Text: Teaching Styles

Just as students have different learning preferences—for visual, auditory, or kinesthetic/tactile modes—instructors have different teaching styles. Students can benefit from having instructors who teach in different ways because it can help them become more versatile as learners and able to work and communicate with a variety of people. Variety can be a challenge for students who prefer to learn in specific settings. However, learning to recognize different teaching styles can help students adjust to them and still be successful. Below are descriptions of some main teaching styles and how they relate to different learning modes: [1]

  • Authority style: Instructors with an authority style of teaching prefer to give lectures while standing in front of class, often doing a combination of talking and writing information on the board. Students are expected to listen and take notes. While the authority style may work for active/reflective students who can take notes to review later, it may be difficult for kinesthetic learners. These students could take advantage of their learning style by drawing study guides in their notes and creating and playing review games when they study with friends.
  • Demonstrator style: Instructors with a demonstrator style of teaching prefer to lecture, also, but they prefer to “show” students what they’re explaining, often by using visual aids such as Powerpoint presentations, handouts, and demos. While this teaching style may appeal to visual learners and auditory learners who can simultaneously hear and visualize the information, this approach may not be as appealing to kinesthetic learners. These students might offer to assist instructors during demonstrations, so they can be more active while learning.
  • Facilitator style: Instructors with a facilitator style rely heavily on class discussion, asking students to participate a lot while they provide prompts and guiding questions. While this learning style is effective for auditory learners, visual students may want to create concept maps in their notes, which they can review later, while kinesthetic/tactile learners may want to write their notes on index cards to use for studying outside of class.
  • Delegator style: Instructors with a delegator approach prefer to structure their classes around student-run projects and presentations—their own teaching takes a backseat to students teaching one another. While this learning style may be beneficial for auditory and kinesthetic learners, visual learners may need to take notes throughout the projects and presentations so that they have study guides they can visualize.
  • Hybrid style: Instructors with a hybrid teaching style use a combination of the learning styles above. For example, during an hourlong class session, they might schedule twenty minutes for a lecture, twenty minutes for class discussion, and twenty minutes for a classactivity. While this teaching style can potentially appeal to all learning styles, some students may have trouble adjusting to the shifts in format or activities. Still, such classes—especially the group activities—provide opportunities for different learning styles: Visual learners might take notes or record everyone’s ideas, auditory learners could facilitate their group’s conversation, and the kinesthetic/tactile learners could be responsible for creating any props or presentations to share the group work with the rest of the class.
    Photo of a group of people sitting in a circle of chairs. Many are leaned back in a casual pose.

    What type of teaching style do you think this instructor has?

  1. "What is Your Teaching Style? 5 Effective Teaching Methods for Your Classroom." Concordia Online Education. 5 Jan 2013. Web. 10 Feb 2016.