Teaching 21st-century students needs innovative methods proven to work effectively with today’s tech-smart students. Here are seven teaching methods used across the globe that bring in desired academic results in a quicker time when compared to traditional teaching methods. The caveat? They need to be understood and implemented correctly.

This list is beneficial for educators as a starting point to understand what are the top innovative teaching methods being used across the world. By experimenting with different teaching methods, teachers can personalize learning for their students. Let us look at these 7 teaching methods that can be a game changer for any school. 

1) Flipped Classroom 

A modern pedagogy strategy that has gained popularity among educators worldwide, a flipped classroom is a blended learning strategy that directs the students to be self-dependent learners at home and test what they have learned in the classroom with live problem-solving sessions.


a) Students become independent learners

b) Students are better engaged in the classroom

c) Teachers can complete syllabus without being rushed

2) Cooperative Learning

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” A cooperative teaching method is where the teacher groups students and encourages collaborative learning within the groups. Here, the classroom is divided into groups of 3-6 members, where each student has a designated responsibility. Members of the group need to fulfill their respective duties to achieve the objective given to the group. The central ideology of this model is that when students work in groups, peer influence helps to improve attention, involvement, and knowledge acquisition.


a) Develops social interaction and critical life skills

b) Develops higher-level thinking skills

c) Promotes higher engagement and class attendance

d) Fosters interpersonal relationships

3) Problem-Based Learning 

Problem-based learning (PBL) is a method where open-ended problems take centre stage for students to solve. This method enables students to think continuously with motivation and determination until the problem is solved. The student journey for solving the problem requires them to 1) Examine the problem, 2) Explore resources where they can find the solution, 3) Evaluate the ways to solve the problem, 4) Solve the problem, and 5) Report on their findings.


a) Develops critical thinking and decision-making skills

b) Fosters problem-solving abilities

c) Engages students at higher levels

4) Design Thinking

Design thinking is the process of finding meaningful ideas to solve a particular real-world problem that exists in a community or an organisation. It uses a creative, systematic approach to teach problem-solving. When induced into education, it enables students to be innovative and create solutions for others. Here, knowledge is gained only through exploration.


a) Encourages creative thinking

b) Expands the students’ knowledge on a wide range of topics

c) Actively promotes being able to foresee new problems and challenges

5) Competency-Based Learning

Competency-based learning is a method where students progress through learning objectives at their own pace. The main characteristic of this model is that only when a student has mastered a topic are they allowed to continue to the next.


a) Brings in greater flexibility in learning (and achieving)

b) Establishes purpose-driven teaching and learning

c) Uses personalised teaching-learning processes

6) Student-centred approach

The student-centred approach is all about making learning matter to the students. Here students are the ones who plan, implement and evaluate. They get to decide what they learn and how they learn it. The main motive behind this approach is to build leaders within students.


a) Builds leadership within students 

b) Customised learning for students 

c) An approach that is flexible and adaptable 

7) Visual-Based Learning

Visuals help anyone to remember things for a longer period. In school, visual learning can help teachers light up dull subjects that may seem less interesting for students. This teaching method will help keep the students engaged in learning the subjects better with better knowledge retention.

Examples of visual-based learning are the incorporation of mind maps, maps, charts, diagrams, lists, study cards or flashcards as well as the use of audiovisual aids. 


a) Learning is simplified 

b) Longer knowledge retention for students 

c) Learning becomes fun 

Skilled Teachers = Better Implementation

No matter how effective these innovative teaching methods are, teachers first need to be trained well in order to be able to implement them well. Teachers need to be equipped with the proper knowledge and implementation skills.

Enroll your teachers in StarTeacher - a holistic teacher training program that brings proven international teaching methodologies and innovative techniques to your school. Find out how your teachers and school can benefit.