Advances in Physical Education
2012. Vol.2, No.3, 110-118
Published Online August 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Advancing Task Involvement, Intrinsic Motivation and
Metacognitive Regulation in Physical Education Classes:
The Self-Check Style of Teaching Makes a Difference
Athanasios Papaioannou*, Argiris Theodosiou, Marina Pashali, Nikolaos Digelidis
Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece
Email: *
Received March 12th, 2012; revised April 14th, 2012; accepted April 30th, 2012
It was hypothesized that “self-check” style of teaching would be more preferable in terms of creating a
mastery-oriented climate, and promoting adaptive achievement goals, intrinsic motivation and metacogni-
tive activity in physical education classes. Two hundred seventy-nine (N = 269) 6-grade students were
randomly divided into two groups that were taught four consecutive physical education lessons of the
same content following either “practice” or “self-check” styles of teaching respectively. Students responded
on questionnaires prior and after the intervention. Results revealed significant interactions between groups
and measurements. Students in the “self-check” style group scored higher in scales measuring mastery-oriented
climate, mastery goal, intrinsic motivation and metacognitive processes and lower in scales measuring
performance-goals and performance-oriented motivational climate. These results underscore the importance
of using styles of teaching that enhance opportunities for deep cognitive processing and promote mastery-goals
and mastery-oriented climates.
Keywords: Self-Check; Achievement Goals; Metacognition
The term “teaching style” was firstly established by Mosston
(1966), who organized all the teaching methods depending on
whether the decisions in a teaching/learning event are made by:
the teacher or the student. Later on, together with Ashworth
(Mosston & Ashworth, 1986, 1994, 2002) he proposed “the
spectrum of teaching styles” on which eleven teaching methods
were classified starting with the “command” style (where all
the decisions are made by the teacher) and ending with the
“self-teaching” style (where all the decisions are made by the
student). Several studies used the spectrum in order to evaluate
different styles of teaching and their impact on motor skills
acquisition (e.g. Abd Al-Salam, 2004; AlMulla-Abdullah, 2003;
Beckett, 1990; Boyce, 1992; Goldberger & Gerney, 1986; Gold-
berger, Gerney, & Chamberlain, 1982), while other studies ex-
plored changes on learner’s motivational variables (Chatoupis
& Emmanouel, 2003; Goudas, Biddle, Fox, & Underwood, 1995;
Morgan, Kingston, & Sproule, 2005).
The present study follows the second line of research by in-
vestigating the effects of “self-check” and “practice” teaching
styles on students’ cognitions and intrinsic motivation in physical
education. Two accepted theoretical frameworks in educational
psychology were used. Firstly, according to achievement goal
theory (Ames, 1984; Ames & Archer, 1988; Dweck & Legget,
1988; Nicholls, 1984, 1989), in achievement settings such as
physical education, two major types of goals predominate. When
performance goals are adopted individuals judge success or fail-
ure in comparison to others. They feel successful if they outper-
form others or surpass a high normative performance aiming to
demonstrate evidence of high ability or to avoid showing evi-
dence of low ability. When mastery goals are adopted individu-
als judge success against with their previous performance and
feel successful when they manage to achieve the task and gain
ability. As a result, mastery-oriented students are not afraid of
facing challenging tasks. Instead, they are often intrinsically
motivated in learning conditions, and this is even more profound
when they can adjust task challenge to their level of abilities. In
such cases mastery-oriented students apply high effort to master
a task whereas learning and personal improvement is their ul-
timate goal.
An additional distinction of these two types of achievement
goals was made by Elliot (1999) who suggested that it is also
important to explore whether individuals focus on reaching a
positive desirable possibility (approach goal) or on avoiding a
negative undesirable possibility (avoidance goal). Combining
these two dimensions with task- and ego-goals, Elliot (1999)
proposed a new framework with four dimensions: performance-
approach goal (individuals try to indicate high normative abil-
ity), performance-avoidance goal (individuals try to avoid show-
ing evidence of low ability), mastery-approach goal (individu-
als focus on improving personal competence on a task) and
mastery goal (individuals focus on avoiding to perform poorly
regarding their personal standards).
