Teaching styles refer to the varies set of tools that an individual uses in a classroom. It varies from person to person and is not just confined to teaching methods and strategies. Teaching style not only depends on the nature of the teacher but also on the needs of the students. Just as the teaching processes are unique so are learning experiences. The ultimate aim of teaching is to give the students a holistic in-class experience.
This article will help you understand different kinds of teaching styles through which you will be able to define the style that you own.
Firstly, let us divide teaching methods under two broad categories-
- The Teacher-centric approach
- The student-centric approach
The Teacher-Centric Approach
It is often called the authoritative method of teaching where the teacher is the centrality of knowledge. Here the teacher might give lectures or presentations that are usually one way. Such an approach can be successful when dealing with students at the university level who are mature students.
This approach can further be categorized as-
- Traditional Method- As the name suggests, this method is based on old school teaching techniques. The teacher gives lectures according to a course structure and the students learn simply by listening and giving a tests and other exams.
- Flipped Classrooms- Here, the students are supposed to do their readings or watch lectures videos at home and complete activities and exercises in the class. The teacher can send the pre-recorded lectures to the students instead of teaching live during the class hours.
- The teacher is the central focus of the class and hold the authority.
- The children remain focused as the course of teaching is clearly defined.
- The teacher takes entire responsibility of the class which develops in them a feeling of comfort and confidence.
- The course outline is pre-set therefore, the chances of missing out on important concepts is minimized.
- Too much authority can make students feel uncomfortable with their learning process and they might hesitate while asking questions.
- One way teaching can often become boring and disinterest the students.
- The students mostly work alone, therefore the compatibility between classmates can be missing.
- The lectures are pre-planned and the students might be forced to learn concepts that they are not interested in.
The Student-Centric Approach
Although teachers are supposed to have an authoritative approach in a classroom, in this approach students play an active role in the teaching process. This makes education a shared experience and helps develop a friendlier student teacher experience.
This approach can be further categorized as-
- Inquiry-Based Approach- In this approach, the teachers assign the students with various projects and assignments on which the students are supposed to work on their own. Instead of being the only source of knowledge, the teacher instead enables the students to gather knowledge from varied sources on relevant sources. The teacher acts as a mentor while students learn at their own pace.
- Expeditionary approach- This is an interesting approach to develop the interest of the students. This approach gives students an exposure to the real world and practical knowledge. Depending on the nature of the subject, the teachers and arrange field trips for their students. For instance, the students of law can be taken to the courts to understand the workings and the history students to the museums.
- Personalized Learning approach- Considering the fact that every student is different and has varied skill sets and interests, this approach enables them to learn whatever they want at their own pace. The course outlines can be structured to meet the individual needs to students. This is a method that is time consuming and can only be successful on a smaller cohort. Such an approach can be applied towards the students pursuing their masters in a particular field or carrying out research and writing a thesis.
- Play way approach/ Game based learning- Young students love to play games and the amalgamation of games and learning can prove to be really beneficial in the process of teaching. This also helps develops a positive competitive spirit between the students. The teacher can arrange for fun activities and allot the students with stars or badges based on their performance which will develop interest and the feeling to work hard driven by incentives.
- This method interlinks both the teaching and the learning process making a wholesome experience for both teachers and the students.
- The method helps develops a bond between students, develops in them the abilities to work in groups and enhances communication skills.
- The students can freely clarify their doubts and queries because of the two-way method of teaching.
- This method also brings a flexibility in the course, if need be the teachers can work with students to add topics of their interests to the course as well.
- Important topics can at times be missed out due to a student-oriented approach.
- The teacher will have to put in extra efforts in order to make the learning experience better for students.
- Though this methodology is considered good overall it may be difficult for introverted students to feel comfortable.
- Students might feel left out as the teachers need to cater to everyone’s individual needs therefore, it is only successful in smaller classes.
So far you have learned about different teaching methods and approaches with their benefits and drawbacks. Now its up to you to choose the type of teaching that you think will work best for you and your students. You need to mold and combine different strategies together and work with your strengths.
Considering the current situations and assuming you are being interviewed for an online mode of teaching, you can answer this question in the following way-
“I completely understand that these are tough times, and it is not easy for the students either to learn from a distance. I will always put the interests of my students first. I will try my best to not let the virtual classrooms become the learning process. At all times I will consider the mental health situations of my students as I do understand that every household is not conducive.
My main goal as a teacher is imparting knowledge and preparing my students for the outside world. I will work in the direction that students actually study for gaining knowledge and not merely for gaining marks I will try to create curious minds that nurture themselves with knowledge and students that rise to top in their lives.
As a teacher it becomes my duty to widen the horizons for my students. Either offline or online as a teacher I always support my students through ups and downs. My classroom is always open to opinions and different views. I believe in maintain a healthy and positive classroom environment, that will not only help my students grow but will help me improve as well.
Learning is a never-ending process, and I am sure with every class I take I myself will learn many a lot from my students.”
Every individual is unique, and every job comes with its own challenges and expectations. Therefore, it is important to have a complete background knowledge about the place where you are seeking the job and also about the nature of job you are seeking. Your answer should be based and modified as per the situation. Always remember that there are no right or wrong answers in an interview there are just different perspectives and the one who successfully filters their thoughts and ideas are the ones who ace the interview. You should not cram any answer, just focus on you strengths and you will definitely make the difference.