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Teaching Methods: Pro and Cons

Dr. Bob Kizlik
ADPRIMAX.COM

I hate splitting hairs, so you should be aware that in my opinion instructional methods and teaching methods mean the same thing. Teaching strategies, for all practical purposes, means the same thing. Regardless of what we call such processes, they are primarily descriptions of the learning objective-oriented activities and flow of information between teachers and students. Although some may argue otherwise, to split hairs over whether such methods are meaningfully different adds nothing to the process of learning to be a teacher. Direct and indirect instruction are two main categories that many educators find useful for classifying teaching methods, but it is, as you will see, a bit more complicated than placing all instruction into two categories. Any instructional method a teacher uses has advantages, disadvantages, and requires some preliminary preparation. Often times, a particular teaching method will naturally flow into another, all within the same lesson, and excellent teachers have developed the skills to make the process seamless to the students. Which instructional method is "right" for a particular lesson depends on many things, and among them are the age and developmental level of the students, what the students already know, and what they need to know to succeed with the lesson, the subject-matter content, the objective of the lesson, the available people, time, space and material resources, and the physical setting. Another, more difficult problem is to select an instructional method that best fits one's particular teaching style and the lesson-situation. There is no one "right" method for teaching a particular lesson, but there are some criteria that pertain to each that can help a teacher make the best decision possible. The following teaching or instructional methods relate to the instruction part of the ADPRIMA Instruction System. The methods are not listed in a preferred sequence, no hierarchy of putative superiority of method is intended, and obviously, not all are appropriate for all grades and subject matter content areas.

 Perhaps I should also confess a bias about learning, regardless of the instructional method employed by the teacher. The bias is that I firmly believe that the most meaningful learning for any student is that which results from the learner constructing his own knowledge and meaning from the subject matter content.  This approach is commonly referred to a constructivism.  There is a wealth of information available on the Internet about constructivism. Just enter it into Bing or Google to see what I mean.

This area has been updated on the ADPRIMA site, and not included here. Please click here to visit the page on instructional methods there.  A new window will open on your browser. There will be two separate pages on ADPRIMA on this topic.

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