These differences in people’s goals and corresponding behave-
iors may derive from previous experiences (Stipek & Hoffman,
1980), family or social influences (Ames & Archer, 1987; Gott-
fried, Fleming, & Gottfried, 1994, Papaioannou, Ampatzoglou,
Kalogiannis, & Sagovits, 2008; Parsons, Adler, & Kaczala, 1982;
Xiang, McBride, & Bruene, 2003), or teachers’ behavior (Carr
& Weigand, 2002; Marshall & Weistein, 1986; Viciana, Cervello,
& Ramirez-Lechga, 2007; Weinstein & Middlestadt, 1979). In
particular, teachers’ way of instruction, evaluation, type of feed-
*Corresponding author.
back and the tasks chosen for teaching, are important dimensions
of class structure (Epstein, 1989), which determine students per-
ceptions of their class motivational climate as being high or low
mastery-oriented and high or low performance-oriented (Ames,
Overall (Dweck & Legget, 1988; Ford, Smith, Weissbein,
Gully, & Salas, 1998; Nicholls, 1984, 1989; Pintrich, 2000; Vrugt
& Oort, 2008), it is well established that performance goals and
performance climates—with the exception of performance-ap-
proach goals in particular circumstances (Hidi & Haravkiewicz,
2000)—produce maladaptive behaviours such as surface proc-
essing, shallow learning, and use of self-handicapping strategies.
On the contrary, mastery-goals and mastery-oriented climates
produce adaptive behaviors, emotions and cognitions, such as
deep processing (Pintrich & Garcia, 1991; Thill & Brunel, 1995),
enjoyment (Cunningham & Xiang, 2008), persistence on effort
(Guan, Xiang, McBride, & Bruene, 2006; McCarthy, Jones, &
Clark-Carter, 2008) and self-regulated learning (Duda, Cumming,
& Balaguer, 2005).
The general framework of self-regulation and the more spe-
cific theory of metacognition (Brown, 1987; Flavell, 1979) con-
stituted the second theoretical background of this study. Self-
regulated learners are supposed to act autonomously, guiding
their learning processes towards their goals, transferring previ-
ous knowledge to related situations, monitoring their progress
continuously and adjusting their strategies in the face of diffi-
culties. Self-regulation is largely a cognitive process, entails the
interaction of personal and environmental variables and as a
result differentiates between people of different experience (Ban-
dura, 1986; 1997; Carver & Scheier, 1998; Crews, 1993; Kir-
schenbaum, 1984; 1987; Kirschenbaum & Wittrock, 1984; Pet-
lichkoff, 2003; Zimmerman, 1986).
According to Efklides (2001) and others (e.g. Chen & Singer,
1992; Ommundsen, 2006; Pintrich & De Groot, 1990; Vrugt &
Oort, 2008) an important element of self-regulation is metacog-
nition. Although more theoretical research is necessary to achieve
an inclusive definition of metacognition (Veenman, Van Hout-
Wolters, & Afflerbach, 2006), literature on this field mainly
identifies three strongly intercorrelated features of metacogni-
tion: knowledge of cognition, regulation of cognition and meta-
cognitive experiences (Brown, 1987; Flavell, 1979; Jacobs &
Paris, 1987; Otero & Campanario, 1992; Veenman, Van Hout-
Wolters, & Afflerbach, 2006).
Knowledge of cognition refers to a person’s awareness about
his/her strengths and weaknesses, awareness about the interplay
between personal factors and the demands of the new situation
and awareness about the usage of the strategies he/she pos-
sesses to solve a learning problem. Cross and Paris (1988) men-
tioned three kinds of knowledge of cognition: declarative knowl-
edge (knowledge about the self and personal strategies), proce-
dural knowledge (knowledge about how to use personal strate-
gies) and conditional knowledge (knowledge about when and
why to use these strategies).
However, it is essential to stress the importance of the regu-
lating these cognition processes. Regulation of cognition con-
sists of the activities/skills which the person uses to control
his/her learning, such as: management of the available informa-
tion, planning, self-monitoring, strategies for solving an on-line
problem and evaluation of the learning products or the strate-
gies that had been used (Brown, 1987).
Learning experiences are always related with cognitive proc-
esses and person’s metacognitive skills developed or facilitated
through appropriate teaching strategies. Metacognitive experi-
ences refer to the feelings the person experiences in relation to
a particular learning task and judgments regarding the process-
ing of his/her learning, such as feeling of difficulty, feeling of
familiarity, feeling of how well he/she is doing, etc. (Efklides,
Studies in sport and physical education confirmed that self-
regulation and metacognition have strong association with mas-
tery goals and mastery-oriented climates (Gano-Overway, 2008;
Ommundsen, 2003; 2006; Papaioannou, Simou, Kosmidou, Milo-
sis, & Tsigilis, 2009; Solmon & Boone, 1993; Solmon & Lee,
1997; Theodosiou, 2004; Theodosiou & Papaioannou, 2006;
Theodosiou, Mantis, & Papaioannou, 2008). The results of these
studies supported the assumption of educational psychologists
(Ames & Archer, 1988; Boekaerts, 1997; Vrugt & Oort, 2008)
that the pursuit of mastery goals creates the appropriate sub-
stratum for the establishment of metacognition and self-regulation;
however, these studies do not allow inferences about causality.
