Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2016) 15, 569 - 577

Research article
Sport Education and Direct Instruction Units: Comparison of Student Knowledge Development in Athletics
José Pereira1, Rui Araújo2, Cláudio Farias2, Cristiana Bessa2, Isabel Mesquita2, 
Author Information
1 University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil
2 Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, CIFI2D, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Isabel Mesquita
✉ Rua Dr.Plácido Costa, 91, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
Publish Date
Received: 08-06-2016
Accepted: 15-08-2016
Published (online): 01-12-2016
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This study conducted a comparative analysis of students’ knowledge development on athletics in Sport Education and in a Direct Instruction unit taking into account sex and initial skill level. The participants were an experienced Physical Education teacher and two sixth-grade classes totaling 47 students (25 boys and 22 girls). Each class was randomly placed in either Sport Education or Direct Instruction classes and participated in 20, 45-minutes lessons focused on shot put, hurdles and triple jump. Knowledge on athletics was assessed through a 25-items written and video-based test. The inter-group differences and improvements across time in the knowledge test were analyzed through the Mann-Whitney and Wilcoxon tests, respectively. There were significant knowledge improvements in both instructional approaches irrespective of students’ gender and skill level. In Direct Instruction, the type of task organization, the high rates of repetition of movement patterns and feedback by the teacher were beneficial to student learning. In Sport Education, the autonomy granted to students in the control of the pace of task transitions by making on-going judgments on achievement of performance criteria, implicated students affectively and cognitively with the learning content. It was further supported that several models and teaching strategies should be taken into consideration when teaching Physical Education. Different approaches should be perceived as alternatives and teachers should retain the best in each according with the moment in the unit, student developmental stage, and the specific learning objectives in the task.

Key words: Physical Education, instructional models, cognitive outcomes, video-based assessment

           Key Points
  • The results in this study showed that regardless of students’ sex, both DI and SE were efficient in the promotion of improvements in students’ content knowledge of athletics.
  • Both boys and girls improved from the pre-test to the post-test in SE and DI.
  • SE was particularly beneficial to lower skill-level. On the contrary, in the DI unit, both higher and lower skill-level students showed knowledge improvements.
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