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Teaching style

This article summarize studies on teaching style using Chelladurai's Multidimensional Model of Leadership and the Command or Problem-Solving teaching style theory.


The Multidimensional Model of Leadership measures leader behaviors in five dimensions: Training and Instruction, Democratic Behavior, Autocratic Behavior, Social Support, and Positive Feedback

Multidimensional Model of leadership

A group of studies investigated different teaching styles. Two studies with reference to Chelladurai’s Multidimensional Model of Leadership was identified.

The first, (Van Rossum, 2004) revealed that while the characteristics of the ideal teacher were very similar for both teachers and students, large differences appeared in the rating of daily class activities.

In the second study, Rafferty & Wyon (2006) discrepancies were found between teachers’ and students’ perceptions as well as differences between students’ perceptions in Training and Instruction, Democratic Behavior, Autocratic Behavior and Positive Feedback, but not in Social Support.

Both dance students and dance teachers considered training, instruction and positive feedback the most important dimensions of the ideal dance teacher pitched toward future profession (crossed by more than 68% of the students and 90% of the teachers).

To these, one should add the following qualifications: supportive, interest in student as a person, positive, motivating, geared toward pleasure in dancing, passionate, and very critical. Structured was chosen by 95% of the teachers and by 60% of the students (Van Rossum, 2004).

Students wished that their teachers would be higher on training and instruction, democratic behavior, and positive feedback (the highest wish score) and lower on autocratic (controlling) behavior than the teachers delivered.

There were no significant main effects for gender or dance style (Rafferty & Wyon, 2006). Teachers appeared to present a more positive sketch of their characteristic behavior than students did in both studies (Rafferty & Wyon, 2006; Van Rossum, 2004).

Furthermore, ambivalent support was found for the image of the authoritarian, strict dance teacher in the Van Rossum study in line with a recent Norwegian study, set in a high-performance talent-development program. However, clearly signs of controlling conditions and authoritarian teaching style with partial and unfair behavior were evident together with signs of close relationships, care and support (Haraldsen et al., 2020; 2021).

In another international study, there was no evidence found of differential treatment of the students by the teacher (Bibik, 1993). According to both teachers and students, the ideal teacher favors democratic behavior in line with the student- centered and progressivism way (Van Rossum, 2004).

Command vs. problem-solving teaching style

Another study investigated the use of the Command Teaching Style (TS) compared to the Problem-Solving TS (Cuellar-Moreno & Caballero-Juliá, 2019) and found that the Problem-Solving TS is preferred by most students (76.47%).

Qualitative analysis of the interviews demonstrated that students preferred the Problem-Solving TS because it gave them greater freedom to work at their own pace, contributing to the development of creativity, cooperative work and vitality. In the case of the Command TS, students who preferred this TS indicated that a lack of practice and confidence were the reasons behind their choice (Cuellar-Moreno & Caballero-Juliá, 2019).


Bibik, J. M. (1993). Pedagogi cal considerations regarding perceptions of dance competence. Journal of teaching in physical education, 12(3), 266-285.

Cuellar-Moreno, M., & Caballero-Juliá, D. (2019). Student perceptions regarding the command and problem solving teaching styles in the dance teaching and learning process. Research in Dance Education, 20(3), 297-310.

Haraldsen, H. M., Abrahamsen, F. E., Solstad, B. E., & Halvari, H. (2021). Narrative Tensions in Strained Junior Elite Performers’ Experiences of Becoming Elite Performers. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1767.

Haraldsen, H. M., Nordin-Bates, S. M., Abrahamsen, F. E., & Halvari, H. (2020). Thriving, Striving, or Just Surviving? TD Learning Conditions, Motivational Processes and Well-Being Among Norwegian Elite Performers in Music, Ballet, and Sport. Roeper Review, 42(2), 109-125.

Rafferty, S., & Wyon, M. (2006). Leadership behavior in dance application of the leadership scale for sports to dance technique teaching. Journal of Dance Medicine & Science, 10(1-2), 6-13.

Sims, M., & Erwin, H. (2012). A set of descriptive case studies of four dance faculty members’ pedagogical practices. Journal of Dance Education, 12(4), 131-140.

Van Rossum, J. H. (2004). The dance teacher: The ideal case and daily reality. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 28(1), 36-55.


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