Adults always present models and examples of behaviors to the pupils, but sometimes they unintentionally show examples of authoritarian behavior and "power-based" attitudes.
The teachers set models for pupils' behaviour even when they have no intention of doing so. The teacher's conduct influences how students feel and how motivated they are to learn.
Good teachers consider when and how they should be changing their style in accordance with the circumstances. Effective teachers use a variety of styles, depending on the situation.
Take a look at the following styles according to Goleman, recall and find out which styles you use in your work.
1. Coercive: The aim is to seek immediate compliance. The facilitator uses lots of directives rather than directions, expects compliance, controls tightly, and imposes lots of sanctions with few rewards.
The style in a phrase: "Do what I tell you".
When the style works best: for simple straightforward tasks – for example, correcting a participant who is wilfully disregarding the agreed ground rules for the group or dividing the group into smaller groups.
Overall impact on atmosphere in the group: negative – and should be used rarely, for example if the facilitator needs to re-establish control.
2. Authoritative: The aim is to provide long-term direction and understanding for participants. The facilitator develops and articulates a vision for the future, sees long-term vision as important, persuades participants by explaining the "whys", and uses a balance of positive and negative feedback to help them share the vision.
The style in a phrase: "Come with me."
When the style works best: when changes require a new vision or when a clear direction is needed, for example when introducing principles that will help participants improve their students' behaviour.
Overall impact on atmosphere in the group: most strongly positive – should be used often, particularly at the start of the training session.
3. Affiliative: The aim is to create harmony and build relationships amongst the group and between the group and the facilitator. The facilitator is most concerned with promoting friendly interactions, placing an emphasis on participants' personal needs rather than objectives/standards, caring for the whole person and avoiding misunderstandings.
The style in a phrase: "People come first."
When the style works best: to heal disputes within the group or to motivate participants during stressful circumstances, for example if a member of the group has suffered a loss or if the topic raises emotional memories from the participants' own experience as a student.
Overall impact on atmosphere in the group: positive – should be used frequently during a training session to show concern for the welfare of individuals and the group.
4. Democratic: The aim is to build commitment to the ideas in the "Violence reduction in schools" programme and to generate new ideas from participants themselves. The leader encourages participation, seeks consensus and aims to gain commitment through ownership.
The style in a phrase: "What do you think?"
When the style works best: to build involvement or consensus or to get input to the training session from participants' own experience; it can also be used when the vision is clear, but actions for getting there are not so clear, or more ownership by participants is required, for example when explaining the learning outcomes and asking about participants' interests and learning needs at the start of a training session.
Overall impact on atmosphere in the group: positive – most appropriate when setting up the group activities and when encouraging participants to engage fully with the school activities.
5. Pace-setting: The aim is to accomplish tasks to high standards of excellence. The facilitator leads by example, demonstrates high standards, expects others to know the rationale behind what is being modelled, is apprehensive about delegating, has little sympathy for slow learners and rescues a situation when there are diffi culties in a group.
The style in a phrase: "Do as I do, and do it now."
When the style works best: to get quick results from a highly motivated and competent group, for example a group that is enjoying the "Violence reduction in schools" programme but is not reaching their potential and will benefi t from being challenged to learn more from the training sessions so that they will carry on together afterwards.
Overall impact on atmosphere in the group: negative – most useful in short bursts to motivate a group. It is necessary to take care not to let the group become reliant on being pushed by the facilitator.
6. Coaching: The aim is to support the long-term development of participants. The facilitator helps members of the group to identify their unique strengths and weaknesses, encourages them to plan for continued development after the "Violence reduction in schools" programme, reaches agreement on the way ahead, provides ongoing advice and feedback and may trade immediate standards of performance for long-term development.
The style in a phrase: "Try this."
When the style works best: to help participants improve what they do at school and to develop long-term strengths, for example to become more confi dent in the way they set standards at school or stand up to a domineering colleague.
Overall impact on atmosphere in the group: positive – a particularly appropriate style for working with participants on the school activity and during any school visits.
Using the styles: Others may use different words to describe the same styles. It is important to know which style to use in which situation, and which style most suits not only the combination of personalities in a participant group but also what needs to be achieved. It is important to have a broad repertoire of styles to match many different situations.
When using them, you should note that:
• the list is not hierarchical; all styles may be appropriate
• there is no right and wrong style
• there is no need for facilitators to use a style if it makes them feel uncomfortable
• facilitators who use all six styles at some stage in the "Violence reduction in schools" programme are more likely to be effective
Effective teachers use a variety of styles, depending on the situation. Watch this video to find out which styles you use in your work.
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