THE SPECTRUM OF TEACHING STYLES
For an individual activity or sport like trampolining, the teacher may adopt a command style ( A in the spectrum) for a group of beginners in order to make sure that the skill being taught is being performed correctly, thus avoiding danger. However when coaching or teaching more able competitors, a more reciprocal style ( C, D, E and F) may be used to allow the learners more freedom in what they are doing as they are more able. This is also known as peer teaching.
With racket sports or activities the teacher or coach may choose the command style to begin with but alter it slightly so that as the learners become more able, they can learn from each other as well as the coach or teacher. An example of this would be in badminton. With beginners it is a good idea to use the command style as it ensures that the learner knows the skill and practices and performs it correctly. As the learner becomes more able, a more reciprocal style can be used to encourage coaching among the learner’s peers. This will help develop the learner’s knowledge and skill of the sport as it is them who are finding and correcting faults. This style also leads in to the Discovery/problem-solving approach (H, I and J).
In team sports the style that teachers or coaches may adopt is the reciprocal style for learners who are fairly new to the sport or activity. The reason for this being that as the learners are working in a team, they need to interact with each other and have input into what they are learning so that they understand and know what they are doing. They can also help each other by correcting faults made as these faults made by other learners can affect the whole team. An example of this could be when a netball team are taking a centre pass in a game. The Centre pass order has already been decided among the centre court players prior to the start of the game. If the first centre pass is going to the Goal Defence and she/he doesn’t remember then the whole team has to readjust so that another player can receive the pass. In order for this to happen the centre court players must realise what is going on and act based on what they know. This is where the Discovery/problem-solving approach comes in to play in a competitive situation. Players have to discover the problem and then solve it themselves as a team in order for the pass to be successful. This particular example most probably falls in between I and J but nearer to J because a centre pass is completely up to the players as it is them making the decision on what to do and how to make the pass successful.
The teacher or coaches must also decide upon how they are going to put across the key information needed for the learners to perform their best. Three types of guidance teachers or coaches might decide to use are:
Visual- Demonstration, widely used when teaching motor skills. Helps learner to develop a mental image of what needs to be done. Demonstration must be accurate so there is no possibility of the learner building up an incorrect picture. Harrison & Blakemore (1989) have estimated that about 83% of all learning occurs through showing people what to do.
Verbal- Describing the action and how to perform the activity. Limitations if used on own- motor skills are difficult to describe without demonstration. Verbal guidance of the more advanced player effective when more perceptual information i.e. tactics to be conveyed and corrections in technique.
- Physical support of performer i.e. hand support when somersaulting in trampolining.
- Performer physically directed i.e. badminton serve.
Teachers or coaches have to take into consideration who they are teaching. For more experienced learners a more self- directed style can be used and for a novice a more direct style can be used so that the learner has a clear understanding of what needs to be done. Motivation of the learners needs to be noted to. If the motivation of the learners is good then that task can be easy to execute. This is when the use of massed practice could be a taken into consideration, but if motivation is low then distributed practice may be used in order to adjust so that the learners are more involved and have something to work towards. Age is another factor that should be taken into consideration. With very young children the style should be non-threatening and there should be a big emphasis on fun and enjoyment of the activity. As the learner becomes older a different style can be adopted so that there is more responsibility for the learner. Environment is also something that can affect teaching styles, as safety is all important, the weather may dictate the style adopted.
There are three more styles which can be used by teachers or coaches:
- The Individual programme: learners’ design – A pupil designs and carries out a programme of work within a framework agreed and monitored by the teacher. An example of this would be when an individual designs a P.E.P for them selves, using a basic guideline given by the teacher.
- Learners’ initiated style - The pupil actively initiates the learning experience. The teacher acts in a supportive role. An example could be learning to umpire a game of netball. The learner uses the knowledge he/she knows about the game and puts that into use with the teacher there to correct mistakes and explain new rules.
- Self-Teaching style – This is independent learning without external support. It is the type of learning that experienced learners undergo as they learn from their own mistakes.
In conclusion I think that the teaching style adopted by teachers in order to meet demands of different practice and competitive situations for individual, racket and team activities depend highly on what the teacher is like, what teaching styles they favour, and who they are teaching. What they are actually teaching can also affect what style they chose to adopt because the style that is chosen has to be relative to what they are actually teaching. Overall, I believe that you can alter your teaching style to meet the demands of different practice and competitive situations to a style that you feel is suitable to what you are teaching.
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ADVANCED PE FOR EDEXCEL; GALLIGAN, MASKERY, SPENCE, HOWE, BARRY, RUSTON, CRAWFORD (YEAR PUBLISHED-2003)
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