Undoubtedly, learning never stops. We have been learning since the inception of our life and will continue to do so. It is indeed a continuous process. However, the world of education has transformed. We see different teaching pedagogies, styles, and orientations trying to build innovative learning experiences. Educationists are trying their best to revitalize learning and development.
The world is evolving, and students are changing. Different learning environments are demanding different teaching styles. Culture and national norms impact student perceptions. Therefore, teaching is never a one size fits all strategy. There is a need for regular adjustments and feedback-based amendments in teaching styles. Otherwise, it becomes difficult for a teacher to adjust to the classroom dynamics. A study by the University of Pennsylvania showed that 33% of teachers leave their careers within just three years. A significant reason is that they don’t adjust to the modern teaching styles.
Therefore, being updated with the latest teaching pedagogies is crucial for teachers. Moreover, it is essential for everyone. We all learn as well as teach at different stages in our life. It might not be formal, but we are always teaching informally. That is why this article is helpful for you. It discusses five teaching styles that prove effective in various educational settings.
Collaborative Learning Method
More people means more ideas as diverse individuals can brainstorm to produce unique solutions. Previously, students used to study in isolation; it was a one-person show. But now the environment has changed. Teachers need to lead their students by encouraging a culture of collaboration. They must master the various leadership styles in education to promote a culture of inclusivity and cooperation. Collaborative learning methods have become the new norm.
These methods let students work in groups and solve their problems by debating, discussing new ideas, and resolving their queries while interacting in collaborative spaces. It not only helps them understand various scenarios and issues better but enhances their social skills as well.
Every student becomes a part of a larger success group and understands team dynamics in a better way. They learn to cooperate, coordinate, and work in a coalition while resolving conflicts with constructive criticism. Traditional classrooms can never teach them these characteristics.
Visual, Audio, and Kinesthetic (VAK) Learning
Nothing in the world has remained devoid of multimedia. From healthcare to business, everything has absorbed different media cues. Similarly, today’s education system requires high media richness in communication. Therefore, it must incorporate appropriate interactive tools and resources. Educationists introduced VAK learning methods in 1920 for dyslexic children. However, it soon became an industry norm and widely accepted across the world.
VAK methods provide a highly immersive teaching style, enabling teachers to nourish students’ learning across several senses. More senses involved in studying something means better understanding and longer retention. Presentations, informative videos, interactive art, and visits to renowned places help students grasp various concepts.
It also allows learners to choose their preferred mode of learning. Traditional teaching styles don’t expose students to media-rich pedagogies. Therefore, they never realize how they can enhance their learning through these platforms.
Formal and informal learning both have their benefits. You can’t ignore one and focus on the other entirely. Therefore, the best teaching method is one that creates a combination of both. A hybrid of formal and informal teaching styles provides a cohesive learning experience for students. They don’t just stay within the boundaries of a traditional classroom but explore the world.
One of the best ways to incorporate such a teaching style is to provide students with real-life challenges. Teachers can give them challenges in classrooms and let them find answers in the practical world. For instance, students can search for answers to a question on history through a visit to the museum. And so, teachers need to devise lesson plans accordingly to integrate a hybrid teaching style.
Depth of Knowledge
Teaching should never be superficial. It must target knowledge with depth. Teachers should try to develop a comprehensive mental approach in their students. They should ponder over things and try to explore further depths in a subject of interest. For that, teachers need to focus on the depth of knowledge they provide to students and the mental capacity they develop in them.
Norman Webb first put forward this teaching style. He gave four levels for depth of knowledge in students:
Level 1 – Recall and Reproduce
Level 2 – Skill development through knowledge application
Level 3 – Strategic thinking in the short-term
Level 4 – Critical thinking in long-term
These levels represent the intellectual maturity of students. Besides, they are applicable in various educational settings and institutes.
Moreover, teachers should target their students from one level to another and prepare strategic lesson plans and interactive classes. They can initiate depth of knowledge through challenge and problem-based activities, which is the real purpose of education.
Education has evolved at an unprecedented rate. Classrooms have transformed from traditional spaces to virtual online platforms. The entire landscape of teaching is nothing like it was decades ago. The wake of the COVID pandemic has introduced new teaching styles that people never thought of previously.
Times and situations will continue to change, and we need to match pace with innovation and upgrade our education strategies.