Teaching by Task

The ‘teaching by task’ methodology was developed upon the notions of personal practice, independent learning and individual development. The task style of teaching allows students to develop at their own rate and in their own direction. This particular methodology empowers students to take responsibility for their own learning and therefore fosters the possibility of ‘deeper’ learning across a range of different areas. The nine decisions that are transferred from the teacher to the learner within this style are: “Location, Order of tasks, Starting time per task, Pace and rhythm, stopping time per task, Interval, Initiating questions for clarification, Attire and appearance, and Posture” As a result of such student empowerment a deeper appreciation for education can be fostered, thus making ongoing participation within all subject areas more likely.

Advantages

  • The teacher maintains control over what is being learned and therefore can ensure that the lesson meets the needs and requirements of the curriculum.
  • Within this methodology the teacher is able to move amongst the class and supply individual feedback while providing extension activities as required.
  • This style of teaching increases social interaction between students and therefore increases motivation levels, self-confidence as well as one’s ability to work both independently and as a member of a group.
  • It allows the teacher to provide more individual feedback to members of the class. Such feedback can improve student motivation either through positive reinforcement or through the improvement gained as a result of technique development.
  • This particular methodology allows students to experiment with a variety of skills and techniques while still allowing the teacher to direct student learning.
  • This methodology allows students to develop at their own rate and in their own direction. Individuals need to be provided with opportunities to refine their skills, techniques and knowledge within a safe and non-threatening environment.

Disadvantages

  • Little student input into the lesson, as the teacher essentially remains in control.
  • This style does not allow for a definitive standard to be achieved. The style is therefore not as useful when addressing skills or knowledge areas where specific techniques, movements or products are required.
  • There is a greater possibility that students will be distracted from the task when compared with the command style of teaching.
  • The activities of students are more difficult to supervise and therefore distractions are more likely.
  • While students are able to experiment with the knowledge and skills presented creative thinking is not promoted.
  •  This particular style therefore promotes motor development more so than cognitive development.