about us / history / Breakthrough for The Spectrum of Teaching Styles - 1972-1980

The Center on Teaching

The Department of Research and Development was directed by Dr. Bob Ward and his team of deputies, including Dr. Evelyn Ogden, a former student at Rutgers University. During these years Muska and Sara were invited to give hundreds of introductory presentations throughout the state and many schools signed up for their intensive workshops. After three years of creating and implementing the program, Dr. Richard C. Anderson and his team from the Cognitive Laboratories at the University of Illinois conducted the required validation research. It was an intense evaluation examining every facet of the COT's program. The research findings were so positive that the Spectrum program was acknowledged in Programs that Work. The Center on Teaching continued under the rigorous research structure of the Federal grant for eight years.

The Spectrum workshops had three phases: Phase I. Spectrum theory; Phase II. Micro-teaching practice of each teaching style studied; and Phase III. Classroom Observations that included months of scheduled classroom implementation observations.

Although the classroom observation and feedback experiences were the most consuming and critical for the success of the program, the videotaping phase was the most stressful for teachers. In the early 1970s, videotaping was a new technology, and watching oneself and assessing the accuracy of one's performance against criteria were not common practices. Comfort in front of the camera came slowly and trusting the value of video recording and the importance of the rewind and re-play option took time. In time, most teachers and principals embraced the new technology because of its common point of departure and objectivity in feedback. The Spectrum theory served as the foundational platform for both principal and teacher to view classroom actions.

Objective feedback was possible since each teaching style had its own Style Analysis Tool. The Style Analysis Tools serve as road maps that lead to the specific style's anticipated learning destination. Learning to See (watching one's teaching patterns) is both humbling and empowering. Today videotaping remains a key technique in learning to teach.