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Title:The Acquisitional Process of Selected Spatial and Temporal Aspects of a Waltz Sequence
Author(s):Patterson, Judith Ann
Department / Program:Physical Education
Discipline:Physical Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Physical
Abstract:The purpose of this research was to answer four questions regarding the beginning-level learner's use of environmental constancies across time in the learning of selected skills in ballroom dancing where the goal was to move according to an externally-imposed standard. The environmental constancies were 37 items of an instrument designed to measure waltz performance, and were identified as invariants or fixed aspects of the environment necessary for successful goal attainment. The questions involved (1) determining the influence of the individual's ability level as determined by three pretests on the subject's use of environmental constancies; (2) directing versus not directing the subjects' attention to environmental constancies; (3) determining the utilization of environmental constancies in early and later learning stages; and (4) determining the affect of a tempo change on reproduction accuracy of the environmental constancies.
Subjects included 60 seventh and eighth graders regularly enrolled in four separate classes at Holy Cross Elementary School, Champaign, Illinois. An experimental and control group was established at each grade level. All subjects received one of two types of training approaches to learn a required waltz sequence. The control-group subjects were given the specific body positions, notes, step variations, etc., that the experimental-group subjects received, but were left to organize the information themselves. The experimental-group subjects' attention was directed to groupings of positions, notes, step variations, etc., in order to stress the constant, invariant aspects of the environment as in the following examples: the ratio of the length to the width of a box step was 2:1; notes were hierarchically arranged in multiples or groups of two and three; and the box step was repeated with only directional differences throughout the waltz sequence. The subjects were video taped four times within eight meeting times. A slow tempo was used at all four sessions, plus, a fast tempo was included at sessions three and four. All subjects were tested on three pretests that measured three perceptual abilities: to hear and discriminate rhythmical pairs of patterns; to respond motorically to rhythmical patterns; and to remember serial order of items.
Analysis of the data indicated that (1) the experimental-group subjects were superior to the control-group subjects on the ability to motorically respond to rhythmical patterns, and that the pretests contributed to different aspects of the waltz performance, therefore, all were used as covariates; (2) the experimental-group subjects were able to improve both footwork and timing aspects of performance equally well during early learning, whereas the control-group subjects were unable to reach criterion performance until later in the learning process; (3) during early learning, the experimental-group subjects were more likely to demonstrate a "rectangular" versus a "square" box pattern, to coordinate step length and body level with the counts of the music, and to maintain correct postural alignment; and (4) the reverse quadratic trends displayed by the experimental and control-group subjects at the slow tempo were duplicated at the fast tempo.
In summary, when the subjects' attention is directed versus not directed to environmental constancies, accuracy is affected in two ways: by the strategy provided to the learner, and by the stage of learning. First, the learner's accuracy of movement form is facilitated with greater clarification of the movement goal through grouping instructions and the identification of environmental constancies provided by the teacher versus letting the learners discover the movement goal on their own. Secondly, the learners provided a strategy integrate both footwork and timing aspects of their performance earlier in the learning process than those learners without a strategy provided by the teacher.
Issue Date:1981
Description:184 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8127665
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1981

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