explain the key points or the importance of following the interactive or participating method during class in general so that students may not resist following it. Many strategies are used in this teaching method like writing exercises, think-pair-share, debate, problem-based learning, or situation analysis.
The lecture method
One of the most commonly used formal or semiformal teaching methods is the lecture method. Teachers mostly use this method for a large class. In this method, the teachers pick a topic and explain its basic definitions, facts, events, principles and clarify the whole point of the subject or topic with relevant examples and problems. The students are allowed to take notes and ask questions at the end of a lecture, and the master of the subject has to answer them all. Thus, in this method, a teacher is the main role model for the large class, and it has a strong mastery of that specific subject.
The discussion method
The discussion method can only be followed when the teacher is highly skilled and disciplined. Because in this two-way communication method, students are prepared to listen to their fellow’s point of view and exchange ideas. The role of a teacher is to introduce disciplined group discussion techniques among students and clear the concept of the topic meanwhile. This method is mainly used to utilize the knowledge, experience, and creativity of each student. When the whole discussion ends, the teacher corrects the mistakes and clears the debatable concepts.
The study assignment method
It is one of those teaching methods that promote active learning. In this method, the teacher or an instructor assigns a task to students before the class. It can be a book or research paper reading, project analysis, or any relevant material review. This method enhances the research skill abilities of students, and the discussion part in class makes the teacher and students know different points of view of each other.
The tutorial method
It is a teaching method that can only be used when a teacher or an instructor teaches one student and works directly. This method is also known as online tutoring, and it demands more money and time, unlike other teaching methods. Those who follow such methods know the safety and active participation of both learner and the reader. The tutorial teaching methods are user-friendly. The students can skip or restart the lesson any time, leave the tutorial in between, or get access to it when they feel like learning or motivated. Mostly these are the recorded lectures.
The seminar method
The seminar method is one of the costly teaching methods used by the experts or teachers to guide or educate the students about a certain topic or project. In this method, the instructors make groups of students work on their projects and then ask them to exchange the information or techniques used while completing the project. Highly professional; or competent teachers must arrange a seminar method and then evaluate the study, research paper, or project.
The demonstration method
The demonstration method is the kind of teaching method in which the teacher has to perform something or an operation to make its learner understand deeply and clearly. It can be the functioning of a tool or equipment, teaching troubleshooting, performing a certain job or an operation or anything. This teaching method can only be proposed when the instructor explains the why, how, where, what, and when. If the highly competent teacher will choose the method and rehearse well before teaching, it will save time, and the clarity of operation will help the students perform right. The demonstration teaching method is mostly used in laboratories.
The direct teaching method is commonly used in all institutions as it makes the teacher or an instructor directly communicate with their student within the school or institution premises. This method lessens the communication barrier between students and the teacher. It focuses on the immediate teaching process, and the students are allowed to ask questions or give suggestions in between, with certain time limitations.
Online teaching method
One of the most flexible teaching methods is the online teaching method. The teacher and the learner can offer a flexible timescale, which is unrestricted to time and place. Both can communicate with each other via email or any other digital support. The access to recorded lectures after the online session helps the students to listen to them later and understand better. The advancement of technology has turned learners into online learning in the last few decades.
Online and private tutors have their way of teaching concepts within a certain time limit. Students with jobs mostly use this teaching method to learn during their free time and achieve their desired goals without moving places.
Independent study or practice
Some teachers or an instructor follow the independent study or practice teaching method because this improves the self-learning or self-study abilities of the students. In such methods, teachers mostly assign the same task to each student to practice or study it from home on their own, and then the other day, teachers evaluate the task and solve the students’ queries.
Types of teaching strategies
Before moving to the teaching strategies, I would like to add a quote from Benjamin Franklin, which says:
‘Tell me and I forgot. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’
And this is how the teaching strategies work on students.
The very first strategy to engage all the students of a class is its management. The etiquette of a class is matters, and so does the management of the whole class. If you start listing down the classroom management strategies, the list will go on because it has its own set of techniques and different strategies to keep the class managed. Before moving to the teaching method, the teacher or an instructor should acknowledge the whole class management rules in dos and don’ts.
Develop an atmosphere of learning
The atmosphere of learning matters the most because no matter how well the teacher or an instructor delivers the lecture, it’s futile if the atmosphere does not support that all students are willing to learn or excited to start the new chapter or topic. So, to develop a learning atmosphere, the expert should get the whole class’s attention and inform them of the facts and purpose of reading the lecture. The more they will show interest in learning a subject, the more they will learn.
Teachers should assign certain achievement levels with a reward to keep the whole class motivated to learn and do better. And the reward could be anything like the winning student will display their work in the school assembly or get to read the whole chapter and get candy from their teacher in return. The celebration can be small or big, it doesn’t matter, but the outcomes of celebrating success will make huge positive differences in a student’s life.
