Effects of command and guided discovery teaching styles on acquisition and retention of the handstand
The influential Mosston’s Spectrum of Teaching Styles is a guide to teaching decisions in Physical Education. This highly researched topic has been tested in many contexts so that our focus is centered on the type of skill during motor skill acquisition in physical education settings. Given that the tasks employed in the studies have been either specialized or manipulative fundamental skills, we sought to extend our understanding of the issue addressing the effects of teaching styles in the process of learning a stability fundamental skill. Our purpose was to examine motor and psychological effects of command and guided discovery teaching styles from Mosston's Spectrum in the acquisition and retention of the handstand in scholars. Third graders from a suburban school in Sao Paulo, Brazil, were assigned to a command (n=22) and a guided discovery (n=23) group. The process of learning the handstand lasted six acquisition sessions, carried out between a pretest and a posttest/retention. We used as dependent variables the motor developmental level (initial, elementary and mature), the movement ratings (scores from 0 to 10) and the motivation levels (post-learning self-reported subscales from the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory). The guided discovery teaching style led more scholars to reach the mature developmental stage of the handstand on retention compared to the command teaching style. No group differences were detected with respect to ratings or intrinsic motivation. Regardless of the group, the pretest ratings were lower than the posttest ones as well as boys scored higher in pressure and tension subscale as compared to girls. The current findings suggest that both teaching styles promoted motor acquisition, but the guided discovery teaching style seemed to yield superior handstand retention.
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