Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Eight preservice physical education teachers participated in this study to examine the effects of correct practice attempts, total practice attempts, and selected teacher behaviors on student achievement in a novel motor skill. Each teacher taught two 20-min lessons to 10 fourth graders. Four more and four less effective teachers were identified by cluster analysis using student posttest scores as the criterion. Eight teacher behaviors were observed and measured, four on frequency (cues, demonstration, knowledge of performance, encouragement) and four on duration (specific observation, general observation, management, instruction). Comparisons were made between the more and less effective teacher groups in two simple MANOVAs using either the teacher behaviors measured on duration or frequency as the dependent measures. Follow-up ANOVAs revealed only encouragement was significant favoring the more effective teachers. Although not significant, the more effective teachers averaged twice as many cues as the less effective teachers. Two separate teacher group x day ANOVAs with total trials and correct trials as dependent measures revealed that the students in the more effective teachers' classes had significantly more correct practice trials than those in the less effective teachers' classes. This is worth noting since Pearson r revealed significant relationships between student achievement and correct practice trials but not total practice trials. It appears that the quality of practice on this novel skill was a better indicator of learning than the total amount of practice.