THINKING: Lecturer or Authoritative Style
The authoritative teaching style follows the traditional teacher-centred approach, often characterised by lecture sessions or one-way presentations. In this approach (also called the “chalk and talk” style), students are expected to pay attention, absorb the information, take notes and ask questions.
SENSING: Demonstrator or Coach Style
Often used in mathematics, science and music, the demonstrator style involves more “showing” rather than “telling” with teachers more likely to support the information with examples or experiments, demonstrations or multimedia presentations.
FEELING: Delegator or Group Style
Well-suited for curriculums that include or emphasise group activities, the delegator style of teaching shifts much of the responsibility for learning onto the students, who are encouraged to work together in projects connected to the lesson themes (think science labs, debates, etc.). In this style, the teacher is an active observer working to guide students in the right direction.
INTUITION: Facilitator or Activity Style
The facilitator/teacher is focussed on promoting self-learning and helping students develop critical learning and thinking skills. A student-centred approach, it involves creating learning plans and classes that require students to explore and discover the course content in creative and original ways.
Grasha’s styles align closely to the four-quadrant model, seamlessly adding the third level to this conceptual model. Bear in mind that it is unlikely that an educator would show enhanced activity in only one of the quadrants and is more likely to use a mixture of styles in teaching. To accommodate this, he added a fifth style.
VERSATILE: Hybrid or Blended Style
The hybrid approach may integrate elements of the styles discussed above, often blending the teacher’s personality and interests with those of the students. While this method is considered inclusive, enabling teachers to tailor their styles to student needs within the subject matter, some educators believe it risks diluting the learning process by placing less emphasis on in-depth study than when following a single, focused approach.
In dismissing these misgivings, Grasha asserts that teachers often use a blend of several teaching styles. Effective teachers are flexible and are able to change their teaching style to suit the circumstances and the students’ learning requirements (Grasha, 1994).
Yet, subsequent research suggests that faculty members in higher education initially adopt a teaching style that reflects either their own learning style or an effective teaching method they experienced during their own education (Hawk & Shah, 2007).This approach results in faculty members who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with incorporating a variety of learning style models into their curricula. This may need to be addressed during educator training or become an established policy in institutions.