This teaching strategy is mostly used by the primary or secondary level student teachers to motivate and build students’ confidence. Teachers who make use of this strategy more often prepare the future winners.
There is no failure. Only feedback. – Robert Allen
The appropriate seating in the classroom that keeps the students comfortable is the utmost teaching strategy. Here the flexible seating of both the teacher and the learner matters. Institutions of all levels should follow many flexible seating ideas. Because if the students are sitting uncomfortably, then they will not be able to focus on the lecture.
It is more of an institution’s duty to take care of students’ sitting comfort and posture because students spend a lot of their day at schools or colleges.
Active learning strategy is one of those strategies that not only help the students but the teachers too. The discussion break between the lecture and asking students to submit the clearest point after the lecture keeps the whole class attentive, and it’s called active learning. Their participation makes the teacher understand which part of the lecture has gotten more attention. Such smart tactics or quick questions in between lectures make the student learn better and faster.
Focus on student’s interests
When teachers focus on a student’s interests, it helps them understand the nature of their students way better, and ultimately, they follow the teaching method that can be more effective. And the constructive feedback on what students have done and what they have not mastered helped them determine how they could improve that mastery. This strategy makes the bond of student and teacher strong and improves the learning environment.
‘There is no failure. Only feedback.
One of the most useful teaching strategies is differentiated instruction. In this strategy, the teacher assigns tasks to each student based on abilities and interests. Doing so the students who are struggling will get the proper support or help, and the students with academic skills or capabilities will be assigned tasks that match their caliber. It ensures the dedicated behavior of teachers after knowing everyone’s learning gaps, and no student remains left behind.
Teachers should focus on personalized learning strategy a bit too much. Students should review their content once learned. Sometimes, students’ queries remain unanswered and make all the students master their studies. Teachers should assign tasks to each individual according to their learning capability and style. This teaching strategy will help students develop reliability, motivation, self-learning, self-advocacy, and self-reflective abilities.
Peer teaching method
The teacher should follow the peer teaching strategy sometimes. It is being said that ‘to teach is to learn twice,’ which is the same case with this strategy. Peer teaching has its advantages and disadvantages, but it is worth pursuing a disciplined class atmosphere as it grows the student’s confidence and enhances communication skills.
“The best answer to the question, ‘what is the most effective teaching method?’ depends on the goal, the student, the content, and the teacher. But the next best answer is, ‘Students teaching other students’.”Wilbert J. MacKeachie
Response to intervention RTI
RTI, or Response to intervention, is one of the general teaching strategies that should be considered from day one of teaching. This strategy is to find out the learning and behavior needs of the students. Teachers should start the intervention process early in each class because the earlier the teacher understands the RTI strategies, the easier it will be to follow a better teaching method.
Experienced teachers agree on the importance of getting students to recap the information learned during the lesson. And when it comes to project-based learning, it is important to educate students about what they need to learn to complete the assigned project. It is also crucial to get them to engage with the content actively. So, to foster their engagement, it is important to promote project-based learning in groups. Teachers should make the groups of students quite carefully and selectively as each student’s learning style and ability vary.
Classroom technology is the best teaching strategy a teacher can use to keep the whole class engaged. This strategy can be used at any level or year of education because students get excited when they have to experience something new for the first time. Video lessons, virtual trips in geography or history class, animations to help kids learn basic skills, and many more adapt to this teaching strategy. Moreover, smart whiteboards, projectors should be used in classrooms.
Blended teaching and learning
In this modern era, teachers should go for a blended teaching strategy. It is a blend of online and offline teaching and uses digital strategies. Some students hesitate to speak up in the class, so blended learning works best for them. They contribute to an online class. Teachers like the blended teaching and learning strategy because it ensures that all voices are heard.
Humor in class
The use of humor should be one of the important teaching strategies, as dry lectures make the students feel bored and tiring and ultimately makes them lose interest. In such cases, a pinch of humor will not harm anyone. But teachers should be smart enough to quickly change the atmosphere of class back to lessons from fun. A comfortable and cozy class environment captures learners’ attention and results in better understanding and active learning.
Interactive teaching enables students to be instructed by actively involving them in their learning process through regular teacher-student interaction, student-student interaction. And taking some time out of the class for inquiry-based questions helps improve students’ life skills like communication and problem-solving. The quality of questions matters a lot, and a teacher should ask the students to inquire with subject-based questions or other appropriate questions. However, the inquiry-based teaching strategy has guided inquiry, structured inquiry, open inquiry, and confirmation inquiry. These all promote the use of long-term memory of both teachers and learners.
