Ministry of Education, Guyana

Advantages & Disadvantages of Classroom Lecture

Classroom teaching methods generate a lot of debate among educators. Some teachers think the traditional lecture method of teaching is the only way, while others claim students need to be more actively involved in the learning process. In a classroom lecture, the teacher will talk about one subject for a set amount of time. Any instructor considering teaching her students using classroom lectures should take time to consider the method's advantages and disadvantages.
Covering Ground Faster
An instructor has a lot of material that she is required to teach and not so much time to cover it. The lecture method allows the teacher to decide what material to teach and ensures that it is explained to students in the way she desires within the allotted time. Other methods of teaching that give more autonomy to the students require more class time. For example, learning material through group research may take a long time depending on how fast students can learn and work. A group lecture, on the other hand, covers the same material in a shorter time since time is only dependent on how long it takes the teacher to explain the concepts she plans to teach.
The Quality of Material
Part of the teacher lecture method is that the teacher is in control of what material the students will learn. Therefore, the teacher could share with the students her own knowledge on things that may not be written in published material. On the other hand, a self-discovery learning method that involves the students researching a specific topic of information on their own cannot ensure that they will discover key information.
Passive Learning
The lecture method involves the teacher doing all the talking with little or no input from the students. This is problematic because the student takes on a passive role, which can hinder learning. Students need be active learners to keep the brain working and integrating new information. The teacher must make sure to involve the students by asking the students questions and encouraging participation so they learn the material.
It is very difficult for a student to sit for a long time and listen to a teacher drone on about a topic. Kids today are used to the television screen changing every half a second and therefore have a difficult time staying focused during a lecture session. Newer learning methods involve hands-on learning, where students can manipulate objects as well as work in groups to learn the lesson's objectives in a stimulating way.
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