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What Is Approach

What are the differences between method and approach? Some examples to illustrate.

The teachers' teaching

While approach refers to the way a teacher considers content while deciding how to teach it, method refers to the way a teacher ultimately decides to teach it (for example, as a lecture, an activity, a discussion, etc.). You can think of approach as a more general term that encompasses planning and consideration and method as the specific way something is taught.

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Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There is a difference between approach and method. An approach is a way of dealing with something or somebody. A method is the process used or the steps taken to deal with an issue or a person.

I am going to use a very current example for people of the Jewish faith. This week, a Jewish holiday begins called Sukkot. One of the requirements of this holiday is to live in the sukkah, which is kind of a temporary structure or dwelling. For some people, this means eating in the sukkah. Some people, in warmer climates, may even sleep in the sukkah. When building a sukkah, there is an approach that must be developed and a method that must be followed.

My approach for building a sukkah is to determine the space where it will be placed. Generally, I want to build it where it will receive some shelter from the wind, which is usually close to our house. Then I need to determine what materials I will need to build it. After I have determined these things, I need to decide where the lights will go and how it will be decorated. I also must be sure I have a proper roof-like covering.

After I have determined all of these things, then I will follow the method of constructing the sukkah. First, I will build the base. After that, I need to build the walls. Once that is done, I will place poles over the top of the sukkah, so I can get the roof constructed. In my case, I will use a bamboo mat as the roof. After that, I will place decorations in the sukkah and decide where the lights should go so we can see at night. This is the method that needs to be followed when building the sukkah.

The approach is when I figure out all the logistics and the materials that are needed. The method of building a sukkah is the steps I follow to actually build it. This very joyous Jewish holiday lasts for seven days.

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I like the answer above that deals with your question in general terms, and I've been hoping a teacher who is more grounded in the term "approach" than I am would answer for you.  It's been two hours, though, and no one has, so here goes.  I think you are asking about these terms as they pertain to education, so that's the direction I will take.

Approach is the way in which you will approach the piece of literature you are teaching.  You may center on the diction, or the theme, or the structure, or the romantic (or modern, etc.) nature of the piece; whatever you choose to teach.  Approach is what you are going to teach.

Method refers to how you are going to teach it:  lecture, small-group work, PowerPoint, worksheet, class discussion, etc. 

In a sense, then, as mentioned above by the previous editor, in education, too, approach is general and method is specific.



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jk659853 | Student

Approach is an axiomatic while Method is procedural. Approach is a set of correlative assumptions while Method is an overall plane. within approach there can be many methods, for example in linguistics behaviorism is an approach, but within behaviorism AUDIO LINGUAL METHOD is an method.

uzma76 | Student

for me also...what i understand that, approach is how we going to tackle our students gaining the knowledge. meanwhile method is how do we teach and what do we use to make our students undarstand the ideas well.

desibeen | Student

approach is a broad view. in an approach several methods may be used. method has a clear pathway , very obvious step passing through which we reach at a definite answer like we use in maths. on the other had approach deal with the subject matter.

krishna-agrawala | Student

I am not sure that the terms method and approach have any formally defined meanings under some specific field of study or profession. I am giving below the difference in meaning of these two terms as used in general.

Method refers to a step by step description of tasks to be performed for preforming a work. Methods for performing different kind of works are  often formally designed and specified. In comparison approach is a general guideline on ways of performing a work. It does not identify all the steps involved. Instead it just indicates the direction to proceed in or ways of handling some major or important tasks.

For example, a teacher may give a detailed step by step method for solving a problem in physics, or just indicate the general approach indicating the theoretical concepts and formulas which need to be applied for solving the problem.