A comparison of command versus guided discovery teaching styles on learning basic volleyball skills and on the learners' perceptions of teacher effectiveness
Neetz, Karen J.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences between the command teaching style and the guided discovery teaching style on both psychomotor improvements and learners' perceptions of teacher effectiveness. Subjects for the study were 83 college students enrolled in 8-week beginning volleyball classes at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. All subjects were enrolled for academic credit. Forty-two subjects were taught by the command teaching style and 41 subjects were taught by the guided discovery teaching style. A battery of three tests was used as a pretest and posttest measure of basic volleyball skills. The Brumbach forearm pass wall-volley test (developed by W. B. Brumbach, C. M. McGowan, and B. A. Borrevik in 1972); the American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) face pass wall-volley test (developed in 1969); and the AAHPERD serving accuracy test (developed in 1969) were selected. The Kent State University Student Questionnaire developed by D. B. Zakrajsek and R. R. Bos in 1978 was used for testing the learners' perceptions of teacher effectiveness. The 7-week treatment period consisted of 20 sessions, each 50 min in length. Instruction was based on objectives designed to enhance the development of basic volleyball skills. Each session consisted of a brief warm-up period, followed by instruction, practice and game or game-like activity. Data collected on the two groups were subjected to analyses of covariance. Results revealed that the command and guided discovery styles were equally effective for the bump and serve, but that the command style produced significantly better performance on the skill of setting, F(l, 80) = 5.024, p = .026. Results indicated a significant difference in learners’ perceptions of the teacher as being more competent, knowledgeable, and responsive to students when the command style was used. Both immediate satisfaction with the teacher and the course and further interest in learning a physical activity were significantly greater when the command style was used. The evidence produced by this study demonstrates that certain teaching styles can be more beneficial to both skill acquisition and learners’ perceptions of teacher effectiveness. It was concluded that teaching styles can affect certain skills more than others within the same sport. Relating teaching styles to the categorization spectrum developed by M. Mosston and S. Ashworth in 1986 might facilitate the integration of isolated research findings into a usable system for deciding which teaching style can maximize motor skills in which sport and for what learners.