• Introduction
  • The inclusion style (e)
  • Pros and cons of the inclusion style
  • Final thoughts
  • Sources
  • Pre-impact set: a set of educational decisions that define the intent of the lesson. Includes planning, preparation, organizing, etc.
  • Impact set: a set of actions made during the lesson and one-on-one feedback. The implementation of the pre-impact decisions in the actual lesson.
  • Post-impact set: the assessment made after the lesson. Evaluating the goal and the outcome.


Mosston’s spectrum of teaching styles (1966) was originally designed as a template for physical education teachers to make sure students learn the necessary skills, processes, and concepts ingrained in physical education. Mosston himself saw it as ”a framework of options in the relationships between teacher and learner”.

The spectrum of teaching styles offers 11 different teaching methods varying from teacher-led to more student-centered styles. All of which having their own characteristics and uses when teaching physical education.

This post explains the fundamentals of the inclusion style, and why it is considered such an important teaching style in physical education.

The inclusion style (e)

The inclusion style is characterized by letting learners with varying levels of skill to participate in the same task. In order to do so, each task is designed with multiple levels of difficulty and letting the learners to select an adequately challenging task to practice. This allows the learners to start from a level they are comfortable with before moving on to more challenging ones. 

Here, the teacher is responsible for making all of the decisions before the lesson (subject matter, criteria, level of difficulty, logistics, etc.). They must also ensure that each student has a valid entry point to start practicing the task.

The learners, on the other hand, are responsible for comparing all of the tasks and selecting one that suits their skill level. After doing so, they practice the task and compare their performance against the criteria provided by the teacher.




Pre-impact set:
(decisions that define the intent – specific planning & preparation of the lesson)


Impact set:
(decisions related to the implementation of the lesson plan & face-to-face interaction)


Post-impact set:
(decisions concerning assessment after the lesson)


As the name suggests, in the inclusion style, all learners are included in the learning process. This is made possible by offering opportunities for continuous participation regardless of the learner’s current skill level. In short, the style answers the question of ”how can the same content be differentiated so that all learners benefit from it?”

Share this post

The Inclusion Style (e)

Teacher makes all decisions before the lessonLearners with varying levels of skill participate in the same task Learner decides a task suitable for their skill levelLearner performs the task & assesses their performance according to the criteriaTeaches appropriate level selection & honesty in self-evaluation

Pros and cons of the inclusion style

The biggest benefit of the inclusion style is that it allows the learner to decide the difficulty for the task that they set out to do. Giving the learner the choice to do so promotes autonomy, competence and relatedness. All of which have proven to be beneficial for intrinsic motivation. Additionally, the gradual and progressively more challenging exercises ensure that the learner stays constantly focused on the subject matter. 

In heterogenous groups, some learners may choose the minimum level of skill whereas others might opt for expert-level exercises. On a social level, this means that learners of all skill levels can practice the same task while working within one single group. This teaches the learners to work well with different people while also creating opportunities for the more skilled individuals to help their peers.

”Inclusion ensures continued participation.”

Although the inclusion style has proven to improve skill performance, some studies have found the practice style to have a higher rate of improvement. This is because skilled individuals may often have fewer opportunities to train at their own skill level.

Additionally, if the students are inexperienced in making decisions between task levels and how they relate to their own performance, the learners often tend to choose a task that is too difficult for them. Thus, the outcome of the exercise can be contradictory to the goal of the lesson.

Final thoughts

The inclusion style is a teaching method that focuses on simultaneously providing equal learning opportunities at various skill levels. As mentioned earlier, the teacher’s role is to make all the required preparations before the lesson. This includes factors such as planning, logistics, time management, different exercises, etc.

The role of the students is to choose a suitable exercise for themselves and move on to a more challenging one if needed. This essentially changes the idea of “what others can do” to “what I can do.”

One thing to keep in mind is that every student requires a legitimate entry point to each exercise. This may be surprisingly challenging to create in a class setting due to individual differences such as size, physical attributes, skill, motivation, and energy levels. Thus, teachers must use their imagination when creating exercises. After all, that is the only way that learners may experience a connection between aspiration and reality in inclusive exercises.

Did you learn anything new about the inclusion style? Let us know in the comments. 


  • Mosston, M. & Ashworth, S. (2008) Teaching Physical Education. 1st Online Edition.

Join our growing list of subscribers!

Stay informed about the latest in sports science and physical performance. Subscribe to our mailing list for the latest updates, posts, products and much more.