For example, as self-regulated learning is ubiquitous in educa-
tional research nowadays, specific training programmes which
encourage self-regulated learning have been found to be very
helpful for students’ learning in academic domain (Loyens, Joshua,
& Rikers, 2008). Such kind of research and especially field-
based studies in the domain of physical education are required
to draw conclusions about the appropriate instructional formats
which ensure the development of students’ self-regulatory strate-
Research Hypothesis
Based on the main characteristics of the “self-check” style of
teaching one can hypothesize that learners are facilitated in
setting process goals (e.g. definition of process, Zimmerman &
Kitsantas, 1996, 1997). One of the main characteristics of this
style of teaching is learners’ self-assessment through criteria
provided by the teacher (Mosston & Ashworth, 2002). In par-
ticular, the physical education teacher prepares criteria sheets
for the students, regarding the motor skill that has to be learned.
Through these criteria sheets the learners become aware of the
core components of the motor skill and they are able to judge
the accuracy of their practice giving themselves personal feed-
back for every trial or for a set of trials. In addition, increased
opportunities are offered to pupils to learn how to regulate their
learning by monitoring their progress, by setting process goals
and by focusing on the key mechanisms of the skill under prac-
tice. By this way learners become more independent and use
strategies facilitating cognitive involvement which are called
self-assessment strategies because by using them learners are
able to asses their own skill performance (Byra, 2000, 2006).
Hence, the first research hypothesis of the study was that the
use of “self-check” style of teaching can activate metacognitive
processes during physical education and more particularly
self-monitoring and planning which are the core components of
the self-regulation (Carver & Scheier, 1998).
Furthermore, when the teacher assists the students to focus
on personal process goals the teacher establishes a task-involving
climate and they become more task-involved experiencing higher
levels of intrinsic motivation (Digelidis, Papaioannou, Laparidis
& Christodoulidis, 2003; Jaakkola & Digelidis, 2007). Conse-
quently the second research hypothesis of the study was that the
use of “self-check” style of teaching should increase the stu-
dents’ levels of intrinsic motivation and that they would perceive
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 111
the climate of their class as more mastery-orientated.
These positive motivational and cognitive benefits were not
expected if the “practice” style of teaching was used because in
this style the physical educator is the only person who is re-
sponsible to introduce the skill under learning and its’ key com-
ponents, to supervise the students’ progress and to give skill-
related feedback providing solutions for the possible incorrect
performance. By this way all given information are external,
limiting pupils’ opportunities to act autonomously, to become
task-involved, to experience high levels of intrinsic motivation
and to gain knowledge about how to monitor and to regulate
their learning. Indeed, by being less task-involved, students are
more likely to observe and compare their peers’ performance
with their own. Hence, the “practice” style of teaching was more
likely to facilitate performance-approach and performance-avo-
idance goals and climates.
Two hundred and seventy nine pupils (boys = 119, girls =
141, did not provide gender = 19) of seven public elementary
schools (13 coeducational classes) participated in the study.
The students were in the sixth grade and the classes were taught
by seven physical education teachers (years of teaching ex-
perience = 15.28 ± 3.09). The study was conducted with the
permission of the Ministry of Education and the students agreed
to take part voluntarily after the collection of parents’ informed
Design and Procedure
Prior to the study one of the authors visited the schools which
were randomly selected and informed the physical education
teachers about the details of the research design. All teachers
had complete knowledge and adequate experience on the spec-
trums’ styles. Each of them was teaching to two classes of the
6th grade except one teacher who had only one class at the sixth
grade. Teachers were asked to teach one of their classes with the
“practice” style of teaching and the other with the “self-check”
style of teaching. The physical education teacher who had one
class taught with the “self-check” style of teaching. In sum, 131
students (n = 52 boys, n = 65 girls, n = 14 did not provide gen-
der) were taught with the “self-check style of teaching and 148
students (n = 67 boys, n = 76 girls, n = 5 did not provide gender)
were taught with the practice teaching style. The intervention
took place during spring and lasted two weeks (2 teaching
hours per week, each of them lasting 45 minutes). One of the
researchers was present in every lesson to ensure the correct
execution of the experimental procedure.
Four lesson plans were prepared from the authors and were
designed in the same way for all classes (a. warm-up games and
activities; b. main-part activities; and c. cool-down games and
activities). Warm-up and cool-down games and activities were
the same for both self-check and practice groups in every lesson.
