Teaching Style Categories



Teachers possess knowledge and expertise that students need. The teacher strives to maintain status as an expert among students by displaying detailed knowledge and by challenging students to enhance their competence. They are concerned with transmitting information and insuring that students are well prepared.


o         Advantage: The information, knowledge, and skills such individuals possess.

o         Disadvantage: If overused, the display of knowledge can be intimidating to less experienced students. May not always show the underlying though processes that produced answers.


Formal Authority

Teachers who have a formal authority teaching style tend to focus on content. This style is generally teacher-centred, where the teacher feels responsible for providing and controlling the flow of the content and the student is expected to receive the content.

One type of statement made by an instructor with this teaching style is “I am the flashlight for my students, I illuminate the content and materials so that my students can see the importance of the material and appreciate the discipline.”

Teachers with this teaching style are not as concerned with building relationships with their students nor is it as important that their students form relationships with other students. This type of teacher doesn't usually require much student participation in class. Sage on the stage model.


o         Advantage: The focus on clear expectations and acceptable ways of doing things.

o         Disadvantages: A strong investment in this style can lead to rigid, standardized, and less flexible ways of managing students and their concerns.


Demonstrator or Personal

Teachers who have a demonstrator or personal model teaching style tend to run teacher-centred classes with an emphasis on demonstration and modeling. This type of teacher acts as a role model by demonstrating skills and processes and then as a coach/guide in helping students develop and apply these skills and knowledge.

A teacher with this type of teaching style might comment: “I show my students how to properly do a task or work through a problem and then I’ll help them master the task or problem solution. It’s important that my students can independently solve similar problems by using and adapting demonstrated methods.”

Instructors with this teaching style are interested in encouraging student participation and adapting their presentation to include various learning styles. Students are expected to take some responsibility for learning what they need to know and for asking for help when they don’t understand something.


o         Advantage: An emphasis on direct observation and following a role model.

    • Disadvantage: Some teachers may believe their approach is the best way leading some students to feel inadequate if they cannot live up to such expectations and standards.




Teachers who have a facilitator model teaching style tend to focus on activities. This teaching style emphasizes student-centered learning and there is much more responsibility placed on the students to take the initiative for meeting the demands of various learning tasks.

This type of teaching style works best for students who are comfortable with independent learning and who can actively participate and collaborate with other students.

Teachers typically design group activities which necessitate active learning, student-to-student collaboration and problem solving. This type of teacher will often try to design learning situations and activities that require student processing and application of course content in creative and original ways.


o         Advantage: The personal flexibility, the focus on students’ needs and goals, and the willingness to explore options and alternative courses of action.

o         Disadvantage: Style is often time consuming and is sometimes employed in a positive and affirming manner.




Teachers who have a delegator teaching style tend to place much control and responsibility for learning on individuals or groups of students.

This type of teacher will often give students a choice designing and implementing their own complex learning projects and will act in a consultative role.

Students are often asked to work independently or in groups and must be able to maintain motivation and focus for complex projects. Students working in this type of setting learn more than just course specific topics as they also must be able to effectively work in group situations and manage various interpersonal roles.


o         Advantage: Helps students to perceive themselves as independent learners.

o         Disadvantage: May misread student's readiness for independent work. Some students may become anxious when given autonomy.