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Teaching skills in physical education.

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Laura Cwiklinski April 2002 Teaching Skills in Physical Education. For any activity that humans take part in, practise can make them more successful at it. Practise makes perfect, but the quality of the practise is the most important aspect. Practise can be tiring and lead to boredom and lower motivation. Hull's Drive Reduction Theory supports this suggestion. Depending on the type of skill being learned, there are many different types of practise methods, which optimise performance as a result. The age of the learner and their level of ability are also influential factors on practise styles. Methods of Learning. Whole Method The learner performs the skill as a complete unit-perhaps having seen it demonstrated first. This gives the learner a feel for the whole movement (allowing information to be used), and can determine how the various subroutines relate proprioceptive to each other so that it can be performed. Skills performed rapidly are best practised as a whole, as breaking them down into subroutines might drastically change the movement, making it harder to perform back as a whole. This method is also good for simple skills as there are not many demands on the learner's attention. It is also less time consuming for both the teacher and learner. In a long jump situation, this method is likely to be used when teaching a complete beginner as part of a physical education lesson. This is because they do not need to go into great detail about the technicalities of the activity, but it allows them to get a feel of the overall activity without spending time on the breakdown of the separate skills/ subroutines contained within the motor programme. ...read more.


However, due to negative transfer, the teacher must be careful when deciding what alternative task should be set during intervals. In general, both researchers and teachers agree that distributed practise is the most effective in the majority of cases. One of the advantages of distributed practise is that the rest intervals can be used for mental rehearsal. This is the process whereby the performer, without moving, runs through the performance in the mind. The learner can do this in several ways; by watching a demonstration or film, reading or listening to instructions or by mental imagery, if the skill is established. Obviously this is a useful strategy for experienced performers and many use it in preparation for competitions, but interestingly it also appears to enhance the learning process. During long jump, mental rehearsal is most likely to occur during the time periods between jumps, which serve as a rest and composure period. Forms of Guidance. When we practise a skill or activity, some learning inevitably takes place, but we learn most effectively by a combination of experience and guidance. There are three basic forms of guidance or methods that a teacher/coach may use to transmit information about performance. These include visual, verbal and manual or mechanical. Visual Guidance This is used at all stages of teaching and learning but is particularly valuable in the early cognitive phase to introduce the task and set the scene. Demonstration relies on imitative learning and/or modelling and is a powerful tool. It is efficient 'on the spot' and interesting to learners but it must be accurate and relate to their age, experience and gender. ...read more.


Learners all have a basic skill level and know exactly what to do. They work together in pairs taking turns to be a performer and observer, allowing each one to observe and analyse the performance of the other one, providing instant feedback. The teacher monitors the situation, giving advice and support, and correcting wherever necessary. In long jump this doesn't often occur due to only having one pit, and the level of detail needed as feedback, will only be available from the coach. It does occur in the warm up as partners watch each other perform drills. Problem Solving. The teacher sets problems for the learner to solve. This encourages learners to think about their sport and be creative in their approach to problems. There may be more than one solution to the problem-the teacher has limited control over hoe the learner works in order to solve the problem. This style is useful when the teacher wishes the learners to use information they have already learned, and apply it in a novel situation. Learners benefit from hearing others explain their ideas and understandings, and also from having to explain to others themselves. It enables the learner to acquire a deeper knowledge of the skill and an experience in sport-problem solving. This does not usually occur in long jump, as it is a closed skill so no problems usually occur. Discovery Style. The teacher is the facilitator, who guides the learner by giving clues, hints and questions that get the learner to discover ways of improving a skill or strategy. Discovery style is more creative and open ended. It is not applicable to long jump again because of the high level of skill, and the technical detail needed to perform successfully. ...read more.

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