Command Style Teaching

The underlying principle of the “Command Style is that teachers should be the sole authoritarian figure within their classroom. Within such approaches the teacher is required to maintain absolute control over the class and therefore must execute a strict and highly regulated lesson structure. The students within the class are required to comply with commands of the teacher and therefore execute all activities to a required standard and within a given time limit.

Command style of teaching occurs when ‘the teacher makes the maximum number of choices, while the learner makes only minimal decisions’.

Within this methodology it is the role of the teacher to initiate all learning sequences, while students are required to follow and adhere to all rules and restrictions implemented throughout the lesson.

The defining characteristic of the command style is ‘precision performance – reproducing a predicted response or performance on cue’

Continuous use of the command style will produce individuals who are able to reproduce movements in response to a predictable cue, however, be less likely to reason or learn for themselves and therefore compete adequately within unfamiliar environments. Such approaches often fail to foster ‘deeper’ learning, as students will often find such approaches uninspiring and therefore reproduce movements only to avoid reprimand. Students will therefore often fail to adequately learn the basic fundamentals of the technique and as a result struggle to perform during delayed retention tests. This approach has a number of positive and negative repercussions when implemented within the classroom.


  • Greater possibility of tasks being completed on time.
  • The teacher has ultimate control over the class.
  • Greater potential for lesson to be executed as planned.
  • Achieving basic curriculum objectives
  • Will increase discipline and is therefore useful within classes where this is an issue.
  • Has potential to achieve accuracy and precision in performance and is therefore useful when a predetermined model must be adhered to, or a synchronized performance is required.


  • No student input into lesson and therefore may fail to foster ‘deeper learning’.
  • It does not allow for creative thinking by students.
  • Assumes all individuals are of the same abilities and motivations and therefore restricts or hurries individual progressions.
  • Decreases social interaction and subsequently levels of self-esteem and motivation.