Expecting to Teach Enhances Learning: Evidence From a Motor Learning Paradigm

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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There is some evidence that people learn academic (declarative) information better when studying with the expectation of having to teach, but this has not been demonstrated for perceptual-motor skills, which also rely on declarative information but more heavily on procedural knowledge. To address this possibility, participants studied golf-putting instructions and practiced putting with the expectation of having to teach another participant how to putt or the expectation of being tested on their putting. One day later, learning was assessed by testing all participants on their golf putting. Results revealed that expecting to teach enhanced learning, even after controlling for the amount of studying and practicing. Therefore, we have presented the first findings that expecting to teach enhances motor learning. Taking these findings together with similar studies focusing on declarative information, we suggest that expecting to teach yields a general learning benefit to different types of skills.

Daou, Buchanan, Lindsey, Lohse, and Miller are with the School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.

Address author correspondence to Matthew Miller at mwm0024@auburn.edu