Pedagogical models (traditional and current)

The pedagogical models are the different approaches to teaching that can be carried out by teachers in the classroom. Depending on the model they use, teachers will carry out a series of actions and focus on different parts of the learning process.

Because there are different ways of learning, and because each student is unique, teachers must be armed with different pedagogical models to be able to adapt to different situations.

Pedagogical models (traditional and current)

Even so, pedagogical models always focus on three elements:

  • What is intended to teach
  • How is it intended to teach
  • How it will be measured if learning has been achieved

Traditionally, we talked about three different pedagogical models, but in recent years new teaching avenues have been opened up. In this way, it is intended to achieve greater flexibility when transmitting knowledge to students.


  • 1 Main pedagogical models
    • 1.1 Traditional teaching model
    • 1.2 Behavioral pedagogical model
    • 1.3 Constructivist pedagogical model
    • 1.4 Cognitive pedagogical model
    • 1.5 Social pedagogical model
    • 1.6 Romantic pedagogical model
    • 1.7 Pedagogical model by discovery
  • 2 References

Main pedagogical models

Until relatively recently, most educational institutions used a single pedagogical model, known as a traditional model.

At the same time, they began to develop the theoretical basis of two other teaching models: the behaviorist, and the constructivist.

Later on, other teaching models were created that have become popular over time. Some of the most important are the cognitive, the social and the romantic.

Traditional teaching model

The pedagogical model is known today as a"traditional teaching model", although originally it was called"transmission model". This model understands teaching as a direct transmission of knowledge from the teacher to the student, putting the focus completely on the latter.

Students are seen in the traditional model as passive recipients of knowledge, without needing to play a role in their own learning process. The teacher will have to make an effort to expose what he knows in the clearest way possible, in such a way that the students can understand and memorize it.

The teacher must, therefore, have great communication skills as well as being an expert in their subject. Otherwise, the student will be unable to acquire the necessary knowledge to conclude that learning has been a success.

In addition to this idea, some of the bases of the transmission model are the following:

  • Students must learn by employing the self-discipline , since it is necessary to repeat the knowledge again and again so that they can memorize them. Therefore, the defenders of this model believe that it is useful to forge the character of the students.
  • Innovation and innovation are totally ignored creativity , focusing instead on learning in the memorization of data and ideas.
  • Learning is based almost exclusively on the ear, so it is not very effective for people who learn better through other senses.

Although it has been demonstrated on numerous occasions the scant effectiveness of this teaching model, it is still used predominantly in almost all modern societies.

However, although it is not a valid model for most learning situations, it does have a place at certain times.

For example, when the transmission of pure data or of very complex theories is necessary, the transmission model continues being the most useful to obtain a correct learning.

Behavioral pedagogical model

The behavioral pedagogical model is based above all on the Pavlov's studies Y Skinner , creators of the current of psychology known as behaviorism.

The creators of this branch of thought argued that it is impossible to measure the mental processes of people, and that therefore, it is necessary to focus on observable behaviors.

Based on this idea, the behavioral pedagogical model tries to set a series of learning objectives that can be directly observable and measurable. The students, through the use of reinforcements and different types of stimuli, will have to reach these objectives in a determined time.

In this sense, the behavioral model is much more personalized than the transmission model, since in order to set the learning objectives, the educator has to first evaluate the starting point of each of the students.

The role of the teacher in this model, therefore, consists of the following:

  • Study the previous abilities of the apprentices
  • Teach them the methodology to follow
  • Manage reinforcements when one of the objectives has been reached
  • Check if learning has occurred

East type of learning it occurs, for example, in the practice of sports or in that of a musical instrument. In these areas, the teacher is limited to fixing the objectives to the student, correct the failures that occur, and strengthen him when one of the intermediate goals has been reached.

Some of the basic ideas of the model are the following:

  • The teacher ceases to be an essential figure, and focuses on the student and the learning objectives that must be achieved.
  • The student has to actively participate in their education, as they learn by doing.
  • Emphasis is placed on repetition and practice to master the required learning.
  • Individual teaching is preferred, unlike in the previous model, where a single teacher is responsible for a large number of students.

Constructivist pedagogical model

This pedagogical model, unlike the traditional one, considers that learning can never come from an external source to the student. On the contrary, each apprentice has to"build"his own knowledge (hence the name of the model).

