A Teacher-Centered Approach is a traditional teaching style where the focus of learning is dependent on the knowledge and information a teacher can provide to others. This can be done in a classroom setting or in a workspace. However, in recent years schools and teaching environments have begun to shift away from the teacher-centered approach towards a student-centered approach because of the lack of student participation that is in the teacher-centered approach. This article will share a few advantages to the teacher-centered approach that should be considered when utilized in a classroom or workspace.
Here are five distinct advantages to the teacher-centered approach:
- Planning and Goals
- Class Management
- Student’s Independence
- Teacher’s Expertise and Confidence
1) Focus: A Continued Focus On the Topic Being Taught
Being fully in control minimizes a teacher’s concern that students may be missing key material because of distractions.
Those that have been or are currently in a teaching role may have experienced a situation where those they were teaching became distracted by other students, distracted by other topics or discussion, or simply were not getting to teach certain topics on the agenda because of distraction outside of their control.
With the teacher-centered approach, teachers will have a higher chance to control the focus of the students that they are teaching, the discussion happening in the classroom, the timing, and pace of each meeting, and the material being covered because all of those factors will be reliant on the teacher.
The ability to regain the focus of a group of students allows the teacher to guide the lesson towards the subject at hand without unnecessary distractions or sidetracks of discussions. Students will obtain the material that is necessary for the topic because it is being taught by the teacher in that controlled environment.
2) Planning and Goals: a Teacher’s Authority Over the Plans
When a teacher takes full responsibility for educating a group of students, the class benefits from a focused approach to research, planning, and preparation.
The planning of the subject and the steps needed to achieve the planned goals are one of the main steps that will be done when using this teacher-centered approach style. The teacher-centered approach allows for the teacher to have full control of the way the activities and discussions will be structured. Having the responsibility of planning activities and discussions of each class meeting ensures the material is being taught as expected and all information of the content is being taught by the expert.
The ability to plan and make goals for the group of students also prevents errors of unnecessary information that may come from outside sources, which then can allow for time to be effectively used. The students would leave the unit with the goals of the lessons fulfilled, and if planned properly, allows time for the teacher to then answer any questions students may have, revise materials that may need changes, move forward or back from the planned lectures, or conduct assessments that can guide the students and group further towards the class goals.
The advantage of having control of the lesson plans and goals allows for the teacher-centered approach to be utilized in many different learning environments.
3) Class Management: Maintaining Management of the Classroom
Students are quiet as the teacher exercises full control of the classroom and activities.
Commanding the attention of a room is daunting and takes skill all on its own, but utilizing the teacher-centered approach can help those using the method to command the attention and control of the class management. To help maintain control over class discussions and objectives, a teacher can implement instructional methods that promote a focus on the teacher.
Using certain methods like lectures, guided discussions, quizzes and demonstrations allows a teacher to sustain a teacher-centered approach. These forms of instruction lend themselves to having the teacher stand in the front of the classroom while all students work on the same task. Similarly, the choice of physically designing the classroom where the teacher is the primary focus limits student activity that may disrupt that focus.
While using these methods, the teacher would continually be instructing a hopefully engaging lecture and discussion thus resulting in students listening and being engrossed with the information they are receiving. Once the teacher is able to command the attention of the students, the information can be successfully received.
4) Students Independence: Steps Towards Academic Success
Students learn to direct their own learning, ask questions, and complete tasks independently.
Another benefit of a teacher-centered approach to teaching is that students could gain a sense of independence because with this approach students are expected to take their own notes of the information provided, complete each task at hand, and ask questions when they need additional information.
These individual duties during the class will build a student’s desire for academic independence because it will improve their academic success. The students are able to see the structure and process teachers make when instructing on materials which then may be useful for the students in the future.
Once the teacher has done their role of providing an engaging and informative lecture and discussion, students may begin to become more interested in the lessons and the process of learning, thus more knowledgeable with the content the instructor is giving. Students’ independence should lead to greater chances for academic success for the students in the future.
5) Teacher Expertise and Confidence: Showcasing What You Know!
Teachers feel comfortable, confident, and in charge of the classroom activities.
Lastly, the best advantage to having a teacher-centered approach in the classroom is the teacher’s ability to feel confident, comfortable, and in control of the space they are in and the materials they choose to teach.
A way for teachers to gain this confidence can be to think of why the content is important, to begin with. Teachers can reevaluate why the content is a passion to share with others. If students have this realization that the information they are receiving is a passion of their instructor, the class will gain insight and possibly appreciation to what was being taught in the class.
When a teacher is confident in their skills, the lessons tend to be more organized because the teacher is the sole person knowledgeable in the content in that classroom. Confidence allows teachers to plan the lessons in the way that best suits their style of teaching and be able to have a clear understanding of the results expected from the students. The teacher is able to revise and adjust lessons when things do not go as planned, so the structure of the lesson and class will overall always be in control of the teacher.
When a teacher is comfortable in knowing the content, they can handle the questioning, explaining, and providing feedback to students that may have difficulties during the lesson. When a teacher is comfortable in their expertise, any questions regarding the material can be answered or provided because the teacher should be knowledgeable of the material at hand.
When a teacher has confidence in the role they play in the room, the teacher controls the progress of the lessons. The teacher will be able to keep students on task while also providing the tasks needed to meet any objectives made.
Every step can be successful when looking at using the teacher-centered approach, but this can happen only if the teacher is confident in their skills and comfortable with the information that they bring to the classroom.
Final Thoughts – Advantages of the Teacher-Centered Approach
In a teacher-centered approach classroom, success is defined by the level of efficiency that exists in the learning environment. The advantage of focused leadership by the teacher prevents wasted time and more on-task behavior, which can benefit everyone. Having organized planning in the lessons and activities whilst always having a clear goal will keep the class on task and provide a structured goal to guide them towards.
Displaying these skills can give students the independence to take responsibility for the notes and information they are receiving. Students displaying trust and obedience towards the teachers shows that the teacher is being a great example of structure and discipline for the students. With the students observing and replicating the structure of the teacher this could produce better chances at academic success for students.
The advantages of the teachers teaching in a subject or field that they feel confident and comfortable in are the positive impact that it produces from the instruction of the lesson. The advantage in a teacher-centered class is the ends –students who have a leader that has focus, productivity, and time management in a class – that justify the means – teacher-centered direction and instruction of the content.
If you are looking to utilize the teacher-centered approach in your classroom and are unsure how it can be beneficial to your classroom? Think of these advantages and how they can be produced when it is used to share your knowledge with others.