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Karen E. French, Judith E. Rink, Linda Rikard, Amys Mays, Susan Lynn, and Peter Werner

The purpose was to compare the effectiveness of practice progressions on learning the volleyball serve and overhead set. Ninth-grade students were randomly assigned to three groups. Each group practiced the volleyball serve and set for 60 trials over 6 days. The progression group practiced four levels of difficulty of the set and serve. The criterion group began practice at the beginning level of difficulty and had to achieve an 80% success rate before practicing at a more advanced level. The third group practiced the AAHPERD volleyball skill tests for the serve and set for all 60 trials. At the end of practice, all subjects were posttested using these AAHPERD tests. The results indicated the progression and criterion groups had higher posttest scores than the third group. Profiles of the success rates across acquisition for each group showed that students in the third group and low-skilled students in the progression and criterion groups did not improve during practice. Students with some initial skill in the progression and criterion groups exhibited high success rates for acquisition and improvement. These results indicate that sequencing practice in progressive levels of difficulty enhances retention when task difficulty is appropriate for the learner. However, no condition was effective when task difficulty was inappropriate for the learner.

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Judith E. Rink, Karen French, Amelia M. Lee, Melinda A. Solmon, and Susan K. Lynn

Understanding how the knowledge structures of preservice teachers develop as expertise is acquired would seem to be an important aspect of teacher preparation. The purpose of this study was to compare the pedagogical knowledge structures about effective teaching of preservice teachers and teacher educators in the professional preparation programs of two different institutions. Two groups of preservice teachers at two different points in their preparation program at each of the two institutions were asked to complete a concept map (Roehler et al., 1987) about effective teaching. One group completed the concept map just after the first teaching methods course, and the other group completed the map just prior to student teaching. These data were compared with concept maps of teacher educators at each institution. Quantitative and qualitative data revealed differences between the groups of preservice teachers and between the preservice teachers and the teacher educators.

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Karen E. French, Peter H. Werner, Kevin Taylor, Kevin Hussey, and John Jones