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What are Some Different Teaching Methods?

By Bronwyn Harris
Updated May 23, 2024
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As any good teacher knows, all students do not learn in the same way. In addition, it is common for a class of students to be at a variety of levels in any particular subject. Teachers need to use different teaching methods in order to reach all students effectively. A variety of teaching strategies, a knowledge of student levels, and an implementation of which strategies are best for particular students can help teachers to know which teaching methods will be most effective for their class.

The first step to choosing a teaching method is to assess the students. This assessment can be formal or informal. Formal assessments include standardized tests, tests from the textbook or curriculum being used, or teacher-created tests. These assessments can give you an idea of the previous instruction that the students have received as well as their academic level. The students in your class may have undergone various teaching methods and quality of instruction in previous years.

Informal instruction is, as the name suggests, much less formal. Good teachers know their students. If you have been teaching a particular group of students for some time, you probably already know quite a bit about their interests, ability levels, and learning styles. If the group of students is new to you, you can make a point of asking them, individually or in a group, about their interests and academic strengths. Depending on the age of the children, they may also be able to write about this, or answer some form of questionnaire about their hobbies, interests, previous instruction, strengths, and weaknesses. Students generally enjoy talking about themselves and having their teacher get to know them well, as it makes them feel special, as well as directing you in choosing your teaching methods.

Once you have assessed your students, you need to plan for different teaching methods. Direct instruction is the most common form of instruction. This is the lecturing method of teaching. Many teachers use this teaching method almost exclusively, as it is considered the simplest, and you can cover large amounts of material in a short period of time. However, this is not the most effective teaching method to reach all students, especially younger ones, who often need a more engaging, hands-on strategy in order to learn effectively. In addition, it is hard for teachers to tailor instruction to students at different levels.

Inquiry-based learning is a teaching method which is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States. Based on the scientific method, this teaching method can be used for virtually all subjects. Using inquiry-based learning takes a lot of time, energy, and planning, but it is often very effective. Students practice problem solving and critical thinking skills to arrive at a conclusion. This teaching method is extremely student-centered and student-directed, and can be modified for students at any level, reaching them where they are. Teachers will generally need to start by modeling the process to the students.

Cooperative learning is another teaching method that is considered highly effective when done correctly. With cooperative learning, students are put in small groups to work together. They are usually not grouped by ability, but put in a group with children at a variety of levels. The students are then given tasks to accomplish together. Teachers may need to monitor these groups carefully, to make sure they are staying on task and that all students are participating. This form of instruction also lends itself well to differentiation, because the teacher can assign specific tasks to children at different ability levels.

One more common teaching method is to teach information processing strategies. While it is often advisable to have students really understand the teaching methods and not just memorize facts, there are some cases when facts need to be memorized. Facts and concepts may also need to be grouped or organized in order to facilitate better understanding. Teachers can use various teaching methods to help students with memorization, or they can use graphic organizers, mind maps, story webs, or other ways to represent information visually.

There are many, many more teaching methods, but these are the most common. If the teacher finds the best teaching method for a particular group of students, the students are likely to learn more quickly and be more engaged. In addition, using a variety of teaching methods will keep children from being bored, and help them encounter the information in new and exciting ways.

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Discussion Comments
By anon330551 — On Apr 17, 2013

Thank you very much for providing such wonderful materials. In fact, it has made me rich in strategies on how to work with these little ones. Please as you find time provide such things for discussion.

By anon173614 — On May 08, 2011

As a teacher, having the same experience with the others, I know how difficult to be one to assess students' abilities and skills, but we teachers should be good enough to determine their strengths and weaknesses to suit the teaching techniques or methods to be applied on them for their effective and enjoyable way of learning. Teaching actually is not that difficult as others may think. It is up to the teacher to make teaching easy to facilitate an effective teaching-learning process. -- jen76soriano

By mwright54 — On Mar 23, 2011

Try having students read aloud in class, and you decide when they might need to stop and discuss. Have students read with a partner and fill out a handout together. Let small groups of three or four students work on a mini-project together so there is one product between them.

By anon161651 — On Mar 20, 2011

What is a good way of teaching about social justice in terms of engineering to a student taught lesson?

By anon161442 — On Mar 19, 2011

Is there any most effective teaching method nowadays, that is different from the present teaching methods as inductive, deductive, discovery, lecture, discussion, direct method, etc.?

By anon132953 — On Dec 09, 2010

what are the other teaching techniques to kids to make things easy for them?

By anon89366 — On Jun 09, 2010

to be effective in teaching, use the appropriate method/strategy. it depends on the nature of the students.

By anon88329 — On Jun 04, 2010

as teachers, let us remember that there is no known best teaching method, that all depends on the kind of learner we have and the kind of teacher who is willing to take a mile and not just for the sake of money matters.

By anon85449 — On May 20, 2010

can you differentiate among these three methods: summit vs seminar vs convention? how they can be used and how effective are they when utilizing them during teaching.

By anon83634 — On May 11, 2010

I'm a student, from cot. city, philippines. i love to read the flow of teaching-methods found in this page, but, i would like to suggest a brief but specific method that addresses the Multiple Intelligence learners. i know by far, these types of students could make a thing unexpectedly and beyond. as a future mentor, teacher or facilitator what would be the method? why?

By anon68314 — On Mar 02, 2010

how about other teaching methods? i think there are lots more.

By anon64582 — On Feb 08, 2010

can you please post different types of teaching methods in one list, so that it will be helpful for trainers as well as upcoming teachers to learn different types of teaching methods for students as well as for trainees.

By anon59214 — On Jan 07, 2010

how about teaching strategies in social studies?

By anon56988 — On Dec 18, 2009

I appreciate very much the approach you have cited. indeed it would be of big help in dealing with different kinds of children. Yes, it is true, that method of teaching used depends on the kinds of children that we handle.

By anon55982 — On Dec 11, 2009

I am a teacher in Iligan City, Philippines. Methods of teaching must be used depending on the kind of students that we have.

We cannot pattern our teaching with the Westernized countries as ours is different. For example, in teaching elementary children, anywhere in the developed countries, children are taught Apple as an example in teaching the sound of A, but in some areas in the Philippines, it is difficult to give apple as an example for children do not even know what an apple is. What is common in the locality can be given as an example.

Well, I do favor much the Apron Approach especially in telling a story, where in incidents in the story are arranged but are printed by sentence. Then place all the cut sentences in the pocket of the apron, then bring out one sentence at a time in telling the story and the children will be very excited on what sentence will come next or what will happen next in the story.

Also the Language Experience Approach. Children are exposed anywhere in the school. In coming back to the classroom, we ask them about their experiences based on their exposure to some places inside the school.

Now if the topic is focused on nouns, then in coming back to the school, we ask them what they saw in their surroundings. You may start from the things that they saw, places, houses, people until such time that the examples given are nouns.

Let us not make teaching these children, especially the slow learners, a difficult one. It helps to be realistic, you know. --R.G. ROSALES, Iligan City, Philippines

By anon49261 — On Oct 19, 2009

Well, i think there's missing information about the different teaching methods. I'm a teacher and i know there are more important fact about this topic. it has a lack of information.

By mwright54 — On Jun 11, 2009

Comments or techniques for reaching all levels of learners in high school English classes such as low level readers, SPED, average, to high achievers, as well as academically gifted.

For example? Tell me what you have in mind, and be specific, please.

By anon27562 — On Mar 02, 2009

OK this was pretty good, but what about teaching kids 2 use other methods to make things a little easier for them?

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