Your Ultimate Guide to Primary School Teaching Methodologies
Is it a good idea to employ project-based learning? Or how about an inquiry-based approach? Alternatively, you might brush up on your Montessori knowledge. As teachers, we strive to provide the greatest possible education for our pupils. But which teaching approach should you choose from the large range of options?
There are many different teaching strategies you may employ with elementary school kids, and some are clearly superior than others. There is no such thing as flawless teaching, so learning about several approaches is like having a few cards up your sleeve. You may modify and experiment with your teaching approach to address every student and their individual requirements if you have a fundamental understanding of each method.
Are you interested in learning more about some of the most effective teaching methods? Check out our list and analysis below to see which approaches are backed up by research:
Methods of Instruction
1. The focus is on the teacher.
The teacher-centered technique, which is often considered of as one of the most conventional teaching methods, focuses all attention on the instructor. Teachers supervise and direct all activities in the classroom. In this method, pupils are usually seated at individual desks facing the teacher. While group work is sometimes done, the majority of the time in the classroom is spent with the teacher discussing ideas and giving solo tasks. Because this teaching style is perceived to favour passive pupils, the teacher-centered methodology has recently fallen out of favour. Teachers would prefer that their pupils take an active role in the learning process. This is not something that the teacher-centered approach intentionally aims to help with. Controlling student conduct, on the other hand, is a top focus. One advantage is that in this setting, behavioural issues are usually straightforward to manage. Another benefit is that because the instructor controls everything that happens in the classroom, it is unusual for a student to miss a topic.
Despite its benefits, the teacher-centered method has a number of drawbacks. Most significantly, children are excluded from the social benefits of other techniques. Furthermore, children are not given the opportunity to decide and participate in their own education. Collaboration, critical thinking, debate, and other life skills are more difficult to develop in a teacher-centered classroom . .
2. Constructivist/Student-Centered Approach
Many of the teaching approaches and practises on this list are regarded as constructivist or student-centered. In basic terms, it shifts the attention away from the teacher and onto the pupils. Children can sit in small groups, visit areas, and roam about the classroom freely using this method. Children take a more active role in their education, and they may even assist select the things they study.
In student-centered classrooms, instructors must lay a lot of foundation to avoid behaviour problems. Among most cases, it entails fostering a feeling of accountability in pupils. Students must also learn how to motivate themselves from inside. These characteristics of responsibility and intrinsic drive create self-confidence and instil a lifelong love of learning in pupils, while being difficult to attain at times.
Teachers may find it challenging to grasp or perfect the student-centered approach. When the method is used correctly, however, the effects and outcomes may be quite good.
3. Project-based education
Project-based learning is a teaching style that falls under the student-centered approach. It is a relatively new teaching method. Students execute projects in project-based learning, as the term implies. These are, nevertheless, large, complex projects in which students learn information, do research, assess, analyse, make judgments, cooperate, and more. A key tenet of the initiative is that students have a say in what they do.
Typically, projects are developed in answer to an open-ended inquiry, such as “How can our school become more environmentally friendly?” or “How was our city planned in the past and how may it be planned in the future?” Another crucial aspect of the initiatives is that they are based on real-world issues. The initiatives should not only be educational, but also have a social influence. Students might, for example, create a radio programme that the entire school can listen to. They might also submit a letter to the local council and attend a meeting to voice their concerns.
All of the learning takes place under the supervision of the teacher. A teacher may give scaffolding and smaller bite-sized tasks in between projects to assist students develop abilities such as how to research, how to solve division problems, how to write a letter, and so on. Project-based learning is a highly effective teaching technique since it teaches numerous skills that will be needed after graduation.
4. Montessori education
This sort of instruction is based on a methodology that dates back over a century. Nonetheless, it continues to provide a unique approach to establishing a student-centered classroom. Maria Montessori was an early 1900s Italian paediatrician who worked with underprivileged children. Her approaches were created via thorough observation of the youngsters in her care.
Montessori is now widely used in preschools, kindergartens, and lower primary schools. In this technique, the teacher creates an ideal classroom atmosphere with a variety of activities from which the students can choose to work. The teacher assists the students in selecting an appropriate amount of lessons from each academic area.
The approach also promotes the use of “materials,” or specially developed learning things. There are trays with various sorts of triangles or cards, as well as definitions detailing the components of a bird. Children frequently work alone and have a say in what they work on and where they work in the classroom. At the primary level, however, group work is also frequent. The Montessori approach also includes parts of the curriculum that teach social skills as well as practical living skills like cooking and housekeeping.
The Montessori approach aims to create in pupils a strong feeling of intrinsic drive as well as a strong sense of responsibility.
5. Inquiry-based education
What if learning was based on questions? Inquiry-based learning is all about doing just that. The instructor uses this method to help pupils develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. The instructor assists students in thinking through their processes, teaches them viable ways, and encourages them to attempt different techniques in order to develop these abilities. Students are encouraged to fail as part of the learning process so that they can improve their performance in following activities.
