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While there are many teaching models, some basic ones are direct instruction, lecture, cooperative learning, inquiry-based learning, seminar and project-based learning. Teaching models are methods of teaching or underlying philosophies that guide teaching methods. Effective teachers will integrate different teaching models and methods depending on the students that they are teaching and the needs and learning styles of those students.
One model of teaching is referred to as direct instruction. In direct instruction, the teacher is the person in charge of presenting the lesson objectives and information to students through a lecture or by multimedia presentation. After presenting the material, the teacher will give students guided practice so that they can work with the teacher’s help. Next, the teacher will give students independent practice of lesson objectives, which could be homework or an in-class activity. Finally, the teacher will test the students to see that they have mastered the lesson objectives.
Another teaching method is the lecture, which is often used in college classrooms. In the lecture method, the educator verbally presents information and examples, sometimes along with a visual presentation. There is not necessarily much interaction with students. There also typically is not much emphasis on practice and putting the information to practical use except for when the student has to recite the information on a test.
Cooperative learning is another method that is sometimes used. With this teaching model, the students work in a group setting where each member has a different task or role. All students have to work together to come up with the answer or to create the products or project that is required of them. Often, after all groups have finished, each group will be required to present its findings in front of the other groups and the teacher. This method works well in all subject areas.
Inquiry-based learning is a teaching model that works especially well in mathematics and science classes. In inquiry-based learning, the teacher presents a problem or a puzzle that the students must solve based on the prior information that they have learned. In this method, which can be used with individual students or with students working in groups, learners create a hypothesis using the data they have been given. Then they collect relevant information and draw their conclusions, which they might present to the class. This method of teaching presents learners with authentic and engaging tasks that are highly motivating.
One other method of teaching is referred to as Socratic inquiry, or the seminar method. After students have all read a common text, the teacher then uses questions to get students to analyze, evaluate and synthesize the material as well as their own beliefs and thoughts related to it. Teaching models such as this one are based on higher-level thinking questions, which are used to stimulate student thinking. The teacher does not act as the primary presenter of material, although he or she asks questions and gets students to back up their answers. Students can ask each other clarifying questions as well in the seminar method.
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