A comparison of the effects of two teaching styles on tumbling skill acquisition of college students

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of the command and reciprocal teaching style on the tumbling skill acquisition of college students. Fifty-one undergraduate students from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia served as subjects. Subjects were pretested to assess their performance on twelve tumbling skills. Two raters scored videotaped performances utilizing specific criterion established for each skill. A twelve item tumbling skill test devised by the investigator was used for all testing. Group I subjects (Nc = 25) were instructed utilizing the command style of teaching and Group II subjects (Nr = 26) the reciprocal style. The same instructor taught both groups the tumbling skills for twelve class periods of fifty minutes each. The instructional period lasted six weeks. At the end of the experimental period, posttest performances were once again videotaped and evaluated. Mean scores for each groups' performances were analyzed to determine the degree of skill improvement and to test for any difference that might have been attributed to treatment effects. One way Analyses of Variance were applied to the data using the .05 level of confidence for significance. As a result of the study the following conclusions were reached: (1) both command and reciprocal teaching styles promote tumbling skill acquisition of college age students in beginning tumbling; (2) neither teaching style used in the study is more effective than the other in promoting tumbling skill acquisition for college students over a six week instructional period.

On the basis of the data found in this study, it is apparent that college students are capable of teaching each other beginning tumbling skills. The non-significant differences between treatment group performances tends to suggest that practitioners could utilize the reciprocal style equally effectively as the command style while at the same time furthering each student's ability to learn in alternative modes.