Classifying different approaches to learning


I can across an interesting article via fb (via Ebba Ossiannilsson) on ‘Modern trends in education: 50 different approaches to learning‘. Deborah Arnold wrote:


Interesting! Though they would probably benefit from some kind of classification as they’re not all at the same level. Looking forward to seeing your slide that does just that, Gráinne!


So… this post is my attempt to take on the challenge and group the approaches. It seems to me there are three types: those based on the format of the session, those based on pedagogical approaches and those based on niche or specialized approaches to learning, foregrounding a particular principle or vision. Using these categories, the approaches can be grouped as follows.



Social networking

Schools in the Clouds

Learning with technologies

MOOCs and e-learning

Mobile education


Blended learning

Flexible learning

Flipped learning

Classic education

Sharing voices

Talking education

Lesson study

Invisible structures


Pedagogical approach

Problem-based learning

Constructivist learning

Self-directed learning

Constructive struggling

Competency-based education

Expeditionary learning

Personalized education





  • Finnish education
  • International objectives 
  • The Bologna Process
  • Smart capital
  • Free post-secondary education
  • Global view



  • Ground up diversity
  • Navdanya
  • High quality teachers
  • Change agents
  • Common core change
  • Economic empowerment
  • Catalytic role



  • Underground education
  • Social status
  • Start-up education

Work focused


  • Degree qualification
  • Vocational training
  • Readiness testing



  • Herbert Stein’s law
  • Disruptive innovation
  • Open innovation



  • Social support strategy



  • Religious education
  • Moral education
  • Character education

Of course these are not necessarily mutually exclusive for example ‘Religious Education’ could be enacted through a ‘Flipped Classroom’ approach using a ‘Self-Regulated Learning’ pedagogical approach. Would welcome thoughts on this.

3 Responses to “Classifying different approaches to learning”

  1. Liza Groenendijk Says:

    Common terms in my Faculty:

    International education
    Experience-based learning
    Distance education
    Student-centred learning
    Teacher-centred learning
    Face-to-face education
    Continuous Professional Development
    Traditional teaching
    Targeted Open Online Courses (new!)
    Book-based Open Online Courses (new!)
    Tailor-Made Education
    Refresher Education

  2. Gráinne Says:

    Thanks very helpful I was thinking of expanding the lists so will add these

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