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Ben P. Dyson, Nicole Rhodes Linehan, and Peter A. Hastie

The purpose of this study was to describe and interpret the instructional ecology of Cooperative Learning in elementary physical education classes. Data collection included a modified version of the task structure system (Siedentop, 1994), interviews, field notes, and a teacher’s journal. T-tests of the quantitative data revealed that instruction time, management time, transitions, and wait time decreased significantly during the units and refining, extending, and applying tasks increased significantly. Cognitive/social tasks were observed consistently in every lesson and contributed to student learning. Inductive analysis and constant comparison were used to analyze the qualitative data (Patton, 1990). The researchers identified four main categories from this data: organization and management of students, roles, skill development, and strategizing. To promote individual accountability the teacher used task sheets, assigned Cooperative Learning roles, kept group sizes small, randomly chose students to demonstrate their competence, and asked students to teach their teammates skills and tactics.

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Tim Barrett

The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effects of a cooperative learning strategy in physical education on academic learning time, the percentage of correct trials, the total number of trials, and correct trials. A cooperative learning strategy, Performer and Coach Earn Rewards (PACER), was implemented in a sixth-grade physical education class. Four children (two boys and two girls) participated. An ABAB withdrawal design was used to assess the effects of PACER during an 18-day unit of instruction. Functional relationships were demonstrated for the percentage of correct trials for all participants. Interestingly, low-skilled students performed as well as their average- and highly skilled counterparts.

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Ben Dyson

Cooperative learning is an instructional format in which students work together in small, structured, heterogeneous groups to master content. The purpose of this study was to describe and interpret a teacher’s and the students’ experiences of cooperative learning in an elementary physical education program. A multiple-method design included interviews of a physical education teacher and 5th and 6th grade students, nonparticipant observation, field notes, and document analysis. Inductive analysis and constant comparison were used to analyze and organize the data throughout the research process. The findings suggest that the teacher and students held similar perceptions of the cooperative learning program. Themes emerged under four main categories: goals of the lessons; cooperative learning roles; benefits of cooperative learning; and implementation of cooperative learning. The teacher believed that the cooperative learning program allowed students of all ability levels to improve motor skills, develop social skills, work together as a team, help others improve their skills, and take responsibility for their own learning.

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Ben Dyson, Donal Howley, and Yanhua Shen

particular teaching/instructional style ( Metzler, 2017 ). A recent scoping review involving two of the authors of this article critically examining previous research connecting three MBP (teaching personal and social responsibility, cooperative learning [CL], and outdoor/adventure education) to SEL found

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Ashley Casey, Victoria A. Goodyear, and Ben P. Dyson

A wealth of school-based interventions report on students’ positive responses to the use of models-based practice in physical education. However, research that examines the effectiveness of models-based practice rarely reports on the fidelity of implementation i.e., when all of the characteristics of a model are implemented. The purpose of this study was to explore model fidelity in the use of the Cooperative Learning model. Action research and systematic observation (using the Cooperative Learning Validation Tool which acknowledged the observation of key characteristics of the model) were used to confirm model fidelity. Consequently, the themes which emerged from the data analysis of could be directly linked to the authentic use of Cooperative Learning context. The paper concludes by arguing that when reporting on findings from empirical research on the use of Cooperative Learning we need to adopt a more robust approach in determining—through rigor and quality of research—the authenticity of implementation.

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Ben Dyson

The purpose of this study was to explore (a) a teacher’s perspective of the implementation of cooperative learning in an elementary physical education program, and (b) the students’ responses to the implementation into their own physical education classes. Data collection included interviews with a physical education teacher and students in two mixed third- and fourth-grade classes and two fourth-grade classes, nonparticipant observation, fieldnotes, a teacher journal, and documents. Inductive analysis and constant comparison methods were used to analyze and organize the data throughout the research process. The findings revealed that the teacher and students held similar perceptions of cooperative learning. This was evident from the categories that emerged from the data: goals of the lessons, student roles, accountability, communication skills, working together, and practice time. This study demonstrated that the cooperative learning instructional format holds much promise for physical education, but that its implementation will likely not be smooth or trouble free.

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Ben P. Dyson, Rachel Colby, and Mark Barratt

The purpose of this study was to investigate generalist classroom elementary teachers’ implementation of the Cooperative Learning (CL) pedagogical model into their physical education classes. The study used multiple sources of data drawing on qualitative data collection and data analysis research traditions (Miles, Huberman, & Saldana, 2014). Data were gathered from teacher post-lesson reflections, researcher journals, field notes, emails, and documents (such as lesson plans, school physical education programs, meeting transcripts), and on-going interviews with 12 teachers from four schools. The research team drew four categories from the data: Teachers’ lack of physical education preparation, Social skills needed for Cooperative Learning, Teachers’ understanding of Cooperative Learning, and Changing pedagogy to a student focus. An important feature in this study was the on-going, embedded support teachers received from a critical friend and their collaboration in the school’s CL Professional Learning Group. The findings suggest that with this type of support, generalist classroom teachers can learn to teach CL in their physical education classes. We found that teacher professional learning should be hands-on, take place in a social context, and be embedded in teachers’ own school context.

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Tim Fletcher and Ashley Casey

There are two purposes of this study. The first is to examine our experiences as beginning teacher educators who taught using models-based practice (using the example of Cooperative Learning). The second is to consider the benefits of using collaborative self-study to foster deep understandings of teacher education practice. The findings highlight the challenges in adapting school teaching practices to the university setting, and the different types of knowledge required to teach about the “hows” and “whys” of a models-based approach. We conclude by acknowledging the benefits of systematic study of practice in helping to unpack the complexities and challenges of teaching about teaching. Our collaborative self-study enabled us to develop insights into the intertwined nature of self and practice, and the personal and professional value of our research leads us to encourage teacher educators to examine and share their challenges and understandings of teaching practice.

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Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, Christophe Gernigon, Marie-Laure Huet, Fayda Winnykamen, and Marielle Cadopi

The purposes of this study were to qualitatively analyze peer interaction in dyads practicing a swimming skill, and to examine the potential dyad type-by-gender differences in observed peer interaction modes. Sixty-four senior high school students (32 M, 32 F) trained for 8 min either in symmetrical (same competence) or asymmetrical (different competence levels) same-sex dyads. The numbers of attempts and performance scores were also documented for novices. The observed peer interaction modes consisted of guidance-tutoring, imitation, cooperation, and parallel activity. Multivariate and univariate analyses revealed that tutoring and imitation were manifested more in asymmetrical dyads, while cooperation and parallel activity were more frequent in symmetrical dyads. Males in symmetrical dyads displayed the most parallel activity. Males carried out more attempts than females. Regarding performance, males in asymmetrical dyads benefited more from training than the other groups did. Similarities and differences with findings observed in the academic domain are discussed.

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Peter Iserbyt, Jan Elen, and Daniël Behets

This article addresses the issue of instructional guidance in reciprocal peer tutoring with task cards as learning tools. Eighty-six Kinesiology students (age 17–19 years) were randomized across four reciprocal peer tutoring settings, differing in quality and quantity of guidance, to learn Basic Life Support (BLS) with task cards. The separate and combined effect of two instructional guidance variables, role switching and role definition, was investigated on learning outcomes. In all settings student pairs were given 20 min to learn BLS. Individual student performance was measured before (baseline), immediately after (intervention) and two weeks later (retention). Repeated ANOVA showed strong learning gains but no significant differences between groups for total BLS scores. However, at retention significantly more students from the most guided condition remembered and consequently performed all BLS skills. It is concluded that guidance comprising role switching and role definition enhances skill retention in reciprocal peer tutoring with task cards.