Differences Between Student Teachers’ Implementation and Perceptions of Teaching Styles


  • Howard Z. Zeng Brooklyn College of the City University of New York




pedagogical study, teacher education, perceive, implement, skillful teachers


Research studies on Spectrum of Teaching Styles (STS) theories have verified that mastering and implementing various teaching styles is the ideal way to match up the needs of diverse learners, the variety of content knowledge, and educational goals; however, little is known about how student teachers use and perceive various STS. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to explore student teachers’ self-report of how they use and perceive teaching styles from a physical education teacher education (PETE) program. Participants were 142 student teachers (96 male, 46 female; 84 undergraduate, 58 graduate) from a Spectrum of Teaching Styles– based (STS) teaching strategies course. The tool used to investigate this was the STS Inventory-adapted version (STSI-AV; Zeng, 2012). The participants expressed that they often use command, practice, reciprocal, and inclusion styles to teach PE lessons; among the nine styles in the STS, they believed that using command, practice, reciprocal, inclusion, guided discovery, convergent discovery, and divergent discovery styles in their teaching helps their students learn skills/ activities better. The student teachers also expressed that implementing command, practice, reciprocal, inclusion, convergent discovery, and divergent discovery styles would motivate their students to learn better. No significant differences were found between male and female student teachers regarding how they use and perceive the STS. Student teachers from different education levels, however, implement and perceive the STS differently. This study provides quantitative data and fresh insights into how student teachers implement and perceive the STS.

Author Biography

Howard Z. Zeng, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

Dr. Howard Zhenhao Zeng is an associate professor in the department of Kinesiology, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, USA.