Teaching Styles

The Grasha-Riechmann Teaching-Styles Inventory assesses several styles: Expert, Formal Authority, Personal Model, Facilitator, and Delegator.

Grasha advised on the use of teaching styles, that faculty explore “Who I am as a teacher?” and “What do I want to become?”.

Click on the relevant teaching styles below to see a detailed description of each of them.

Description

Possesses knowledge and expertise that students need. Expert teaching style strives to maintain status as an expert among students by displaying detailed knowledge. The professor as expert attempts to challenge students to enhance their competence. The expert concentrates on transmitting information, and requires that students be prepared to learn and use that information. The expert?s information, knowledge, and skills are the combined advantage of this teaching style. If overused, the display of knowledge may intimidate less experienced students. Also, the display of knowledge and skills may not always reveal their underpinnings.

Advantage

The expert’s information, knowledge, and skills are the combined advantage of this teaching style.

Disadvantage

If overused, the display of knowledge may intimidate less experienced students. Also, the display of knowledge and skills may not always reveal their underpinnings.

Description

Possesses status among students because of knowledge, and role as a faculty member. In this style professors provide positive and negative feedback. The professor establishes learning goalsand expectations and rules of conduct, providing students with a learning structure. Students concentrate on correct, acceptable, and standard methods.

Advantage

The focus is on clear expectations and acceptable methods.

Disadvantage

A strong investment in this style can lead to rigid, standardized, and less flexible ways of managing students and their concerns.

Description

Believes in teaching by personal example. This professor establishes a prototype for thinking and behaviour, then oversees, guides, and directs by showing how to do things. A Personal Model teacher also encourages students to observe, and then emulate the instructor’s approach.

Advantage

An emphasis on direct observation and emulation of a role model.

Disadvantage

Some professors may believe that their approach is the best way, leading some students to feel inadequate if they cannot live up to the expectations and standards of the method they see.

Description

Emphasizes the personal nature of teacher-student interactions. The professor guides and directs students by asking questions, exploring options, and suggesting alternatives. The professor encourages students to develop criteria to make informed choices. The professor concentrates on the overall classroom goal of developing the capacity for independent action, initiative, and responsibility, while providing students with as much support and encouragement as possible.

Advantage

The personal flexibility provided by a professor’s focus on students’ needs and goals. This allows the student to explore options and alternative courses of action.

Disadvantage

Time-consuming.

Description

This professor develops students’ capacity to function in an autonomous fashion. This educator encourages students to work on projects independently or as part of autonomous teams. He or she is available upon request as a resource person.

Advantage

This approach has the advantage of helping students perceive themselves as independent learners.

Disadvantage

It may cause professors to misread student’s readiness for independent work. Some students may become anxious when given autonomy.

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