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The ability to diagnose motor skills is one of the most important competences of a teacher of physical education and sport. Teacher education programs fall short of providing prospective teachers with courses in motor skill diagnosis. To be successful, any effort to teach it must rest on a sound conceptual framework or model. This article provides the theoretical framework for adapting information-processing theory, a widely accepted theory of human thinking, to modeling diagnostic thought processes. It describes specifically the three components of the model: acquisition, cue interpretation, and diagnostic decision. The findings from the model provide a foundation upon which to build instructional strategies for developing diagnostic competence.
V.E.D. Pinheiro is with the Department of Physical Health and Health Education at the University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325. H.A. Simon is with the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.