Mosston’s Spectrum of Teaching Styles
Posted by Dean Holden at December 29th, 2012
This is selected information to assist further research. It is not a standalone AS or A Level essay
Taken from Mosston, Muska. Tug-O-War, No More: Meeting Teaching and Learning Objectives Using the Spectrum of Teaching Styles, JOPERD, January 1992
Mosston and Ashworth (1990) have defined “the spectrum of teachings styles” from command style to self-teaching style. These styles are different in terms of teaching and learning behaviour. The teaching styles shift from absolute control by teacher in the command style to absolute freedom in learning by the student in self-teaching style. It is worth noting what styles are available within the Mosston and Ashworth framework. They classify teaching style in 11 different styles. They are: command style, practice style, reciprocal style, self-check style, inclusion style, guided discovery style, convergent discovery style, divergent production style, learner-designed individual program style, learner initiated style, and self-teaching style. Each style has its own characteristics that are appropriate to certain condition, i.e., subject matter, learning outcome, student aptitude. A teacher uses her best judgment to select the most suitable style.
However, the available teaching styles stated above are described in light of classroom environment. To apply these styles to our computerized instructional system some modifications are needed. Some styles such as the self-teaching style in which a student selects her own topic of study and without the control of a teacher is not applicable to any computerized instructional systems. In such instructional systems the human instructors design and prepared the lessons, therefore, pure discovery does not exist in such systems.
Direct Teaching Styles
Style A: Command
The purpose of this style is to learn to do the task accurately & within a short period of time, following all decisions made by the teacher. The essence: Immediate response to a stimulus. Performance is accurate & immediate. A previous model is replicated.
Style B: Practice
This style offers the learner time to work individually & privately, and provides the teacher with time to offer the learner individual & private feedback. The essence: Time is provided for the learner to do a task individually & privately & time is available for the teacher to give feedback to all learners, individually & privately.
Style C: Reciprocal
In this style learners work with a partner & offer feedback to the partner, based on criteria prepared by the teacher. The essence: Learners work in a partner relationship; receive immediate feedback; follow criteria for performance designed by the teacher; & develop feedback & socialization skills.
Indirect Teaching Styles
Style F: Guided Discovery
The purpose of this style is to discover a concept by answering a sequence of questions presented by the teacher. The essence: The teacher, by asking a specific sequence of questions, systematically leads the learner to discover a predetermined “target” previously unknown to the learner.
Summary Notes of (Muska Mosston, Sara Ashworth) Spectrum of Teaching Styles
Spectrum concept is that each style has its place in reaching a specific set of objectives, so no style by itself is better or best.
1. Match the objectives of each episode in your subject matter with the behaviour sought in the learner. This will lead you to the selection of an appropriate style.
HOW TO SELECT A STYLE
Steps to answer the question, “How will I teach this material to my students?”
1. Think about the nature of the T-L-O = the Teacher behaviour, Learner’s behaviour, the intended
Objective and the observable outcome of each activity or episode within a lesson.
2. List and describe the skill progressions and other episodes that comprise the lesson.
3. Write your objectives for each episode within the lesson. (e.g. What do you want learners to accomplish in the subject matter? What is the task? What is the standard for their performance? These 3 things are the Task, Conditions and Criteria of every objective. What behaviour(s) are you trying to develop in the learner or have them practice?)
4. Does the task or series of tasks that you have for the learners require them to reproduce a behaviour a certain way, or is it a task that invites them to discover or to produce their own ideas about how to best perform the behaviour? Your answer to this question determines on which side of the Discovery Threshold you will be working.
5. Which of the following is sought in the episode? This will help to narrow your style choice.