Teacher-Centered versus Student-Centered Teaching

Preferences and Differences Across Academic Majors


  • Laurie Murphy Saint Joseph's College of Maine
  • Nina B. Eduljee Saint Joseph's College of Maine
  • Karen Croteau Saint Joseph's College of Maine




teaching methods, teacher-centered, student-centered, academic major, college students


This empirical study examined preferences between teacher-centered and student-centered teaching methods and academic major with 507 undergraduate college students. Surveys were administered to the students that assessed their level of agreement with teaching methods utilized in the classroom. The results indicate that across all academic majors, students’ preferences included a mix of teacher-centered and student-centered approaches, some of which include lecture with student interaction, demonstrations and practice, lecture with use of PowerPoint, free flowing classroom discussion, guest speakers, and games in the classroom. The least preferred teaching methods were predominantly teacher-centered and included the use of unscheduled quizzes, lecture with no visuals, lecture with handwritten notes, and watching a long film. Significant differences were obtained for preferred teaching methods between academic majors.