What Is The Authority Teaching Style?

By Rick Gonzales | 2 weeks ago

authority teaching style

Old school. This is the perfect way to describe the authority teaching style. Yes, it is still in use today. Of the five main teaching styles – Authority, Delegator, Facilitator, Demonstrator, and Hybrid style, the Authority style may be the most boring. You could also probably call it the most troublesome of the five as well.

As we all know, teachers have their preferred style in which they teach best. Some love to speak a little and show a lot. This would be the Facilitator style of teaching. You give the students a bit of direction then send them off to learn by trial-and-error.

Some teachers prefer an even more hands-off approach. This is the Delegator style. This type of teacher will allow students to run the classroom. They will be given the freedom to design and implement project strategies while the teacher acts more like a consultant.

The Demonstrator style is pretty much what it sounds like. They still carry an authoritative weight but with that said weight they also prefer to teach their students through demonstrations and presentations. This style closely resembles the one we’ll be discussing at length – the Authority Teaching Style.


The lecturer. The man or woman in charge. This is how it appears when a teacher prefers to use the authority teaching style. It is immediately a one-sided affair between teacher and class.

The Authority Teaching Style will see a teacher stand in front of his or her class and talk. Then they will talk. And again, they will talk. Most class days will consist of your teacher expounding on whatever subject is being covered that particular day. You often see this style employed in higher levels of education, perhaps some middle school teachers may use it, but mainly you will see it used in high school or college.

This old-school way of teaching makes one point perfectly clear. The teacher is the boss and there is no second in command. The class will not have much input on what is being presented. They are to sit back, listen to the lecture, take notes, and memorize facts.

Another thing you will come to realize fairly quickly if your instructor is using the authority teaching style is that boundaries will be very effectively established. An Authoritarian teacher will make these boundaries well known as soon as class begins. Communication is key with this teaching style and a teacher exhibiting this style will explain in full detail their expectations for the classroom. Class rules and how they are managed will be presented and they will be expected to be followed.


From all appearances, classrooms under this rule appear to be stale and slow, and very predictable. Correct on all three counts. But is that a bad thing? Depending on the subject matter (or class in general) this may be the best way to approach the material.

This style is mainly seen in higher education disciplines with large classrooms in auditorium settings. It is a style best utilized when there is a large amount of information that needs to be memorized, like dates, names, and key facts. A subject like History is perfect for this type of teaching style.


As you can imagine, the Authority Teaching Style is not one used as a teaching model for younger children. The fact that the teacher stands in front of the class simply talking and talking would not go over well for the younger ones who need interaction with their leader. Now, this is not to say as a teacher you don’t exhibit some of these teaching traits. Setting rules and establishing boundaries are key to all classrooms, regardless of education level. But young children, even those in middle school, respond much better to a teacher who brings them into the daily lecture.

This style may definitely not work with new or budding teenagers, especially given how today’s teenagers react to authority. A teacher using this style may find themselves dealing with a power struggle of sorts as the rebellious teen may look to defy them.


The Authority Teaching Style can be an effective style of teaching. That is if you are a teacher in higher education. It is many times expected in higher learning circles as these students have matured (hopefully) enough to where they can sit back and listen to lectures while taking copious amounts of notes.

However, with the availability of lectures on YouTube, it’s hard to imagine a reason why doing this in person would be better than simply sitting home and watching someone talk about it online for free. The days when you needed an instructor to convey information are over. The entire sum of human knowledge is online. If you need it simply told to you, you don’t need to pay a lecturer to deliver it.

One of the more preferred styles is more a combination of all and that is the Hybrid Teaching Style. With this, a teacher will use bits and pieces of all styles and tailor it to whatever subject they are teaching. They may use some lectures authority style and sprinkle in some presentations. They may step back a bit and let the classroom take over. They may fully engage the class in discussion to the point where classmates lead the talk.

The Authority Teaching Style has its place, but in the modern world maybe its place is free on YouTube.