The key difference between teaching methods and teaching aids is that the teaching methods are techniques, strategies, and methodologies used by teachers to convey the subject matter to the students, while teaching aids are tools or instructional materials used by teachers to increase the comprehensibility of the lesson.
Both teaching methods and teaching aids are equally useful in teaching. Although there is a distinctive difference between teaching methods and teaching aids, it’s important to always maintain a connection between them as well.
What are Teaching Methods?
Teaching methods are strategies, approaches, and principles used by teachers to facilitate student learning. The use of teaching methods mainly depends on the level of the student and the subject matter. There are four categories of teaching methods.
Categories of Teaching Methods
- Teacher-centered method – the conventional lecture method where the teacher is active and students are passive listeners
- Learner-centered method – a modern method where students interact with one another and improve their skills, critical thinking capability, problem-solving ability, and independence
- Content-focused method – a method where both the teacher and the learners are limited to the content that is being taught
- Interactive method – a teaching method based on situational analysis
These four major categories can be separated into various sub-categories as well. Yet, it has been identified that among many varieties of teaching methods, still the most common methods of teaching are lecturing, testing, narration, and exercises. Along with these, teaching methods such as explanation and demonstration are considered inactive methods. Other than the traditional approaches mentioned above, modern teachers use different kinds of new techniques like case studies, class projects, discussions, debates, and exhibitions as innovative methods of teaching. These modern student-centered methods have proven to be more effective than the teacher-centered older methods. Furthermore, most of the principles behind teaching methods are based on theories of psychologists like Skinner, Vygotsky, Bloom, and Piaget.
What are Teaching Aids?
Teaching aids are tools used by teachers to support students in their learning process. Such tools and materials make the teaching-learning process more interesting. There are various types of teaching aids, such as visual aids, audio aids, audio-visual aids, projected aids, and non-projected aids. Out of the teaching materials that belong to these categories, the most common ones are pictures, charts, flashcards, and videos. The main objectives of using teaching aids are to provide clarity and reinforcement on the subject matter, get rid of boredom, prevent students from cramming the lessons, and promote faster learning.
A good teaching aid should be clear, accurate, purposeful, simple, portable, up-to-date, and should match the level of the students. If used correctly, the effects of teaching aids have a great positive impact on students.
What is the Difference Between Teaching Methods and Teaching Aids?
Teaching methods are the manner of instruction, while teaching aids are materials and tools teachers use to make further reinforcement in the lesson and to make it more interesting. Thus, this is the key difference between teaching methods and teaching aids. Teaching methods are used by teachers as ways to present the content of the subject matter, while teaching aids are used as only aids for further emphasis of the lesson.
Moreover, teaching can be done using the desired teaching method or as a collaboration of all teaching methods without teaching aids. Yet, teaching aids cannot be used without a proper lesson or a teaching method since teaching aids are based on the content of the lesson, skills it focuses on, students’ age group, and the facilities available in the classroom. Teaching aids are used as tools to achieve the learning objectives.
The following infographic summarizes the difference between teaching methods and teaching aids in tabular form.
Summary – Teaching Methods vs Teaching Aids
Teaching methods are the techniques and strategies teachers use to convey the subject content to the students. There are mainly four types of teaching methods: teacher-centered, learner-centered, content-focused, and interactive methods. Teaching aids, on the other hand, depend on teaching methods and mainly on subject content, level of the students, age of the students, and facilities available in the classroom environment. Teaching aids are additional support to both the teacher and the students, which empower the teaching-learning process. A teacher can teach without teaching aids but it would not be effective. At the same time, teaching aids cannot be used without a properly planned lesson. Thus, this is a summary of the difference between teaching methods and teaching aids.
1. “Teaching Methods and Strategies: The Complete Guide.” Education Corner© Online Education, Colleges & K12 Education Guide.
2. Prathoshni, S Manthra, et al. “Effect of Teaching Aids on Student’s Academic Performance in Professional Courses.” 2018.