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In this study, experienced physical education teachers’ observation skills in teaching situations are compared to that of first- and last-year student teachers. The 56 participants were shown 12 slides from a gymnastics lesson, and after viewing it for 4 s, they were asked to report what they had seen. The number of items and critical events reported were analyzed. No significant differences were found between the three groups on the number of events reported or for the number and duration of the eye fixations. Significant differences were found for the number of critical events reported and fixated. Last-year students and experienced teachers correctly reported more critical events on the slide scenes than first year students, but there were no significant differences in observational capacities between last year students and experienced teachers. This study demonstrated the need for observational training, not only during preservice, but also for inservice teachers.
Daniel Behets is with the Faculteit Lichamelijke Opvoeding en Kinesitherapie at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium