Teaching styles Just as students may vary from class to


Just as students may vary from class to class, so are teachers and their teaching style. This paper focuses on the four basic teaching styles which are formal authority, demonstrator or personal model, facilitator and delegator. Which style is more effective' Do you want the students to focus on you or do you want to focus on the students' Which is your style'

Lessons taught using the formal authority teaching style tends to be teacher centered. The most obvious example of this style is when a teacher is lecturing. In the class when the teacher is using the formal authority teaching style, the teacher is in control of the lesson and all of the attention and energy of the student is focused on the teacher. The formal authority teaching style is effective because it is efficient in quickly giving students a large amount of information in very little time. The drawback however, is that this style uses maximum teacher talk time and give little room for student participation and therefore, the students have very little chance to communicate with the teacher and each other causing an unhealthy teacher-student and student-student relationship.

Like the formal authority teaching style, the demonstrator or personal model style is also teacher centered but the distinction is that it promotes student participation. In this style, the students learn through the demonstration and modeling of the teacher or demonstrator, hence the name demonstrator/personal model, which then acts as a coach or guide to assist the students in applying the knowledge into a similar situation. (PennState, Teaching and Learning with Technology, 2004).

Teachers who believe that students learn best through activities will most likely use the facilitator style of teaching. Unlike the formal authority and demonstrator teaching style, the facilitator teaching style focuses on activities which mainly involve group work. In a facilitator style lesson, students are responsible for learning independently and must take the initiative to meet the demands of various tasks (Online Teaching, Have You Got What it Takes, 2001). Facilitator style lessons are usually student centered and students are encouraged to collaborate with one another which increases student to student relationships.

Delegator teaching style lessons are usually student centered. This teaching style places even more responsibility on the students, individual or in a group, as the students are responsible for the designing and implementation of their own projects with little or no participation from the teacher. The teacher's role in a delegator teaching style lesson is to exclusively act as a counselor or consultant which requires the students to maintain focus and motivation independently in hope that the students will learn more than just the task at hand.

From country to country, students from around the world have different ways of learning and absorbing information just as teachers have different ways of teaching or a method that works best for them. Is there any one style that is more effective than the other' The answer is no. To be an effective teacher we must enable ourselves to be flexible. We must learn to adjust our teaching style to the students' learning style. Mismatches often occur between the learning style of the student and the teaching style of the teacher, therefore, causing the students to lose interest, do poorly on a test and become discouraged (Felder & Silverman, 1988). Finding the right teaching style to match all of the students' learning style could be a difficult task. In order to benefit all the students we should use not just one, but a combination of styles to make sure we attend to the all the different types of learning styles in the classroom.