Problem-solving style, teaching style, and teaching practices among in-service teachers

Matthew Gary Mandelbaum, Fordham University


While educational psychologists have found evidence for effective teaching behaviors that lead to academic achievement, pedagogy still lacks prescriptive accuracy for all students at all times. Teaching style and problem-solving style may be underlying mechanisms behind teaching behaviors. The present study looked at these three interrelationships. The working hypothesis was that teachers with different, but well-developed problem-solving styles have distinctly different teaching styles, which in turn affect their preferences for certain teaching practices in response to typical classroom activities and interactions. One hundred and fourteen grades 9-12 private school teachers completed surveys to assess their problem-solving style, teaching styles, and teaching behaviors. Results revealed teachers' high valuation of people, novelty, and autonomy when solving problems predicts their ability to teach in an individualized, social way, which predicts their utilization of caring and supportive teaching behaviors. Additionally, teachers' ability to process information internally when making decisions predicts their ability for structured and rational teaching styles, which predict behaviors that show professional competence and communication skill. Correlations between other variables within the constructs add additional evidence to support this tentative model. Future research calls for linking the model to student outcomes to help improve academic and social-emotional achievement.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Mandelbaum, Matthew Gary, "Problem-solving style, teaching style, and teaching practices among in-service teachers" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3561719.