During the main part of activities of each lesson, one of four
football skills (a. dribbling with the upper side of the foot; b. ball
passing with inner side of the foot and ball receiving; c. ball
shooting with the upper side of foot; and d. throw-in) was in-
troduced to pupils of both groups in the same order for each
class. The main part of every lesson lasted 20 minutes for all
classes and contained two drills/activities. After a short descrip-
tion and a demonstration of the skill under learning by physical
education teachers, pupils of both groups executed 25 trials of
each drill (50 trials). While physical education teachers were
responsible to provide feedback to the students of the “practice”
group the students of the “self-check” group were provided with
skill-related feedback through criterion sheets which were pre-
pared by the authors.
The criterion sheets included a brief description of each skill’s
use, four key-components of it, four pictures illustrating every
key-component and a self-check form for the students to mark
their success (e.g. dribbling with the upper side of the foot. De-
scription: this skill has a main part in ball possession by your
team and can be used for surpassing your opponents and for
the movement in an open field area. Key components: a. Do I
use the upper side of my footthe place where my shoelaces
are? b. Are my legs slightly bended? c. Do I keep the ball in
front of my feet? d. Do I keep my head up looking at my part-
ners?). Pupils executed ten sets of five trials (50 trials). After
each set, for every key-component they indicated in the crite-
rion sheet whether they performed the skill correctly () or
they needed further improvement (). At the end of the crite-
rion card there was a self-assessment form where students could
score their success for every set (min score: 0, max score: 4).
All participants responded to questionnaires at the end of one
lesson before the intervention which was a typical lesson of
their class and at the end of the final lesson of the intervention.
They were informed that there were no right or wrong answers,
were encouraged to answer as honestly as possible, and were
assured that their responses would remain confidential. Students
worked on their own but those who wanted to ask questions
could communicate privately with the researcher who was pre-
sent and administered the questionnaires.
All students completed the instruments after a 35 minutes
class. In order to reduce completion time, shorter versions of
the existing questionnaires were administered. Based on data
from previous studies with these questionnaires, the best items
were selected trying to ensure that these shorter versions would
satisfy demands for reliability and factorial validity. As is showed
below, we conducted confirmatory factor analyses to establish
the factorial validity of the present measures. Moreover, we
investigated correlations between the present scales to establish
divergent and convergent validity. All correlation results were
in line with theoretical assumptions but they are not reported
here due to space limitations (however they can be provided by
the authors upon request).
Achievement Goals
The Achievement Goals Scale at the Situational Level of
Generality (Papaioannou, Milosis, Kosmidou, & Tsigilis, 2007)
was used to assess students’ goal orientations at a particular
point of time. This instrument was created to capture changes
of students’ achievement goals in physical education classes at
a particular point of time and has been used successfully in
previous studies (Papaioannou et al., 2007). We removed 9
items from this instrument, the 6 items comprising the social
approval factor and one item from the mastery, performance-
approach and performance-avoidance factors respectively. Fol-
lowing the stem: “In today’s physical education class…” Stu-
dents indicated their preferences to the 15 items of this instru-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
ment in a 5-point Likert type scale (5 = strongly agree, … 1 =
strongly disagree). Examples of the items are: “… my goal was
to improve my skills” (mastery goal, 5 items); “… I was striving
in order to be the best” (performance-approach goal, 5 items);
“… I was avoiding drills and games for which I may be gibed
at for my abilities” (performance-avoidance goal, 5 items). Con-
firmatory factor analysis revealed satisfactory goodness-of-fit
indices for the three-factor model (chi square = 120.6; df = 87;
TLI = .955; CFI = .967; RMSEA = .037).
Motivationa l Climate
To estimate how students perceive the climate of their physical
education classes three scales (mastery climate, performance-
approach climate and performance-avoidance climate) of the
Perceptions of a Physical Education Teacher’s Emphasis on
Achievement Goals Questionnaire at the Situational level of
Generality (Papaioannou et al., 2007) were used. For the afore-
mentioned reasons and following the same procedure we also
reduced the items of this questionnaire to 15 by removing the 7
items of the social approval climate and 1 item from each of the
remaining factors. Following the stem: “In today’s physical edu-
cation class, our teacher…”, students responded in 5-point Likert
type scale (5 = strongly agree, … 1 = strongly disagree). Exam-
ple items of this instrument are: “…. was very satisfied when
someone was showing improvement after hard effort” (mastery
climate, 5 items); “… was pleased with students showing that
they were more capable than others” (performance approach
climate, 5 items); “… made me worry if they say that I am not
capable” (performance avoidance climate, 5 items). The results
of the confirmatory analysis confirmed the three-factor struc-
ture of the instrument (chi square = 121.89; df = 89; TLI = .941;
CFI = .957; RMSEA = .038).
