Teaching V Educating

Written by Dan

Last updated

Welcome, teachers! It’s often said that teaching is an art, but why do we keep forgetting about the science behind it? This blog post explores the difference between teaching and educating – two tasks that are pillars of any successful classroom.

We’ll discuss how to blend the balance between creativity and facts to drive a meaningful learning experience for students.

As you read through this post, initiate a lively conversation with your colleagues and even throw out some funny anecdotal stories from your own experience. Ready? Let’s learn together!

Related: For more, check out our article on Teaching V Training  here.

Teaching V Educating

1. Defining the Difference between Teaching and Educating

What is Teaching?

In its simplest form, teaching is imparting knowledge or instructing someone on how to do something. It’s often associated with a structured environment like a school or university, where a teacher follows a curriculum or syllabus to deliver information to students. Teaching aims to ensure that students understand and remember the facts and concepts presented to them.

What is Educating?

Educating, on the other hand, goes beyond just delivering facts. It involves guiding students to think critically, fostering their curiosity, and helping them develop skills that they can apply in real-world situations. Education is about shaping the whole person, not just filling their minds with information. This includes social, emotional, and moral development.

AspectTeachingEducatingKey Differences
DefinitionTeaching is the act of imparting knowledge or skills to a learner, often in a formal setting like a classroom.Educating is a broader concept that encompasses not only the transfer of knowledge and skills but also the development of critical thinking, values, and understanding.Teaching is a component of educating; the latter is a more holistic approach that extends beyond formal instruction.
FocusSpecific subject matter, curriculum, and academic standards.Holistic development of the individual, including emotional, social, and moral growth.Teaching is subject-focused, while educating considers the overall growth and development of the learner.
MethodsStructured lessons, direct instruction, and standardized assessments.Experiential learning, dialogue, mentorship, and diverse assessment methods.Teaching often follows a structured approach, whereas educating is more flexible and varied in methods.
Role of EducatorInstructor, source of knowledge, and authority in the classroom.Facilitator, mentor, guide, and role model in and out of the classroom.Teachers deliver content, while educators facilitate overall development and learning.
OutcomesMastery of specific content, passing grades, and achievement of learning objectives.Critical thinking, problem-solving skills, ethical reasoning, and lifelong learning habits.Teaching aims for content mastery, while educating aims for the development of independent, thoughtful individuals.
EnvironmentClassroom-centered, controlled, and often teacher-led.Can extend beyond the classroom to include real-world experiences and community involvement.Teaching typically takes place in a classroom, while educating can occur in various environments.
DurationOften limited to school years and structured academic periods.Lifelong process that continues beyond formal education.Teaching is time-bound within educational institutions, while educating is ongoing throughout life.
AssessmentTests, quizzes, homework, and standardized exams.Self-reflection, portfolio assessments, project-based learning, and real-world application.Teaching relies on traditional assessments, while educating uses a broader range of evaluative tools.

This table outlines the distinctions between teaching and educating, focusing on their definitions, primary focuses, methodologies, roles of the educator, intended outcomes, learning environments, durations, and assessment types.

The Intersection of Teaching and Educating

While these two terms may seem distinct, they are deeply interconnected. Effective teaching should also educate. This means that while teachers impart knowledge, they should also strive to inspire thinking, curiosity, and a love for learning in their students.

In this way, teaching becomes more than just a transmission of facts — it becomes a transformative experience that equips students to navigate the world beyond the classroom.

Related: For more, check out our article on Teaching V Facilitating here.

2. The Benefits of Teaching in the Classroom

Structured Learning Environment

A classroom provides a structured learning environment where lessons are carefully planned and delivered according to a set curriculum. This structure helps students understand what is expected of them and provides a clear path for their academic journey.

Immediate Feedback

In a classroom setting, teachers can provide immediate feedback to students. This allows students to correct their mistakes, improve their understanding, and build confidence in their abilities. This real-time interaction is crucial for student development and is difficult to replicate outside the classroom.

Social Interaction

Classrooms foster social interaction and collaboration among students. Through group projects, discussions, and other collaborative activities, students learn to work as a team, respect different perspectives, and develop communication and interpersonal skills.

Access to Resources

Classrooms often have resources like textbooks, technology, and other educational materials that aid the teaching process. These resources can enhance students’ learning experience and make lessons more engaging and effective.

Related: For more, check out our article on Teaching V Counseling here.

3. The Benefits of Educating Outside the Classroom

Real-World Learning

Educating outside the classroom allows students to experience real-world situations. This can include field trips, internships, or community service projects. These experiences provide practical lessons that help students understand the relevance and application of what they learn in school.

Developing Life Skills

Outside the classroom, students have more opportunities to develop essential life skills. These can include problem-solving, decision-making, time management, and adaptability. These skills are valuable not only in academic settings but also in personal and professional life.

Encouraging Independence

Education outside the classroom often requires students to take more initiative and responsibility for their learning. This can foster a sense of independence and self-reliance, preparing students for future challenges.

