An Analysis of the Working Memories of Expert Sport Instructors

McCullick, Bryan; Schempp, Paul; Shan-Hui Hsu; Jin Hong Jung; Vickers, Brad; Schuknecht, Greg
April 2006
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education;Apr2006, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p149
Academic Journal
A distinguishing characteristic of expert teachers appears to be an excellent memory (Berliner, 1986; Tan, 1997). Possessing an excellent memory aids experts in building a substantial knowledge base relative to teaching and learning. Despite its importance, the memory skills of expert teachers have yet to be investigated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the working memories of expert sport instructors. Forty-three expert teachers served as subjects for this study. Each teacher was shown a series of slides depicting play and instructional situations in their respective domains. The test required that the subjects view a slide for 5 seconds and then recall as much as they could from the slide. The audio taped responses were transcribed and then analyzed inductively using Huberman and Miles' (1995) four-stage analysis framework to draw themes and commonalities from the data. The findings revealed three themes of experts' working memories: a) voluminous and rich, b) a dominant order, and c) include a thorough skill analysis. There is support for Berliner (1986) and Tan's (1997) contention that experts have excellent memories, arrange their knowledge in a hierarchical manner, and are able to discern the important from the unimportant.


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