Some students respond best to a more structured style while others shine in an atmosphere where they have a little more control. A style that follows the latter example is called The Delegator Teaching Style.
There are actually five recognized teaching methods when it comes to how teachers approach their classrooms. Those five are: Authority, Demonstrator, Facilitator, Delegator, and a Hybrid style. Some teachers, those who may be considered a little more “old school” in nature, may prefer to stick with one specific style as it suits the subjects they teach. Others may opt for a more Hybrid approach, basing their style on the classroom and the adaptation necessary for today’s kids.
THE DELEGATOR TEACHING STYLE
With the Delegator Teaching Style, teachers prefer to structure class and instruction based around student-run projects and presentations. A teacher’s way of teaching will take a backseat as students pretty much teach one another.
The Delegator Teaching Style places most of the classroom control and responsibility on the individual student or groups of students. They will typically set up their classrooms by allowing students the freedom to design and implement a series of complex assignments while more or less acting as a consultant on each project.
As these students are expected to work independently or in groups, they are also expected to remain self-motivated to see these through completion. The more complex an assignment, the more freedom given.
Students who are allowed to work under a Delegator Teaching Style often learn much more than just what the project calls for. Along with their specific projects topics, students also learn the importance of working together in group situations while learning how to deal with interpersonal relationships and roles within the group.
Where you see this teaching style most used are in classes such as chemistry or biology, where lab activities are the main course, or in other classes like creative writing or debate, where students are required to give feedback to help steer their peers in the right direction.
DELEGATOR TEACHING STYLE PROS
As classrooms have shifted over the past couple of years, so have teaching styles. With the never-ending COVID pandemic changing how teachers and students approach teaching and learning, the Delegator teaching style has become more and more popular.
Whether forced to or not, teachers are finding themselves more as an observer in many cases, as classroom study has become an afterthought for many school districts across the country. This will undoubtedly change once classrooms are full again, but the Delegator Teaching Style may remain.
The Delegator Style does have its positives. As teachers allow kids to become more involved with how they learn, it teaches kids teamwork. It teaches kids how to collaborate in a small or large setting which shows kids how to work together with their peers. They all have a set goal, a timeframe in which they need to accomplish this goal, and only a certain amount of direction from the teacher. The rest they learn as they go along.
The benefit of this is that kids will learn to be independent thinkers. They will understand that they, with minimal direction from their teacher, can handle putting together difficult assignments and do it with confidence.
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DELEGATOR TEACHING STYLE CONS
As students evolve, so do teachers. Students crave independence and teachers are more and more giving it to them. This way of teaching is becoming popular, though it’s not without its detractors. One major criticism with a Delegator Teaching Style is that opponents of this claim that the teacher’s authority is being taken away from the classroom. Instead of the authority figure a teacher is supposed to be, say the opposers, they become a consultant, which is not what they were meant to be.
Some parents have even gone so far as accusing teachers who use this style of being “lazy”. They claim the only reason for delegation is so the teacher has to do less work. The burden of teaching the class is shifted from the teacher to the more academically gifted kids in the class. Those kids, in turn, suffer academically since there is no one teaching them.
Additionally, some students simply may not be ready to flourish in this type of environment. Some students are so into their “shell” that dealing with peers on this level is difficult at best. These students can become quite anxious when given this amount of freedom to work.
As far as learners go, many students thrive as auditory learners. Some students, though, learn better by visualization. In Delegator Teaching, a student may have to resort to note-taking as projects present themselves so they can have a study guide to work their way through it.
WHICH TEACHING STYLE IS BEST?
When comparing the different styles of teaching, where does the Delegator Teaching Style fit in? Some feel it is the now and future of teaching while others prefer the old school approach. But in truth, one must not only know their subject but also know the room in which they teach.
The teaching subject plays a huge part in teaching styles. The students in the classroom also play a significant role in how you either steer them from afar or embrace them and walk them through each and every step.
Today’s students are a different breed. They have been hit with obstacle after obstacle these past two years and have had to adjust, as have had teachers, to the new ways of learning. What classrooms will look like in the near future is anyone’s guess. But letting students have a little more say in how they learn is something you may see more and more of. Structure is important, as is independence.