Developing Instructional Methods

Developing Instructional Methods

Joey Blackburn, Kristin Stair
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 36
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3420-8.ch008
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Determining which methods of teaching to use is an important step in developing content for your classroom. Teacher-focused methods involve more direct instruction to students and include methods such as lecture, questioning, demonstration, resource people, field trips, and checking for understanding. Learner-focused methods of teaching include more student input and collaboration and include discussion, debate, problem solving approach, contextualized teaching and learning, flipped classes/team-based learning, case study, inquiry-based learning, experiential learning, problem-based learning, project-based learning, cooperative learning, and role playing. Each method of teaching has different strengths and weaknesses and allows teachers to achieve their learning objectives in different ways and increase their variability.
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Deciding how to teach is just as important as deciding what to teach. Instructional methods allow educators to teach content in a variety of ways and engage with distinct types of learners. One instructional method is not necessarily more effective than others, instead, the objectives of the class should guide which methods are selected. For example, if a teacher wants to show students how to do something, using a demonstration allows them to show the actual skill while clarifying steps, addressing safety concerns, and ensuring all students are ready to complete the skill on their own.

The objectives of this chapter are to:

  • Describe the differences between teacher based instructional methods and student based instructional methods

  • Identify primary teacher focused instructional methods including lecture, demonstration, resource people, and field trips

  • Identify student based instructional methods of teaching including discussion, debate, cooperative learning, role playing, inquiry-based learning, experiential learning, case study, project-based learning, flipped classrooms/Team-based learning problem, problem-solving approach, and problem-based learning

  • Define independent instruction and identify methods in which individual instruction can be used.

  • Describe instructional methods which allow teachers to incorporate core content into their agricultural classrooms including contextualized teaching and learning and literacy strategies.


Teacher Focused Versus Student Focused Methods

Instructional methods can be teacher-focused or student-focused and therefore are appropriate in different ways depending on what content is being taught (Borich, 2007). In general, passive methods such as lecture are very teacher focused while methods that allow student input and student collaboration are more student focused.

Table 1.
Continuum of instructional methods
LectureResource PeopleDemonstrationDiscussionCooperative LearningProject Based LearningIndependent Study
Teacher focusedStudent

Key Terms in this Chapter

Experiential Learning: Naturalistic learning that utilizes concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation to enhance student learning and critical thinking skills.

Problem-Based Learning: Learning strategy whereby students to work collaboratively to solve authentic, real-world problems to enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Lecture: A method of teaching where information is conveyed directly from a teacher or expert to a group.

Learning Stations: A teaching method where the teachers and students design stations and students are then allowed to rotate through the stations at their own pace, or choose which stations they participate in.

Discussion: Method that is used to allow students to discuss within a small group to answer specific questions or solve a problem.

Cooperative Learning: Method of teaching that uses small groups to work together toward a common goal which includes face to face interactions, group processing, and accountability for both the individual and the group.

Inquiry-Based Learning: learning is designed to teach through curiosity and student led exploration.

Teacher-Focused Instructional Method: Teaching methods that are primarily focused on providing information from the teacher to the student.

Debate: Method that is used to allow students to research sides of an issue and defend their side to others.

Student-Focused Instructional Method: teaching methods that focused primarily on student interaction or revolving around active student participation.

Questioning: Method of teaching where the teacher asks questions to determine understanding of content.

Instructional Method: Methods and strategies used by teachers to ensure educational objectives are achieved within the educational environment.

Guest Speaker/Resource Person: A speaker that is brought into the classroom to act as an expert and share content knowledge or experiences with students.

Experiential Learning Theory: Developed by Kolb (1984) , ELT is a cyclical process that guides students through concrete experience, reflective observation, active experimentation, and abstract conceptualization.

Contextualized Teaching and Learning: As a method of teaching, it is a purposeful means of incorporating core academic content into the agricultural curriculum utilizing the 7-Element approach.

Problem-solving Approach: Teaching approach commonly applied in agricultural education based on Dewey’s concept of reflective thinking.

Independent Instruction: Method of instruction where students are leading their own learning.

Checking for Understanding: Strategies used to determine if content is mastered or to measure understanding.

Literacy Strategies: Strategies used to develop student literacy through multiple components of listening, writing, speaking, and reading.

Learning Contracts: Written contracts used with independent instruction to help students set goals and determine if their goals are met.

Flipped Classroom: Approach that general utilized modern educational technologies to deliver content so that time in class can be utilized for application of knowledge.

Team-Based Learning: Modified flipped classroom with increased emphasis on accountability by placing students in peer teams and utilizing multiple assessments.

Project-Based Learning: The use of project-based assignments that are intentionally designed to be grounded in relevant content, include social interaction, and include strategies to increase cognitive engagement.

Case Study: Method of teaching that utilizes written scenarios which require the learner to apply knowledge to solve problems or answer questions.

Demonstration: Method of teaching that involves the intentional teaching of steps to complete a task or a skill.

Role Playing: A teaching method which puts students into the role of other people, systems, or processes.

Field Trips: Taking learner off campus to see elements of content in a real-world setting.

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