What Are Teaching Strategies?

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The definition of a teaching strategy is the principles and methods of teaching. Teaching strategies vary according to the grade level and subject being taught. The most common teaching strategies are: direct instruction, indirect instruction, interactive instruction, independent study and experimental learning. Simply put, a teaching strategy is the way an instructor chooses to convey information and facilitate learning.

Generally, teaching strategies fall into one of two categories: active learning or inclusive teaching. Active learning involves directing students to analyze course material. For example, giving a lecture, assigned readings, group discussions and class activities that involve problem solving are all active learning teaching strategies. Direct instruction, indirect instruction, independent study and interactive instruction are all teaching strategies that are considered to be active learning.

On the other hand, inclusive teaching means instructors vary their teaching strategy according to the learning styles of their students to include all students in the learning process. A teacher may employ a number of active learning methods to teach students; the difference is that active learning involves using one method for all students and inclusive teaching involves using several different active learning strategies simultaneously. Because the goal of inclusive teaching is adapting to learning styles, experimental learning is most often used for inclusive teaching.