Fran Cleland, EdD

Professor, Teacher Education

Fran  Cleland


West Chester University


United States


I was introduced to the Spectrum of Teaching Styles during my undergraduate days as a physical education major at Purdue University. I recall attempting to teach a back hip-circle mount using Guided Discovery. It was not my most memorable teaching moment. Using Guided Discovery to teach this type of skill was challenging at best! During the first ten years of my teaching career I taught physical education at the K-12 level and dabbled with the Spectrum, some times with clear intent and at other times, by chance. Not until I pursued graduate study at Indiana University with Dr. David Gallahue, did I revisit the Spectrum. My interest in studying what I called, "children's divergent movement ability", the topic of my dissertation, led me back to the Spectrum. I was very interested in developing children's ability to be divergent in the motor domain; hence I studied the Spectrum and its relevance to my line of inquiry with renewed enthusiasm.

After completing a descriptive study for my dissertation, I began my career as a teacher educator at East Stroudsburg University (ESU). Little did I know two of my ESU colleagues, Sue and Rudy Mueller, were Spectrum scholars and that Muska Mosston and Sara Ashworth were two of their dearest friends and respected colleagues. While teaching at ESU, I learned much more about the Spectrum and had the opportunity to meet and work with Muska and Sara. While at ESU I conducted an experimental design study with second grade children applying both reproductive and productive teaching styles. My interest in divergent movement ability then led me to Ron McBride's research about critical thinking in physical education.

The Spectrum of Teaching Styles was most relevant in my next two studies, the first being with fifth grade students in New Hampshire and second with physical education specialists in the West Chester Area School District, both focused on facilitating critical thinking in physical education. Now as a teacher educator at West Chester University, I infuse the Spectrum in all of the teacher preparation courses I teach, and I continue to present at state, local and national conventions about the Spectrum. The Spectrum is alive!

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