Dornubari Vizor March 25, 2023
Teaching Styles You Need To Know
The craft of teaching has come a long way! Growing out of traditional classrooms, it is making its way to online teaching platforms and learning communities. However, teaching styles are still prevalent and make a difference.
That’s why it is essential for online teachers to be aware of teaching styles.
Teaching styles are set methods for class instruction. These are distinct strategies for how a teacher approaches teaching in a manner that complements the learning needs of all students. Teaching styles directly impact the quality of learning, student engagement, and performance.
Different learning styles (Video, Audio, and Kinesthetic) go hand-in-hand with different teaching styles. The choice of teaching style depends on course goals, requirements, and learning objectives.
Now, there can be various teaching styles. In fact, all teachers have their own teaching style. Although, many teachers aren’t aware of their personal teaching style. Plus, one teacher can have a mix of different teaching styles.
To carve out a clear path, let me quickly talk about the two approaches or categories of teaching styles first.
Teaching styles primarily fall into two buckets, stated as below.
First up, we have an approach that gives the teacher or educator center stage!
The teaching styles that fall into this category are mainly focused on the teacher. It works on direct instruction with the teacher as an authority.
On the other hand, students are just like sponges. They absorb all the knowledge, like water, from the teacher. This might sound a bit conventional but is needed in certain cases. Still, teaching-centered teaching styles have their own pros and cons, and suitable areas of application.
Let me flip the coin to the other side.
Now, we have the student-centered approach. This teacher puts the student in the limelight while the teacher is actively involved in the process. In student-centered teaching styles, the teacher is more of an observer, resource, or like a “guide on the side”.
There’s more. This approach is further divided into two types.
It is focused on social growth and group work. This style emphasizes more on peer-to-peer success and community building.
This style stresses hands-on learning with autonomy given to students. A teacher is present to guide and facilitate.
In 1994, Anthony F. Grasha came up with 5 Teaching Styles! He published a famed paper titled “A Matter of Style” in which he described the five teaching styles.
To date, his work has enabled teachers globally to master the right teaching strategies for desired outcomes. In fact, one can easily deploy these teaching styles in online teaching platforms and virtual classrooms.
By the way, I highly recommend checking out this paper later. Just click right here.
Let us round off the 5 teaching styles by Grasha. It is good to be aware of both sides of the coin. So, I’ll be sharing the pros and cons of each style too.
Quick Tip: While reviewing these teaching methods, see if you can resonate with any style. Make sure to see each style from two perspectives: student and teacher.
Beginning with a basic style of teaching.
A teacher with an expert teaching style has the in-depth knowledge that students need in a certain subject. The teacher focuses on imparting that knowledge to the students while maintaining the expert status. It is a teacher-centered approach.
This teaching style makes it easier for the teacher to prepare lectures. Moreover, this style works great when speaking to a large audience.
Lastly, the in-depth knowledge and expertise of the teacher are important for students.
Honestly, this style of teaching can get a bit boring for students. It results in little to no student participation, knowledge retention, and active learning. That’s not what we want.
I believe the expert teaching style is not suitable for online teaching. With most of the teaching happening virtually, active student participation is a must!
Moreover, the extreme knowledge about the subject can be quite overwhelming for students.
Example: Any course-based learning environment.
Up next, we have the formal authority style. (Honestly, not a big fan of this one)
This teaching style is particularly focused on creating a status through formal authority. Such educators follow a set of well-defined rules. They clearly communicate their goals, expectations, and code of conduct for the students.
Basically, they go with the acceptable, correct, and standard ways to execute things. This style is also referred to as “Lecture style”
I think the best thing about this teaching style is that it offers clarity. That works great for students who appreciate a well-structured and acceptable way of learning. This makes the process easier.
Formal Authority can lead to a learning process that lacks engagement. That does not facilitate active learning.
This can ultimately lead to a lack of creativity as it is based on a very conventional perspective.
Moreover, this teaching style can only work for certain areas of education such as law. Lastly, it can get boring, which is dangerous, especially for online teachers.
Example: Any learning environment where the instructor is highly specialized and authoritative.
This one’s amazing and one of my favorites because it works best for many coaches and mentors.
In this teacher-centered teaching style, teachers make the most use of real-life examples. It can also be a personal example. This propagates a thinking manner and perspective based on their personal experience and beliefs.
Please note that this teaching style is not focused on establishing the teacher as an authority. They just tell students how to approach things according to their methods and follow their directions to attain goals.
For me, it’s mentorship!
