In the reciprocal style of teaching learners are paired, and as one practices the task, the other provides immediate feedback. This study examined the effect of pairing learners in the reciprocal style by ability (high, low, and mixed) and by companionship (friend and nonacquaintance) on provision of feedback and perceived comfort while learning motor skills. Thirty-two students between 9 and 12 years of age practiced soccer juggling during a 25-minute lesson and soccer dribbling during another 25-minute lesson, in both of which they were paired for similar versus different ability and for friend versus nonaquaintance. After each lesson, the students were asked how comfortable they felt giving and receiving feedback. The results showed that the observers gave specific feedback more frequently to friends than nonacquaintances, and that the doers felt more comfortable receiving feedback from friends than nonacquaintances. Learner ability level did not affect the amount of specific feedback provided by the observer or the doer comfort in receiving feedback. This study supports several claims set forth by Mosston and Ashworth (1986) for the reciprocal style of teaching.
Mark Byra is with the School of Physical and Health Education at the University of Wyoming, P.O. Box 3196, Laramie, WY 82071. Mary Marks is with the Department of Physical Education at California State University-Los Angeles, 5151 State University Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90032.