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An Analysis of Precision teaching

This research examined three components of precision teaching; charting, timed practices, and performance aims. In the first study beginner skaters performed two roller skating skills, forward crosses and back scissors, with the aim of increasing fluency in these skills using precision teaching methods. Skaters were told to perform the skills as fast as they could during 1-min practises, aiming at a set performance aim, or goal. After each timing skaters were told how many repetitions they had performed. One group charted back scissors only and the other forward crosses only. The skaters became faster in both skills and charting did not produce faster rates. The improvement seen may have been a direct result of the performance aims. Therefore the second study, using back crosses, compared a fixed, difficult performance aim (complete 50 per minute) for one group and an easier, flexible performance aim (beat your previous sessions' high score) for a second group. After each timing skaters were told how many back crosses they had performed. Performance rates increased similarly for both groups, thus the different performance aims did not have different effects, contrary to the goal-setting literature. A third study investigated this further. Skaters performed forward crosses and back scissors during a baseline condition, where there were no performance aims or feedback. Increases in performance rates for both skills occurred. In a second condition, a performance aim higher than their number of repetitions in the previous condition was set and feedback was given for one skill only. There was an immediate increase in rate of the targeted skill for 3 of the 4 skaters, suggesting that the goal, when given with feedback, influenced the rate at which the skaters performed the skill. In the fourth study, where the effect of feedback and practice was examined more closely, soccer players dribbled a ball in and out of cones. As expected those who took part in eight to ten sessions that were told to do their best (an easy goal) and not given feedback performed this skill faster than those who completed only two sessions with the same conditions. Unexpectedly, they also performed faster than those set a performance aim of beating their previous highest score (a hard goal) and who were given feedback. Methodological issues that may have been responsible for this latter result were addressed in the fifth study. Skaters completing 10 sessions of forward crosses, with feedback and with a performance aim of completing 60 repetitions in one minute (a hard goal), became faster than skaters completing 10 sessions without feedback who were told to do their best. Skaters told to do their best, who completed only three sessions without feedback, did not get faster. These results support those in the goal-setting literature that, hard goals with feedback have more effect than being told to do your best. Overall these studies show that short, timed practices and hard performance aims, or goals, may be effective components of precision teaching while visual feedback from charting may not. Further, precision teaching methods were effective when applied to sporting skills such as those used by roller skaters and soccer players for building fluency of basic skills.
Type of thesis
Pocock, T. L. (2006). An Analysis of Precision teaching (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2622
The University of Waikato
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