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Effective Teaching Strategies for Low-Skilled Students

Ulana Lysniak, Anne Gibbone, Stephen Silverman


This study described the strategies used by expert teachers to instruct low motor skill students in physical education classes. The method was extensively pilot tested. Eleven physical education teachers took part in the study. Data were collected via observations, field notes, interviews, and nonstructured informal interviews. Two major themes emerged during the data analysis. First, specific teaching skills are important to facilitate low-skilled students’ success, with subthemes of (a) teachers paying attention to low-skilled students’ motor skill deficiencies and (b) teachers creating an accepting environment for low-skilled students. Second, teachers structure authentic performances in which low-skilled students can successfully participate, with subthemes of (a) teachers continually modifying game play with no scores, no winners, and everyone working together and (b) teachers recognizing decisions about equipment selection and usage for low-skilled students. The results can inform how teachers develop lessons for low-skilled students.

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physical education; instruction; skill level; strategies

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