It is observed that lessons learned while playing stays long in the student’s mind. This teaching strategy keeps the students more engaged and active in the class. Play and learn techniques should be in each teacher’s teaching method list. Age requirement shouldn’t be the barrier because class Gamification builds and improves the essential skills. A teacher can play any games to teach the basics like mind games, math multiplication games, problem-solving games, language learning games like ESL games, and many more.
Gamification has a future in education, and teachers or instructors should effectively use this strategy.
Convergent and divergent thinking
One of the main teaching strategies that all teachers should be aware of is two thinking methods: convergent thinking methods and divergent thinking methods. Teachers should educate their students about its difference as convergent thinking means there are multiple ways to reach one solution. On the other hand, the divergent teaching method makes the students learn and understand the base concepts to solve the given question or problem.
If the teachers and students know these differences, learning will be easier and better.
One of the essential teaching strategies a teacher or an instructor should follow is problem-based learning. They should prepare a list of problem-based open-ended questions before a class and ask the class to solve them in groups or teams. This technique helps in developing and improving the transferable and teamwork skills of students, respectively.
Students need to be educated about all the things happening around them. Like nowadays, students are very active on social media and get influenced quite easily. It’s the responsibility of the teachers to guide their students and understand what they are consuming from these platforms. Media literacy lets the students critically think and talk about the changes and innovations. Teachers should follow media literacy activities to bring out the creative side of students.
Introducing visualization in class is the most advanced teaching strategy that institutions and teachers can use to make the students understand the textbook content with visuals and the real world. It lets the students experience the world while sitting in their classrooms. But again, it is just another strategy to keep the class engaged. The teacher has to play the main role, Bill Gates has said it too:
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids to work together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”
Teachers should work on cooperative learning strategies in class, once a week at least. There are many ways to follow this strategy, such as solving mathematical puzzles, quick fraction questions, performing science experiments, short drama sketches, group presentations, or frequently asked question-answer sessions among students of the same class. This teaching strategy improves the verbal skills of students.
Just like teaching methods, teachers should be acknowledged properly about the behavior management teaching strategy. Mutual respect of teachers and students is important to keep the class’s productive learning and disciplined environment. Institutions or teachers should reward students based on their behavior during class and overall interaction with their teachers and fellow mates. Teachers should be strict with this strategy because a noisy, disturbed, or undisciplined class cannot promote productive learning.
Undoubtedly, teaching is a challenging job because you have to deliver the same knowledge to students with different mindsets and caliber simultaneously. It gets exhausting sometimes. To keep the teachers motivated and engaged, they should attend professional development seminars and people in the same field. These will keep the teachers updated about the new teaching tools, technologies, methods, and strategies.
How teacher should prepare for a lecture
Even after understanding the teaching strategies and teaching methods, teachers should prepare themselves before delivering a lecture. Just like a student rehearsing before giving a presentation. Because teachers too are presenting themselves and it is their job to keep the attention of the whole class throughout the lecture. So, to make the lecture qualitative, teachers should keep in mind that the lecture should not be too long as it exhausted the students and lost their attention. The whole theme and the purpose of studying certain topics should be explained before teaching, the teachers should use maximum examples or illustrations to make it easy to understand, usages of approaches and fluency of lecture should match with the student’s existing knowledge, so they relate to it and understand more clearly.
Other than considering these points, the teacher should make notes and rehearse the follow of lecture in advance, checklist the important points, keep all the relevant textbooks, tools, or other things prepared which need to be utilized during the lecture, pick the teaching strategy or teaching method that will go with the topic. Meanwhile, the teacher should also ensure that if all the students can see or hear him clearly, he should use the entire why, how, tell, and show techniques to explain the lecture or the assigned topic.
Lastly, class discipline matters a lot, and teachers should already tell the students to write down the question if any crosses their mind during the lecture, and in the last 15 minutes of discussion, they can ask freely one by one. And it is how the discipline of class and the flow of the lecture will not be disturbed. And if all the students have not got their answers due to a shortage of time or any other reason, it’s the teacher’s responsibility first to solve the queries the other day and then teach a new topic. That’s the complete preparation process of a teacher before delivering a qualitative lecture.
Here we summed up the difference between teaching strategies and teaching methods that all teachers should know. Knowing these teaching methodologies and strategies will make the classrooms a more creative and dynamic place for students to get qualitative education; furthermore, if you are a teacher and learning new teaching strategies or methods from this page, then make sure to use them in your classroom.
In this rapidly changing world, teachers should be given proper guidelines to transform the smart, creative, and tech knowledge into their students. And the personality of the teacher should inspire the students to learn from them and be a better addition to this world. The truth is teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions, so educational institutions should invest in providing proper guidelines on types of teaching methods and teaching strategies from time to time to keep their teachers updated to the modern world.
Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.Malcolm X