This teaching method is very hands-on, which is great. It works on direct observation and learning, resulting in a better learning process. In fact, students can relate to the examples, which makes them feel more connected.
The personal model style is comparatively better for advanced studies and settings where learners are aware of foundational concepts.
In some cases, the teacher/mentor/coach puts forward their approach and beliefs as ideals. This can lead to students feeling less capable if they cannot meet the standards.
Example: fitness and diet classes.
I would say this is the most effective teaching style! Because it nurtures students through their own participation.
This particular student-centered teaching style stands out. It is a student-centered approach that is based on healthy teacher-student interaction. Students ask questions, explore options, and actively interact with the teacher.
The motive is to help students learn how to make informed choices independently and be actively responsible. The teacher is equally and actively involved in the process as well. Teachers guide students, answer questions and facilitate students as they learn through trial and error.
Using this teaching style, teachers can tailor a well-suited learning process for each student. It’s very flexible. Moreover, this style takes a consultative approach. That naturally provides encouragement and support.
It’s a student-centered approach that is powered well by a teacher. Students feel valued and are able to communicate better. They are taught how to be self-sufficient.
Most importantly, it helps students to develop critical thinking skills.
In my view, it’s a tricky one. The teacher has to be extra careful. Students can feel uncomfortable if the process is not well-structured and not affirming.
It is not ideal for settings where a direct approach is required. This teaching style works well for small class groups or higher-level studies.
With this teaching style, it can be a bit hard to measure success in a tangible manner.
Lastly, it can be time-consuming.
Example: Emotional work classes and writing workshops are the best examples of Facilitator style.
Here’s an interesting one.
This teaching style shifts most autonomy to students. Teachers delegate assignments and tasks. Further, students independently work on their own or in small peer groups. That’s why it is sometimes also referred to as the “Group Style” The instructor is available as needed.
Basically, the teacher is a resource and observer in this case. That makes it the most student-centered approach on the list.
Learning is based on peer-to-peer discussions and collaborations. Practically, there is no teacher as an authority.
It helps students to become independent learners. The motive is to make them learn how to be self-sufficient.
This style instills confidence and problem-solving skills in students.
Not all students can manage autonomy. In fact, it can make them feel anxious. Moreover, the teacher is less involved as an informed and authoritative figure.
This style is only suitable for higher-level students. Lastly, student accountability and progress tracking can be affected.
Example: Some Delegator teaching styles examples are coaching, mentorship, and research projects.
To keep you way ahead, I have some additional teaching methods or styles for you. These styles will definitely enable you to level up your teaching game.
This one takes the best of student-centered and teacher-centered approaches. Both students and teachers are equally involved. Student engagement is comparatively high with teachers still as an authority.
It’s the best of both worlds, but many times lacks focus and is slow.
The coaching style is based on instilling motivation as the teacher’s or coach’s primary motive. This style goes way beyond just imparting knowledge to developing a growth mindset for life.
Coaching can be expensive and might lead to conflicting beliefs.
Nurturing teaching style is using unconditional positive regard to create a safe learning environment for the student. The idea is to fulfill basic needs such as safety and comfort to build upon them. This style finds its roots in the Humanist Philosophy and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Going back to our genius of the day, Anthony Grasha. Grasha came up with three factors that all teachers and coaches need to consider when choosing a teaching style.
The 3 factors are:
Online learning communities have taken over the market rightfully. Teachers are now leveraging their expertise and skills in online teaching.
In that case, is it even possible to apply teaching styles?
Absolutely yes! Online teachers can apply teaching styles in online learning communities just like in a physical classroom. But, not all teaching styles will work best in virtual settings. Because online learning has its own requirements. The biggest one is active student participation. Teaching styles such as Facilitator or Hybrid teaching methods stand out as they ensure student engagement.
I would say that teaching-centered styles cannot be applied in online learning communities. Student-centered styles have the lead.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s all about online learning communities now!
However, the quality of online community platforms makes all the difference. A quality community platform like GroupApp will enable you to apply different teaching styles, especially student-centered styles.
GroupApp is designed to leverage a teacher’s expertise, student engagement, and community to make a healthy learning environment.
First, you can use the course builder to create interactive online courses. Next, you can make virtual classrooms with the live event feature. Up next, you can use your community channels to hold engaging discussions.
There’s more. You can track student progress and engagement with advanced analytics. Next, you can a resourceful library for your students. Plus, students can interact and execute peer-to-peer projects.
Lastly, teachers can monetize their expertise through community memberships. That’s the best part for online teachers