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Eleven elementary physical education teachers provided information about their perceptions of 251 students’ temperament characteristics and estimates of four student aptitudes: motor ability, social interaction skills, motivation, and to what level of their potential students generally worked. Estimates of the frequency that teachers would attend to each child in typical instructional situations were also gathered. Factor analysis of the temperament measures revealed three independent factors: physical sensitivity, adaptability, and reactivity/task orientation. Teachers’ decisions to attend to children were regressed on temperament factors and student aptitude measures. The findings indicated that motor ability was the most important variable teachers reported they would use in making decisions about allocating their attention during instruction. The temperament factor reactivity/task orientation was the next most important factor. The analyses suggested that teachers would consider adaptability of students only in organizational patterns that include the whole group.
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