Typology of Approaches

Teaching and Learning is a term used to describe the teaching and learning processes and outcomes. The two concepts are linked to reinforce the expectation that learning must be the consequence or product of teaching, evident by learners working toward goals set by the teacher. Such goals will integrate new knowledge, skills and behaviours into previously learned experiences.  

There are multiple theories of learning which can broadly be classified into three main approaches: Constructivist, Experiential and Cognitive


Knowledge is constructed from elements of content and experience, which synthesises and integrates with students’ existing/previously acquired knowledge, skills, understanding and beliefs. Learning is seen as knowledge shaped by the accumulation and evolution of thinking, becoming increasingly self-directed. 


Experiential Learning or 'ELT' promotes a holistic and multi-sensory development model, which places experiential learning as central to the processes. ELT defines learning as ‘the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience’. 


Learning accrued through operations of the mind/intellect, through observation, instruction and imitation (behaviours). Cognitive learning can be simplified to the processing of multi-sensory experiences, before then processing, codifying and remembering this new information. 

In art, craft and design, art educators use a hybrid blend of constructivist and cognitive approaches with additional emphasis on experiential learning as a means to manage process learning.

Teachers are increasingly emphasising metacognition to support self-reflection, evaluation and review, as part of assessment for learning and to build independence and resilience

Teaching approaches and strategies are wide ranging and subject to social, cultural and political perspectives, all of which seek to influence how teachers should approach, organise and structure their ‘teaching delivery’.

Many strategies and approaches are systematised, some using stages or acronyms that explain or define processes and sequences.

Pedagogy is a term that defines the study of these theories, methods and practices, additionally taking into consideration the psychological development of learners.

Inevitably, teaching approaches and pedagogy are seen as having a rich history dating from Greek philosophers, through periods of intense human development to the present time.

More recently we are faced with the challenges and potential of multi-faith, multi-cultural and international contexts, rapid industrialisation and scientific developments. In addition, pedagogy has also become more complex and richer as we strive to engage with the development of neuroscience, digitalisation, the ubiquity of the internet and now artificial intelligence. 

cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram