"Show and tell" in the gymnasium: An investigation of developmental differences in modeling and verbal rehearsal of motor skills

Maureen R. Weiss, Kimberley A. Klint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although a great deal of research has been conducted on the relationship between modeling and motor skill acquisition, the role that developmental factors play in the observational learning of motor skills has been virtually unexplored. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine developmental differences of modeling and verbal rehearsal on performance of a sequential motor task. The sample consisted of 128 children representing two age groups: 5-0 to 6-11 years and 8-0 to 9-11 years. These children were randomly assigned to conditions in a 2 x 2 X 4 (Sex by Age by Instructional Type) factorial design, and were asked to perform a 6-part motor skill course. The instructional conditions included: Verbal model only, verbal model plus verbal rehearsal, verbal rehearsal only, and no model!no rehearsal. Analyses of variance revealed that, regardless of age, the verbal model plus rehearsal and verbal rehearsal only groups performed significantly better than the model only and control groups. Qualitative analyses demonstrated that children in the two age groups went about remembering the motor skills in distinctly different ways. Thus, it appears that for facilitating motor skill acquisition in elementary-aged children, a visual model may not be a sufficient means of instruction, but rather, verbal rehearsal strategies are also needed to help children selectively attend to relevant task components and remember the specific order in which skills should be executed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-241
Number of pages8
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1987

Keywords

  • Developmental factors
  • Information processing
  • Observational learning

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