Differences in micro & macro teaching

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Differences in micro & macro teaching
Schoolteachers often use a combination of micro and macro teaching. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

There are different ways that a teacher can impart information to students in a learning environment. The technique she uses will depend on several variable factors, such as the number of students in a particular class and the desired lesson outcomes. Micro and macro teaching are two common teaching techniques that differ in their conception and delivery.

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Microteaching involves instruction from a teacher to small groups of students. It often features the teaching of a single skill or concept, with the smaller group enabling the teacher to give individual attention to each student, helping them master the skill of concept. Micro teaching often features kinetic learning, with students learning from "hands-on" experience, and a more interactive environment with students able to ask questions of the teacher.

Teacher training

Microteaching is often used to help novice and trainee teachers practice and hone their teaching skills. The focus on a single skill or concept allied to the smaller number of students allows for concentration on a specific type teaching delivery. The more confined environment also aids video recording of the teacher's practice and/or monitoring by in-class assessors.


As the name implies, macroteaching takes place on a larger scale than its micro counterpart. Macroteaching involves the instruction of a large group of people at one time. An example would be a lecture in a university, where the teacher relays information to many students simultaneously. Macroteaching relies on auditory learning and recall.

Plan and outcome

Both forms of teaching are planned in advance. A lesson delivered by either micro or macro methods has specific outcomes and emphasis determined in advance. Evidence of student comprehension of the desired learning outcomes will differ. In micro settings, demonstration of understanding is likely to be within the lesson, while assessment from macro teaching is more likely top be through submission of a written paper.

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