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Mark Byra

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Mark Byra

The purpose of this study was to describe the effect of two postlesson conferencing strategies on preservice teachers’ reflective practices. Fourteen PETE majors each taught three 30-minute lessons to classes of 9 to 13 learners. After each lesson, the preservice teachers conferenced with a trained supervisor under either a directive approach (teacher tell-student listen) or a collaborative approach (student tell–teacher listen/question). The participants then completed two written tasks, a significant event task, and a video-commentary task. In the collaborative approach, the preservice teachers expanded the scope of their reflections to encompass the technical skills of teaching and critical issues related to teaching and schooling. For the video-commentary assignment, the main focus of both groups’ responses was on technical aspects of teaching, and for the significant event assignment, the focus of the responses was on technical, situational, and sensitizing issues of teaching.

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Mark Byra and Jayne Jenkins

The purpose of this study was to describe student decision making in the inclusion style of teaching. Two questions helped to guide the investigation: (a) Will learners select from alternative levels of difficulty within a given task? And (b) what is the basis for learner decision making when selecting from alternative levels of difficulty? Forty-two 5th-graders in one school received instruction in striking with a bat for two 30-minute lessons. The learners performed a batting task in three sets of 10 trials in each lesson and made decisions about level of task difficulty. Data sources were the lesson task sheets and transcribed postlesson interviews. The results indicated that 5th-graders (a) select different levels of task difficulty when provided the opportunity, and (b) make task decisions based on perceived success and challenge.

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Bryan McCullick and Mark Byra

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Mark Byra and Mary C. Marks

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.

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Mark Byra and Stephen C. Coulon

The purpose of this study was to compare the instructional behaviors of a group of preservice teachers across two teaching conditions, one planned and one unplanned. Twelve physical education teacher education (PETE) majors each taught two 25-minute lessons to elementary-age learners. Lesson plans were developed for the first lesson (planned condition) but not the second (unplanned condition). All lessons were videotaped and employed in the data analyses. Three data collection instruments were used for the analysis of selected teaching behaviors: (a) the Academic Learning Time-Physical Education (ALT-PE) system, (b) an event recording instrument for coding teacher verbal feedback statements, and (c) the Qualitative Dimensions of Lesson Introduction, Task Presentation, and Lesson Closure (QDITC) system. The results suggest that planning has a positive effect on some preservice teachers’ instructional behaviors. For teachers in training, it seems that planning is important to the employment of “effective” teaching behaviors in the interactive teaching environment.

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John Hennings, Tristan Wallhead and Mark Byra

Peer-assisted learning (PAL) strategies, such as the reciprocal style of teaching, have been shown to be effective in developing motor skills. Despite this research, little is currently understood of how PAL strategies influence the teaching-learning process. The purpose of this study was to use a didactic methodology (Amade-Escot, 2005) to examine the content taught and learned by two pairs of undergraduate students participating in reciprocal style (Mosston & Ashworth, 2002) episodes of indoor climbing. The didactic protocol included collecting data regarding student intentions, actions and interpretations of content, and the identification of problematic episodes in the teaching-learning process or Critical Didactic Incidents. The participants’ improved their knowledge and performance of lower complexity climbing skills. Participants’ failure to construct more sophisticated climbing content was as a result of deficiencies in the peer observer’s in-task error diagnosis feedback and teaching style imposed constraints on teacher intervention.