March 2007


Leonard W Parker

Primary Subject Area

Education, Curriculum and Instruction


teaching styles, instructional management, age level characteristics, grade level preferences


This study explored the relationships between age level characteristics and complementary instructional management styles. The data gathered from published materials provided the information for the research survey questions on teaching styles and age level characteristics. The data gathered from teachers who are currently in the field provided the basis for determining there is a relationship between PreK-8 teachers’ instructional management profiles and their preferences for teaching either lower (PreK-3) or upper (4-8) elementary grade students. Together, published information and survey results indicated that: (1) different instructional methods are more developmentally appropriate for different ages of learners; (2) teachers have natural preferences for particular management styles; and (3) there are distinguishing instructional management styles between teachers who choose to teach at lower grade levels (PreK-3) and those who choose to teach at upper grade levels (4-8). The researcher used two survey instruments to measure teachers’ instructional management styles and their grade level preferences. The Chi Square analysis of grade level preferences by instructional management styles was significant, indicating the proportion of teachers in the four instructional management styles who preferred to teach lower elementary students differed from the proportion of teachers who preferred to teach upper elementary students. The results of the research indicated that educational leaders could use the survey instruments to predict satisfaction for teachers and effective teaching for students. Other research suggested that teachers who teach grade levels of students that generally match their natural instructional management styles would likely enjoy greater job satisfaction, which, as a result, may lead to more effective teaching and longevity in the classroom. Based on the data obtained from research and the survey of teachers’ instructional management styles and grade level preferences, pre-service teachers can make informed career decisions.