Teaching styles in Swedish Physical Education and Health

Year: 2012

Author: Karlefors, Inger

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


A recent evaluation of the Swedish Physical Education and Health [PEH] subject in lower secondary school, argued that the Swedish PE teachers had to develop their teaching styles to in order to help all pupils' to participate and  learn in PEH.  The teaching the evaluators had observed where too often identical regardless of the pupils back ground, the content of the lesson or what the pupils' were supposed to learn. Teaching styles have not been discussed very often in PEH research in Sweden. Historically the PEH teachers heritage comes from  a military command kind of style, that changed to the sport coach style, in the 1960'  both a commanding teacher- centered style.  Despite the aim of the curriculum to increase the pupils influence over their learning a more learner- centered style, evaluations indicate that the commanding teaching style is dominating in the Gym, which doesn't exclude that other styles are being used. The classroomteacher that often teach PEH in primary and lower secondary school uses another teaching style. From a Swedish perspective it is the change from an industrial to a knowledge intense society, the demands from teaching children with a diverse religious, cultural and ethnical back ground and the change in the curricula from teaching sport activities to a more healthoriented teaching, that has revealed the necessity of  a development of teaching styles within PEH.   Even from an international perspective there are not so much research done on teaching styles despite the fact that  Mosston and Ashworth  developed their  Spectrum of Teaching Styles: from Command to Discovery  all ready in the 1960's.  This paper will present a Swedish study where Mosston  and Ashworths teaching styles will be used as an analytical tool,  in analyzing 32  videorecorded lessons at lower and upper secondary schools, with eight different teachers from different parts of Sweden. The research questions are: What different teaching style are  used ? What content is connected to different styles? What do the pupils' learn when different styles are used?

The paper will present and discuss some of the results from the study.