Direct teaching, or teacher-centered teaching, and student-centered teaching are the two main categories concerning teaching methodologies. Arguments and disputes, concerning which is superior to the other, have been taken place on academic journals as well as teaching frontiers. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and each has many excellent teachers as its representatives. This article, out of curiosity, aims to find out what teaching techniques were used by the Buddha in His dissemination of the Dhamma in the stories of the popular Buddhist text Dhammapada, and what teaching category can these techniques be classified into, direct teaching or student-centered teaching. This article is conducted by making an analytical study on the teaching methods of the Buddha embodied in the Dhammapada stories from both a general and a specific perspective.
By referring to the findings of the analysis above to the characteristics of the two major teaching methods in modern pedagogy, this study makes a conclusion that the teaching methods of the Buddha tends to be student-centered. This study does not only provide contemporary teachers of Buddhism with teaching methodologies from the perspective of the Buddha’s examples, but also throws light of the Buddha’s wisdom upon modern pedagogy.
Keywords: teaching methods, Dhammapada stories, direct teaching, student-centered teaching