What are the 5 approaches to learning?

The five major approaches are Constructivist, Collaborative, Integrative, Reflective and Inquiry Based Learning ( 2C-2I-1R ).

What is Pedagogy?

Pedagogy might sound like a complicated concept, but, put simply, it’s just the method and practice of teaching in general, especially in relation to academic subjects or theoretical concepts. Pedagogy can refer to all levels of teaching, from nursery and primary, all the way up to higher education.

When it comes to the fundamentals of Pedagogy, there are five different approaches to consider. Each of these approaches is usually placed on a spectrum from teacher-focused to learner-focused pedagogy. As the names suggest, teacher-focused pedagogy revolves around teachers, putting them at the centre of the learning process, while learner-focused pedagogy is centred around learners playing an active role in the learning process.

So, what are the 5 pedagogical approaches?


1. The Constructivist Approach

The constructivist approach is based on the concept of constructivism. This is the belief that learners create their own understanding of the world around them, and this understanding is based on experience through their everyday lives as they grow. Using specific experiences, people transform information they’ve accumulated into knowledge and understanding.

This approach is handy for allowing learners to take a more active role in the learning process, as it encourages them to use their previous knowledge as a foundation for understanding new concepts, as opposed to passively receiving information.


2. The Collaborative Approach

The collaborative approach puts a big emphasis on collaborative learning, which is the idea that learners work together to gain a greater understanding of the information they’ve been presented with. The strength of this approach is that learners can capitalise on each other’s understanding of the information, and even their unique skills and resources.

This process allows for learners to create an environment where people can interact with each other by sharing experiences and knowledge. This can be done in a variety of ways, including exchanging ideas and information, and even evaluating or monitoring somebody else’s work.


3. The Reflective Approach

The reflective approach focuses primarily on analysing what the teacher and learners are doing in the classroom. It encourages thinking about teaching practices and figuring out ways to improve them in an attempt to make learning processes more effective for a class of learners. This can be done through processes such as self-evaluation and self-reflection, used as ways to essentially learn more about your own practice, improve a certain practice (like small groups and cooperative learning) or to focus on a problem learners are having.

Some specific forms of assessment that anyone can use in a reflective capacity are diary presentations and journals.


4. The Integrative Approach

The integrative approach differs from the other teaching approaches in the sense that it tries to provide learners with an environment where they can make connections between the current topic they’re learning about and other topics they’ll come across at different stages of the curriculum. This means that it tends to focus on specific connections between different bits of information, rather than facts in isolation.

While this approach is more commonly used in higher education, it can still be quite useful at other stages of education too, as it can help learners gain a broader understanding of the world around them by linking together bits of related information. Studies have shown that this kind of approach can help learners stay engaged on the topics they’re learning about.


5. The Inquiry-Based Approach

The inquiry-based approach is unique in the sense that it encourages learners to engage in exploration, investigation, research and study. It begins with presenting questions, scenarios or problems that require critical thinking to solve, which is vastly different from other approaches where facts are presented in simple manner.

This approach requires more than just simply giving the correct answers to questions and encourages more thoughtful and engaged participation from learners. This makes it incredibly effective when teaching science, as many science topics are more easily learned through an understanding of processes rather than isolated facts.


Hopefully, this answers the question, “what are the 5 pedagogical approaches?”

5 Approaches To Teaching Natural Science And Technology

The South African curriculum emphasises the importance of teaching natural sciences and technology to develop students’ critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and scientific knowledge. 5 approaches to teaching natural science and technology are used to achieve these objectives. Here are some of the common approaches to teaching natural science and technology in the South African curriculum:

In South Africa, the teaching of Natural Science and Technology can be approached using different methodologies and 5 approaches to teaching natural science and technology including the subject-centred, learner-centred, and problem-centred approaches.

  • Learner-Centred Approach: The learner-centred approach shifts the focus from the teacher to the students, considering their interests, abilities, and prior knowledge. The aim is to actively engage students in the learning process, promoting critical thinking and independent learning.
  • Subject-Centred Approach: The subject-centred approach, as one of the 5 approaches to teaching natural science and technology, focuses on the content of Natural Science and Technology. The teacher takes on the role of an expert who imparts knowledge to the students.
  • Problem-Centred Approach: The problem-centred approach focuses on real-world problems or challenges, allowing students to apply their knowledge and skills to find solutions. It encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

It’s important to note that teaching approaches, including the 5 approaches to teaching natural science and technology, may continue to evolve over time, and it’s always best to refer to the most recent curriculum guidelines and recommendations issued by the South African Department of Basic Education to ensure alignment with current educational practices.

Scroll to Top