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Teaching Methods

There are many different teaching methods. Finding the teaching method you prefer can be difficult. This article describes several teaching method options. Keep reading for more information on teaching methods.

There are so many possible teaching methods that a single article can only skim the surface. So that’s what we’ll do here: an overview of some of the many possibilities for instructing students.

Teaching with Organizers

One of the ways of clarifying, applying, or organizing knowledge is by means of an organizer. An organizer can be a pre-drawn graphic into which a student writes or draws; a graphic the student creates with its size, shape, parts, and relationships being determined by the topic at hand; or even a software solution, such as Inspiration®, through which students organize their knowledge. A teaching method that uses organizers emphasizes students taking ownership of instructional material.

Teaching with Collaborative Learning and Cooperative Learning Groups

Collaborative learning is a broader term and refers to students working together in any number of ways as they address a problem or complete a project. Cooperative learning is a particular form of collaborative learning that focuses on creating small interdependent groups who achieve results together. Teachers select this teaching method when the subject is particularly apt for it.

Teaching with Whiteboards

Whiteboards are tools that can facilitate a variety of teaching methods. Whiteboards can substitute for chalkboards and be used to display multimedia, like slideshows. But specially made whiteboards can also act as an interactive touch-screen through which you can operate a computer. Whiteboards can be used to instruct students in computer operation, and the whiteboard provides a shared space for learner to interact in various ways. Because whiteboards have so many possibilities, they can fit into a wide variety of teaching methods, from hands-on learning, to cooperative learning, to demonstrations, to multimedia instruction.

Teaching with Games

Some instruction is appropriately carried out through games. Physical education, for example, often involves games that are part of the educative process, allowing students to practice skills in a wider context. Dodgeball is a game that many students have played while practicing their aim, game strategy, and quick movements.

Games are used as a teaching method in other subjects as well. Chess may form a part of a math class. Hang-man may have a role in an English class. Trivia games may be played in social studies or history classes. Each of these games has a learning purpose, and the incorporation of games can, besides other benefits, add to the variety of classroom activities.

Teaching with Journals

Some teaching methods employ journals - either journals that students keep and the teacher checks periodically, or dialogue journals in which the student and teacher carry on a conversation. Journals can focus on a particular subject, for example, a reading journal in which a student reports on and comments on the books that he or she has read. Students who are learning English as a Second Language (ESL) may be asked to use a journal to help keep track of new instances of language they hear or read, as well as questions about language that arise for them. This written record can help both student and teacher know about areas that need to be addressed.

Teaching to Different Learning Styles

Some teaching methods focus on addressing students with different learning styles, whether individually, or simultaneously in a way that uses different modalities at the same time. Examples include a demonstration that is accompanied by a comprehensive explanation and followed by an opportunity for students to try out whatever was being demonstrated. This teaching method could engage the visual learner, the auditory learner, and the kinesthetic learner.

Teaching with Other Teachers

Not only does having a teaching partner model collaboration for students, but having two people, rather than one presenting, responding, motivating, etc., can expand the subject area knowledge that students have access to, as well as the repertoire of teaching methods. A situation that brings together teachers from different disciplines can also provide students with an opportunity to see how the disciplines connect - a change from classes that may often focus on a discrete subject.


Inspiration® Software, Inc. -

Apple Learning Interchange: Teaching Practices -

University of North Carolina at Charlotte: Center for Teaching & Learning: 150 Teaching Methods