Therefore, the constructivist pedagogical model is opposed to passive learning in which the teacher is the source of all knowledge; and it also differs from the role of the teacher as a source of reinforcement and encouragement.

In this model, the teacher must generate the adequate conditions so that the student can build his learning. Some of the basic ideas of this model are the following:

  • For a teaching process to be effective, what is known as significant learning . The student has to believe that what he is learning can be useful in real life. Therefore, the teacher must adapt the learning objectives according to the characteristics of their students.
  • Because in general there is no single way to solve problems or perform a task, from the constructivist model learning by discovery is encouraged. Teachers do not have to give an answer to each question posed by learning, but must provide students with the necessary tools to discover them for themselves.
  • Learning should occur gradually, so that students always have a challenge, but that is not so big as to demotivate or prevent them from moving forward.
  • The learning is done in most cases by imitating a model. Observing a person who already masters what they want to learn, students are able to retain and later reproduce their behaviors. This process is known as" vicarious learning "

In the constructivist pedagogical model, the focus of attention is placed on learning by competences. The teacher must determine what skills, knowledge and attitudes are necessary for the development of an effective life.

Once the basic skills that the student must learn are determined, the most effective way to acquire them will be sought based on the theory of multiple intelligences.

This theory considers that, instead of existing only one type of general intelligence, each person has more or less ability in seven differentiated areas.

This pedagogical model is based above all on the theories of Vygotsky and Luria, two Russian social psychologists of the first half of the 20th century.

Cognitive pedagogical model

The cognitive model, also known as a developmentalist model, is based on the studies of Psychology of Development by Jean Piaget . It is based on the idea that the human being is going through different phases in his intellectual maturation, in such a way that the learning has to be adapted to the moment and the age of each student.

The role of the teacher, therefore, is to detect in which of the phases of the development each student is, and to propose learning according to it. In this sense, it is also significant learning.

In this pedagogical model, the focus of the learning objectives as such is removed. On the contrary, the important thing is that the student acquires certain ways of thinking and mental structures that make it easier to achieve the learning on their own.

Social pedagogical model

This model is based on the maximum development of the abilities and concerns of the students. In this sense, from the social pedagogical model not only scientific or technical contents are studied, but also the acquisition of values ​​and attitudes that promote a better coexistence in society is promoted.

This approach is characterized by the emphasis that is placed on teamwork, since it is considered that a group will always be able to solve problems greater than an individual on their own.

Again according to the theory of meaningful learning, the teachings have to be applicable in the real world. The teacher, therefore, should be responsible for raising challenges and issues to students, who must solve them by collaborating with each other while improve their social skills .

Romantic pedagogical model

This last model is based on the idea that it is necessary to take into account completely the inner world of the student. The apprentice becomes, therefore, the focus of the learning process, which will take place in a protected and sensitive environment.

The basic idea of ​​this pedagogical model is that the child already has inside everything necessary to become a valid and functional person. The role of the teacher, therefore, is to allow the student to develop freely and find their own answers.

In this sense, the romantic pedagogical model is based on the currents of humanistic psychology and on the idea of ​​non-directivity.

Pedagogical model by discovery

At Learning by discovery , the child has an active role, is not the receiver, but the person who acts in the world to learn. This model is also called heuristic and is opposed to traditional, in which the student is a passive receiver of what the teacher teaches.

Some of its basic principles are:

  • Children have a natural ability to learn, play and participate in the world.
  • An important part of learning is solving problems.
  • Hypotheses are created and tested.
  • The child has an active role in learning.
  • Influences the sociocultural environment, since this will depend on the learning experiences that the child has.


  1. "Teaching models"in: Wikipedia. Retrieved on: January 30, 2018 from Wikipedia:
  2. "The constructivist pedagogical model"in: Participative management. Retrieved into: 30 January 2018 Participatory Management:
  3. "Traditional pedagogical model"in: Pedagogy and didactics. Retrieved on: January 30, 2018 Pedagogy and didactic:
  4. "The social-cognitive pedagogical model"in: Social Constructivism. Retrieved on: 30 January 2018 from social Constructivism:
  5. "Behavioral pedagogical model"in: Pedagogy and didactics. Retrieved on: January 30, 2018 Pedagogy and didactic:

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