Chalk & Talk: How effective are traditional teaching styles in today’s schools?

Chalk & Talk: How effective are traditional teaching styles in today’s schools?

The demand for skills translates to changes in wages and employment opportunities for individual workers. Therefore, teaching the right skills and use of teaching styles is essential. Although technology may function as a substitute for basic skills, it is important that schools prepare students for the competitiveness of life as a minority.


The traditional old-fashioned style of teaching, also known as conventional education involving recitation and memorisation of information to educate students is considered most effective by teachers in today’s Education System.

This teaching style is teacher-directed, and students are taught in a manner that is conducive to sitting and listening.  At the end of the module a written test or oral examination is completed as an assessment to gauge student’s recollection and ability to reproduce the content studied.

This poses questions like does the traditional style of teaching stop critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills?

Traditional teaching styles


To prepare the future workforce, an Education System that is forward thinking is essential.

Students learn in a dynamic world where information changes and expands as fast as technological innovation. Modern day teaching involves using various new and innovative ideas rather than making students recite the syllabus to clear the examination.

This style of teaching promotes the encouragement of flexibility rather than specialisation. It requires training and retraining of teachers, as well as redesigning the education system and curricula.

Introducing independence in classroom learning develops social and leadership skills, team building, and time management. This style of teaching focuses more on the individual student’s needs rather than assuming all students are at the same level of understanding.

Teachers regularly build collaborative projects into their lesson plans to encourage discussion and reinforce learning. Creating work or presentation as a group gives pupils the opportunity to explore new ideas and make links to the knowledge they already have.

modern method of teaching image

Most learning activities in UK schools are teacher-led, although techniques such as turn to talk and peer teaching are becoming more popular as new research shows the effectiveness of student-led strategies. However, there are variables that may confound the results of the studies when one analyses their findings.

The traditional style ensures the attention of the classroom is solely on the teacher therefore making it easier to manage concentration levels. Moreover, students are rewarded for their efforts.

Even so, both traditional and modern teaching methods are productive and useful in today’s education.

Sarah Wright, for TES believes that , “As with most things, it’s all about balance. We need to understand when a traditional method works best and when it’s right to try new and innovative approaches.”

Recent Research by McKinsey Global Institute which surveyed 18,000 people in 15 countries highlights  a range of specific skills tomorrow’s workers will require. Their research suggests Governments should reform education and adult training systems and start the process of driving future skills requirements.


Future skills requirement cognitive and interpersonal

Skills of the future self leadership and digital

Source: McKinsey & Company 


As the second biggest country in the world, the Canadian government highly prioritises education to the point where it is among the world’s best with a well-funded and strong public education system. The Canadian education system is more focused on holistic education with an integrated learning format that incorporates emotional, social, ethical, and academic needs of students rather than solely grades.

Families and communities are expected to be involved with educating in the community as students with well-rounded experiences are bound to have a better chance of being accepted into the top universities. Research by Ishmael mkhabela suggests there is a strong link between community involvement in schools and better school attendance, as well as the improved academic achievement of students. Research found that collaboration and parent engagement with the academia lead to improved student performance and marks. Thus, the reason as to why the Canadian education system is positioned well above UK education in terms of student performance and receiving a good education.

Canadian Style of Teaching Image

The education system in Canada places responsibility for the curriculum and testing of individuals in accordance with states meaning education systems can vary widely across the country. The focus on literacy and numeracy whilst supporting deeper understanding of problem-solving is the focus in schools across Canada as these are the skills the government believes tomorrow’s workers will require.


Contrastively schooling is inexpensive for Swiss students as the education system relies entirely on public funds from the cantons and local municipalities.

Swiss local authorities make choices in the structure and teaching approach. The most popular teaching method currently is ‘team teaching’ referring to two teachers teaching a class of students. According to research conducted by Mireille Guggenbühler this strategy gives teachers more time with students individually, which gives a better understanding and recollection of lesson content.

Swiss way of learning image

Furthermore, the Swiss believe in creating a learning environment where students can enjoy attending school. The Chur model is a model which allows students to learn whilst having the freedom of choosing from certain tasks and do not necessarily have to do the same thing at the same time. This strategy caters for people that learn in different ways also eliminating the blackboard from being the focal point of lesson practice. In most Swiss schools, students are asked to sit a standardised multiple- check tests in German, English, French, Mathematics, and other subjects by future employers as teachers sometimes lack transparency and clearly identifiable standards that meet the requirements of the professional world in Switzerland. The professional world requires that the test incorporates logic and linguistic skills to look at how students react to a situation objectively and work towards a solution based on the facts at hand.

It is important that students acquire skills that can be carried over later into their professional life. Gubler believes advancements in technology has increased the demand for independent studies, as learning tools used in classrooms are now available on the internet.

Attending school plays an important role in supporting young people with their mental health, as well as providing stability, routine, and consistency to young people.

Is the school curriculum preparing our youth for life after studies?



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