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This study examined a sixth-grade physical education class during participation in a speedball unit using the “sport education” model (Siedentop, 1994). In this unit, students took varying roles, including player, coach, referee, scorer, and statistician. The unit was examined using systematic observation and qualitative techniques. Particular attention was placed on the tasks students were expected to complete and the degree of congruence between their actions and the stated task. Also under investigation were the students’ reactions to their differing roles. Quantitative results indicated high levels of student engagement in game play and scrimmage contexts, and particularly high levels of congruent behaviors in the nonplaying roles. Levels of off-task behaviors were minimal throughout. Students reported through questionnaires and interviews that they enjoyed taking administrative roles, and they showed distinct preference for remaining in the same team for the entire season. A strong preference for student coaches over teacher instruction was also reported.
Peter A. Hastie is with the Department of Health and Human Performance at Auburn University, Joel Eaves Memorial Coliseum, Auburn, AL 36849-5323.