Tag Archives: discussion groups

Teaching Methods

There are so many teaching methods and they all have their pros and cons. Whether you are a parent, a teacher you need to be familiar with the different methods. You may come across a student that some of the more well known teaching methods just don’t help. Being familiar with as many teaching methods as possible will enable you to better help your student or child.

Here is just a short list of some teaching methods, their strengths and weaknesses and the preparation needed for each. Please remember that this list is not comprehensive.

Lecturing -

  • Strengths: Present information in a logical and straight forward method, can include stories or experiences that motivate and inspire, gets people thinking and brain storming, and is great for large groups of appropriate age levels.
  • Short comings: Just because someone knows a lot on a subject does not mean they are good at presenting it, audiences can be passive and this teaching method lends itself to the audience just sitting and staring, hard for the teacher to know what the group is assimilating, one way communication.
  • To prepare: Any lecturer needs to make sure that the give a good introduction to get the group involved and excited about the information, the need to be mindful of content as well as time allotted, be prepared with examples, stories and visual aids.

* Note that lecturing can either be completely one way or you can open it up for discussion with the group at different times. It does not just have to be standing and talking at people the whole time.

Brainstorming –

  • Strengths: Creative ideas can flow as people talk and feed off of one anther’s thoughts, encourages group participation and cooperation, draws off of individual experiences and not just facts, gives a group something in common and brings unity in the group. Is a great form of collaborative learning.
  • Short comings: Hard to stay focused and can become easily scattered, need to be controlled and have limits like a time limit, hard to get people to think outside of their own circumstances, classroom management is required to avoid confrontation, contention and criticism among group members.
  • Select appropriate issue for discussion and have ideas prepared in advance that may help a group start brain storming or to help them out of drawing a mental blank.


  • Strengths: Can be entertaining, visually stimulating and help bring new ideas, keeps people’s attention, if chosen correctly can look professional, brings on discussion after it is over. Great for visual learning styles.
  • Short comings: Can become unfocused, some members of group may lose interest and not participate, the video is really only as good as what the discussion after brings out of the group.
  • Preparation: Be sure to have all equipment you need and know how to run the equipment. Have questions prepared beforehand so that you keep direction in the class.

Role Playing –

  • Strengths: Provides drama, allows participants to empathize with whatever role they are playing, hands on problem solving and use of practical skills, can be very fun. Can teach proper social skills by example.
  • Short comings: Many people are too inhibited for role playing or will resist, does not work well in large groups, people may feel embarrassed.
  • Preparation: You have to be very organized for this with clear guidelines and give clear instructions.

No matter what you are teaching there are multiple ways to present most material. Depending on the issue you are teaching or what your subject matter may be you can choose the appropriate teaching method for your situation.