Date of Award

6-23-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

Abstract

Numerous studies have been done regarding the factors that effect on task persistence of students at an activity. However, little research has been done on the influence of teacher expectations , gender interactions , and teacher feedback. This study examined how these variables affect student task persistence. The focus of this study is task persistence (TP) and feedback (FB). Participants were 3rd and 4th grade males (n = 11) and females (n = 15) who received instruction from their physical education teacher. Pre-task expectations were studied from one male and one female physical education teacher using a quasi experimental research design. In addition, gender interactions and the effect of feedback on task persistence were examined. Procedures included data collection during two task style teaching episodes during which participants were introduced to a novel motor task and allowed to persist for as long as they liked. Data analysis found that females (M = 3 1 .00 , SD = 24.71) had higher TP scores than males (M = 14.72, SD = 8 .03) during the study (t = -2.38,p < .05) . Male and female students were rated the same by their teachers prior to data collection on TP (t = .33, p > 0 .05 ) . Further, analyses of FB and TP did not yield significant (p > .05) gender interactions from these data. Negative FB (rs = .49,p < .05), total positive FB (rs = .70, p < .05), and total FB (rs = .71, p < 0 .0 1 ) all predicted persistence in the sample. For these participants, male and female physical educators had similar expectations that were not mediated by the gender of the child or teacher. Differences in TP between females and males were the result of three female participants who each had TP scores that were more than double any male's level of persistence in the study. Significant gender interactions did not occur, but the type of feedback provided by the teachers predicted student task persistence. Feedback and TP are important variables that may impact persistence in physical education.

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