“You can have an excellent curriculum and only use a limited number of teaching styles. You can also be an excellent teacher and only use a number of teaching styles.” (Golderberger, Ashworth and Byra, 2012, p275). Other than these two types of teachers, using different teaching styles to achieve multiple aims would be suggested.
Physical education has a wide range of achievements and aims can be achieved. There are mainly few types of outcomes, physical, lifestyle, affective, social, and cognitive. (Bailey, 2006) For physical outcomes, it is mainly focusing on participant’s fundamental movement skills and physical competence, such as skills of playing a particular sport or improving physical health. Lifestyle might be changed by discovering a new interest to a learner and they want to participate in sports more during their daily routine and making their lifestyle more active. Other than physical and health outcomes, physical education may improve learner’s mental feelings and personal thoughts.
Different teaching styles make learning experiences differ. Outcomes vary because of teaching styles as well. According to Spectrum of Teaching Styles (Mosston and Ashworth, 1990), there are 10 teaching styles, From Command to Self Learning.
Teaching styles like command and practice style, decisions are highly depending on teachers. Teachers usually provide tasks and questions for learners to complete and learners work as an individual. Learning in these styles can help learners to understand knowledge and skills in a short amount of time. But the independence of learners is limited and interaction between learners is limited. These learning styles are suitable for learners who have bad concentration or new to that particular field which the first priority is to deliver basic knowledge to learners. It may maximize the outcome on developing physical competencies and skills. But outcomes such as social skills and creativity, these affective and cognitive outcomes may be left out. Also using these controlled teaching styles may cause advanced learners feeling bored or losing interest in physical education.
Reciprocal, self-check and inclusion styles are teacher involve in planning the session and lead the flow of the session. But decision and involvement of learners will increase comparing to command style. In these styles, learners will be monitoring and giving feedback to themselves and their teammates. The interaction between learning is much involved in the learning process and the social communication skills can be developed while giving feedback. Physical development can have additional benefits as well. When learners observe their teammates, they will also remind themselves of their weaknesses and mistakes. This may enhance learners developing skills and improve their physical competence. The time uses for coaching and learning might be longer, but the reflecting process can deepen the understanding of learners.
Guided Discovery, Divergent and Individual, these three styles have even more decision making by learners. Independent thinking by learners plays a big role in this teaching style. The problem-solving process makes involvement of every participant in high. The downside of these styles will be time for physical activities will be used on problem solving and creative parts, the physical outcomes may be lessened. Furthermore, these styles are not suitable for beginners or young kids. They need high concentration and involvement of learners who have the ability to solve problems base on their knowledge.
The two most learner decision oriented teaching styles are learner initiated and Self-teaching. These two styles are highly independent for learners and teachers just act as an assisting role. Learning has to deeply understand that particular field and able to make decisions and judgments on his own work. Creative thinking and decision making play a vital role in the process, so the physical activity and fitness involved in sessions would be much less.
Summarize all teaching styles, there is not any teaching style that suits all situations and learners. Teachers need to consider the learners characteristic. For example, beginners can’t involve in some independent teaching styles as their limited knowledge can’t help them learn by themselves. Also for young kids, they’re easy to be distracted by other things and it’s not easy for them to focus on tasks and get a good outcome on their learning.
Other than learner’s characteristic, the session’s objective is also an important factor. For sessions that are aiming to let learners get an idea of new stuff or inserting new skills, Command style might be a right choice. As it directly tells the learner the key points and thing to do which they can understand the new things quickest. On session that aims stimulating learner’s creativity and focuses on cooperation, the inclusion style might be an appropriate style to use.
Also, the nature of the activity is also an important factor. While doing activities having high risks or danger, for example, rock climbing, kayaking etc. Command style would be appropriate way to teach as it easy to manage risks and avoid accidents.
Having the best curriculum is to know benefits and characteristics of different teaching styles and try to use them on different occasions or towards different learners.
All teaching styles have their benefits and also have their downsides. Mixing different teaching styles to achieve multiple outcomes it’s the appropriate way to plan a successful curriculum.