Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Hurwitz


This study compared the acquisition of skill and attitudes toward physical education manifested by seventh grade boys who were provided with choice during a basketball unit to those of seventh grade boys who were not provided with choice. The subjects were pre and posttested using portion of the AAHPER Basketball Skills Test Manual for Boys and the Kneer Attitude Inventory. The data were analyzed using a multivariate analysis of variance. Following a significant multivariate F value, a post hoc analysis was conducted on each dependent variable. Results of the univariate analysis showed that there was no significant difference between the groups on the dribble test. Neither group improved in the underbasket shot, perhaps due to the complexity of the skill. Subjects in the control (no choice) group demonstrated a higher degree of skill on the foul shot test after instruction, while the members of the experimental (choice) group performed significantly better on the speed pass test. Members of the experimental group reported more positive attitudes toward physical education, although these results reflected a significant disordinal interaction between the groups. The investigator determined that some of the results of this study may be explained by applying Gentile's (1972) notion of a continuum of open and closed skills. The findings of the present study suggest that physical educators might do well to apply a shared decision making (choice) method of instruction when teaching open motor skills, and to use a teacher directed (no choice) method of instruction to facilitate the learning of closed motor skills. Skills that fall in between open and closed might be taught equally as well by either method of instruction.