Teaching Styles in Elementary School Physical Education: The Effect on Children's Learning

By Brent D. Bradford and Clive Hickson.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 25, 2014 $US5.00

An array of teaching styles is available to elementary school teachers of physical education. Often, however, teachers employed to work in elementary schools are generalist trained. The instruction offered by these teachers throughout the school year encompasses all subject areas. Many generalist trained teachers do not generally feel confident teaching physical education (Morgan & Hansen 2008). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine different teaching styles (e.g., Mosston & Ashworth’s Spectrum of Teaching Styles) and to identify how student learning can be enhanced through the varying learning opportunities. An investigation into different styles will be conveyed and practical teaching examples will be shared throughout the paper. Describing the strengths and weaknesses of available teaching styles in physical education may help generalist trained teachers develop a more thorough understanding towards the effectiveness of different styles for different learning purposes. After all, in elementary school physical education, specific learning objectives require different pedagogical approaches (Fishburne 2005). Whilst enhancing the levels of confidence toward teaching elementary school physical education, it is hoped that such newly acquired knowledge of potential teaching styles will enable teachers to better identify how their teaching practices can be modified to enhance student learning.

Keywords: Teaching Styles, Elementary School Physical Education, Generalist Trained Elementary School Teachers

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 20, Issue 3, April 2014, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 25, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.007MB)).

Dr. Brent D. Bradford

Doctoral Student - Teacher Educator, Department of Elementary Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Brent D. Bradford has taught at both the Elementary and Junior High school levels. After a decade of being a school physical educator, he returned to the University of Alberta to pursue graduate work. After gaining a Master of Education Degree, he has begun his pursuit of a Doctor of Philosophy Degree. While doing so, Brent teaches curriculum methods courses as a Teacher Educator. In 2011, he was recognized as an award-winning Teacher Educator. He has developed an array of research posters, papers, and presentations for local, national, and international conferences. His research interests lie in elementary school physical education. His work focuses on teacher preparation, teaching practices, class size and student achievement trends, transitional challenges, and the symbolism of clothing.

Dr. Clive Hickson

Associate Professor, Department of Elementary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Clive N. Hickson has taught and studied in both England and Canada. He has taught at all levels of school education, been a school principal, served on numerous education committees and worked on provincial curriculum resource development. He is currently an associate professor and an associate dean at the University of Alberta.