Enhancing Emotional and Social Development

Interacting with different environments and communities can enhance students’ emotional and social development. They learn empathy, respect for diversity, and social responsibility, which are crucial for their growth.

4. Examining Different Types of Teaching and Education Styles 

Authority Style

The authority style, often associated with traditional teaching methods, involves the teacher taking on a central role, delivering information, and expecting students to absorb it. This style is highly structured, focusing on facts and standardization. While this method can effectively convey information quickly, it may not encourage critical thinking or creativity.

Demonstrator Style

In the demonstrator teaching style, teachers act as role models by demonstrating skills and processes and guiding students to emulate them. This style balances teaching and educating as it shares knowledge and demonstrates how it can be applied.

Facilitator Style

The facilitator style places the teacher in a guiding role, promoting self-learning and helping students develop critical thinking skills. This style is closely related to educational strategies like problem-based learning, where students are presented with challenges that they must solve largely independently.

Delegator Style

The delegator style gives students more freedom and responsibility for their learning. Teachers provide resources and support as needed, but students take charge of their education. This style can foster independence and self-reliance but requires students to be motivated and disciplined.

Hybrid Style

As the name suggests, the hybrid style blends different teaching styles. It allows teachers to tailor their approach based on the subject matter, the student’s individual needs, and the lesson’s specific learning goals. This flexible approach can create a dynamic and engaging learning environment that caters to diverse learners.

Learning Styles

These represent different learning styles that students may prefer or find most compelling. For example, visual-spatial learners grasp information best through visual aids, while bodily-kinesthetic learners benefit from physical activities. Understanding these styles can help teachers adapt their methods to meet the needs of all students.

Remember, no one style is necessarily superior to others. The most effective teachers often use a mix of different teaching styles depending on their student’s needs and the subject matter.

5. Exploring the Value of Technology in Teaching and Educating 

Enhancing Engagement

Technology can make lessons more engaging and interactive. Digital tools such as virtual reality, educational games, and interactive whiteboards can bring concepts to life and make learning fun. Studies have shown that students who find their lessons interesting are more likely to retain information.

Facilitating Personalized Learning

With technology, teachers can easily adapt lessons to fit different learning styles and paces. Educational software can provide personalized learning paths, adaptive exercises, and instant feedback, helping each student learn in the way that suits them best.

Expanding Access to Resources

The internet provides a vast array of resources for teaching and learning, from online textbooks to educational videos to interactive tutorials. This enhances students’ learning experience and allows them to explore topics of interest beyond the curriculum.

Promoting Collaboration

Digital tools like shared documents and online discussion boards can facilitate student collaboration, even when they’re not physically in the same place. These tools can foster teamwork, communication skills, and a sense of community.

Preparing Students for the Future

In our increasingly digital world, technological literacy is a vital skill. By integrating technology into teaching and educating, we can help students become comfortable with digital tools and prepare them for future careers.

However, it’s important to remember that technology should be used to enhance teaching and educating, not replace them. The role of the teacher remains crucial in guiding students’ learning and development.

6. Strategies for Incorporating Both Teaching and Education

Create a Balance

While following a curriculum is essential, it also allows room for exploration and creativity. Please encourage students to ask questions, pursue their interests, and think outside the box. This makes learning more enjoyable and fosters critical thinking and curiosity.

Utilize Active Learning Strategies

Active learning strategies, such as group projects, hands-on activities, and discussion-based lessons, can engage students more profoundly and promote teaching and education. These methods encourage students to participate actively in their learning rather than passively absorbing information.

Foster a Positive Learning Environment

Create an environment where students feel safe to express their ideas, ask questions, and make mistakes. Encourage respect and collaboration among students. A positive learning environment can boost students’ confidence and motivation to learn.

Personalize Your Teaching Approach

Recognize that each student has unique strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Try to tailor your teaching methods to meet the needs of individual students. This might involve differentiating instruction, providing additional support or challenges as needed, or using various teaching methods to cater to different learning styles.

Promote Real-World Application of Knowledge

Help students see the relevance of their learning by connecting lessons to real-world contexts. This could involve practical projects, field trips, guest speakers, or simply discussing how a concept applies to everyday life. This approach makes learning more engaging and helps students understand the value of their education.

Incorporate Technology

Use technology to enhance your teaching and make lessons more engaging and interactive. This could involve using educational software, online resources, digital tools, or social media. However, always ensure that technology serves a clear educational purpose without distracting learning.

Remember, the goal is to teach students facts and concepts and educate them — to inspire curiosity, foster critical thinking, and prepare them for life beyond the classroom.

Teaching and educating are two sides of the same coin, both crucial for effective learning. Classroom teaching offers structure and resources, while education outside the classroom fosters life skills and real-world experiences. Using varied teaching styles and technology further enhances learning by catering to different student needs and making lessons more engaging.

By balancing structured learning with exploration, promoting active learning, creating a positive environment, personalizing teaching approaches, and incorporating technology, we can create an enriching learning experience that cultivates not just knowledge but also curiosity, critical thinking, and a lifelong love for learning.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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