Traditional Teaching Methods were Historically Fixed and InflexibleTraditional teaching methods were based on a model similar to the following:
- The teacher delivers instruction, typically through lecture;
- The teacher models the skill, often on a blackboard or overhead projector;
- The student is given practice work, usually in workbooks or on handouts;
- The teacher reviews the student's work and/or tests the group using a pencil and paper test; and
- The teacher provides feedback on the student's performance, usually in the form of a grade for the work and marks on items missed.
Traditional Methods had Advantages and DisadvantagesAdvantages of traditional methods:
- They were uniform and consistent;
- Subjects and skills were taught in a specific order that changed little; and
- Instruction adequately met the needs of about half of students in a classroom.
Disadvantages of traditional methods:
- They were inflexible;
- Students with diverse backgrounds and disabilities often did not respond well to this delivery;
- Subject matter was not upgraded quickly enough to keep students' skills and general knowledge current; and
- Instruction focused on memorization and less on higher level thinking skills.
Advantages of DifferentiationDifferentiated instruction has many advantages over traditional teaching methods:
- They meet the needs of diverse students with a variety of learning styles.
- They accommodate students with learning disabilities and other types of disabilities.
- Students from different cultures such as English language learners.
- Differentiated instruction stimulates creativity and helps students understand ideas at higher levels of thinking than teaching through wrote memorization alone.