Students learn to seek their own answers to questions rather than repeating responses they have been taught. As a result, pupils have good research abilities. Children also learn how to pick which questions to answer and which ones to ask.
This method is also student-centered because it necessitates active engagement from pupils. Although the instructor instructs and directs the pupils, they also assist in the selection of study topics.
6. Classroom that is flipped
Homework is extremely deliberate in this intriguing method to learning. Instead of providing “additional” practise, homework serves as a warm-up for the following lesson. Students can view a video or listen to a lecture about the topic and ideas that will be discussed in the following class using this method. In other words, Bloom’s Taxonomy’s lower levels of thinking, such as remembering and comprehending, are consigned to homework. Then, in the classroom, students engage on higher-order thinking skills including analysing, evaluating, and inventing. Students should spend more time in class focused on these higher levels of thinking and learning, according to the theory. As a result, the teacher will be able to better guide this exercise.
The abbreviation for the FLIPped classroom is FLIP. Flexible environment, Learning culture shift, Intentional content, and Professional educator are the four pillars that make up this style of learning. As you can see, the second pillar relates to a transition in culture from a conventional approach in which students are more passive to one in which they are active participants. As a result, this type of instruction is also student-centered.
7. Collaborative Education
Cooperative learning, as the name implies, entails a lot of group effort. However, in order for learning to be as successful as possible, the instructor must provide a lot of structure and intervention. “Think-pair-share” is one of the most frequent cooperative learning techniques. Small group or couple discussions, as well as a “jigsaw” method, can be beneficial. Students are divided into small groups and read or study from a certain perspective in the jigsaw approach. Then, one person from each of the groups forms a new group, which they contribute their knowledge to.
Cooperative learning is based on the idea that social interactions might help students learn more effectively. Furthermore, the method simulates real-world work scenarios that demand teamwork and cooperation. This student-centered approach has been shown to be an effective teaching technique.
8. Personalized Learning
Personalized education takes the student-centered approach to a new level by catering to each learner’s particular requirements, skills, and limitations to the greatest extent feasible. Learning is personalised to the learner through individualised training. This may be observed in one-on-one tutoring or high-tech, responsive learning apps like Happy Numbers in today’s society.
Personalized education is a very effective method of learning that may provide exceptional results. The Montessori method is one example of this approach, which aims to enable each student to pursue their own interests and progress at their own pace. Many other high-tech programmes, on the other hand, may be able to accomplish this level of learning. Finally, for a balanced combination of social and customised learning, a personalised education method may include cooperative learning.
9. Learning in a High-Tech Environment
In the previous several decades, technological advancements have driven the education industry forward. The high-tech approach to learning, as the name implies, employs many forms of technology to assist students in their classroom learning. Many teachers utilise computers and iPads in the classroom, while others may offer homework through the internet. In a classroom context, the internet is extremely useful since it gives limitless resources. Teachers may also utilise the internet to link their pupils with students all around the world.
10. Learning with a Low-Tech Approach
While technology has definitely revolutionised education, many instructors choose to teach in a more conventional, low-tech manner. Some learning styles necessitate the educator’s personal presence and engagement with the learner. Low-tech classrooms have also been proven to improve learning in several studies. Those who take handwritten notes, for example, have greater memory than students who take computer notes. Another disadvantage of using technology in the classroom is that kids who are exposed to spell check and autocorrect functions at a young age may have poorer spelling and writing skills. Finally, customising the learning experience to different types of learners is critical, and students may benefit from a low-tech approach in some cases.
Here are a few instances of low technology use in various teaching methods:
When it comes to learning, kinesthetic learners require movement. Teachers should enable pupils to walk around and communicate through gestures and their hands.
Expeditionary learning entails “doing as you learn” and engaging in a hands-on experience. Instead of learning through the virtual world, students can participate in fieldwork, learning excursions, projects, or case studies to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to the actual world.
Many forms of occupational or practical training, such as laboratory experiments or carpentry, cannot be learned electronically.
What is the most effective teaching method?
There is no such thing as a “best” teaching approach. Some approaches, on the other hand, are more effective than others. Many studies now believe that incorporating more student-centered learning strategies into the classroom will help students learn more effectively. Students are missing out on numerous skills and learning opportunities when just a teacher-centered approach is used. However, for some specific topics and learning objectives, there may still be room for teacher-centered learning. Teacher-centered learning, on the other hand, should not be your primary method.
In the end, each instructor must select a teaching style that is compatible with their personality. An excellent teacher is one who is enthusiastic about their work and confident in their abilities! So, if any of the teaching approaches on this list piqued your interest, why not learn more about them? You could come upon a fresh approach that engages your pupils and enhances their learning as well as your own teaching experience!
1] J. C. Sanders, “Teaching methods,” Anaesthesia, 2001. https://teach.com/what/teachers-know/teaching-methods/ (accessed Sep. 18, 2021).
 “List Of Teaching Methodologies Primary School – Math Blog for Differentiation.” https://happynumbers.com/blog/list-of-teaching-methodologies-primary-school/ (accessed Sep. 18, 2021).
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