Intrinsic Motiva ti o n
The two scales (interest/enjoyment and effort/importance) of
the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) (McAuley, Duncan &
Tammen, 1989) were used to measure students’ intrinsic moti-
vation. This questionnaire is one of the most frequently used
instrument in the context of sports and physical education and
its psychometric properties have been established in previous
studies (e.g., Tsigilis & Theodosiou, 2003). Students answered
to the items following the stem: “In today’s Physical Education
class…” Responses were given on 5-point Likert type scale (5
= strongly agree, … 1 = strongly disagree). Example items are:
“… the activities were fun to do” (interest/enjoyment, 4 items);
“… I was trying very hard” (effort/importance, 4 items). The
present confirmatory analysis revealed satisfactory goodness-
of-fit indices for the two-factor model (chi square = 35.5; df =
19; TLI = .961; CFI = .979; RMSEA = .056).
Metacognitive Self-Regulation
Two scales measuring planning and self- monitoring from
the Metacognitive Processes in Physical Education Question-
naire (MPIPEQ) were administered. This instrument is an en-
riched and adapted version for physical education of the Meta-
cognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI) (Schraw & Dennison,
1994), which is based on Brown’s (1987) framework. Its’ con-
struct validity and reliability has been tested in previous studies
(Theodosiou & Papaioannou, 2006; Theodosiou, Papaioannou,
& Mantis, 2005; Theodosiou, Mantis, & Papaioannou, 2008).
We were particularly interested in measuring “self-monitoring”
and “planning” because these cognitive functions were ex-
pected to be activated through the use of the “self-check” style.
All items were adjusted at the situational level of generality.
Following the stem “In today’s Physical Education class…”
responses were given on 5-point Likert scales (5 = always, 4 =
often, 3 = sometimes, 2 = rarely, 1 = never). Example items of
the two scales are: “… it was clear to me what I wanted to
learn” (planning, 4 items); “… as I was learning new exercises I
was checking if I was actually doing well” (self-monitoring, 4
items). Confirmatory analysis revealed excellent goodness-of-
fit indices for the present two-factor model (chi square = 22.6;
df = 19; TLI = .990; CFI = .995; RMSEA = .026).
From the remaining 7 scales of the MPIPEQ we selected one
item from every scale in order to capture overall metacognitive
activity in physical education. These items were as follows:
declarative knowledge: “… I realized which exercises I could
perform right”, conditional knowledge: “… when I wanted to
grow better in a game I put into practice a learning strategy”,
procedural knowledge: “… I had a clear view of how to put in
practice a learning method I have been taught”, imagery: “…
before I perform an exercise I imagined myself to perform it”,
information management: “… I thought if the games I played
were similar to others”, problem solving strategies: “… when I
got confused I stopped to see the whole thing from the begin-
ning”, evaluation: “… since I have learned an exercise I com-
pared the way I had learned it with other ways”. The good-
ness-of-fit indices for this one-factor model were satisfactory
(chi square = 31.4; df =14; TLI = .920; CFI = .947; RMSEA
= .067).
Internal Consi ste ncie s an d Scale Construction
The alpha reliabilities (Cronbach, 1951) of the scales of the
questionnaires for both measurements are shown in Table 1.
Most of the results indicate acceptable scale reliabilities. Scale
scores were computed for measurements before and after the
Descriptive statistics for these scales using each individual
student as the unit of analysis are shown in Table 2. Based on
Silverman’s and Skonie’s (1997) recommendation that experi-
mental effects in school settings should be also studied at a class
level, scale scores were also computed using class as the unit of
analysis. In order to have enough sample size of classes in sub-
sequent analyses, given the sufficient number of boys and girls
Table 1.
Internal consistency of the scales.
Initial measure Final measure
Mastery goal .73 .71
Performance-approach goal .78 .78
Performance-avoidance goal .78 .81
Mastery climate .74 .71
Performance-approach climate.72 .55
Performance-avoidance climate.72 .67
Enjoyment .69 .81
Effort .73 .79
Self-monitoring .75 .75
Planning .66 .79
Overall metacognitive activity .66 .79
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 113
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Table 2.
Means and standard deviations for goal orientations, motivational climate, intrinsic motivation and metacognitive self-regulation.
Unit of analysis: student Unit of analysis: class
Measure: Initial Final Initial Final
Teaching style: Self-check Practice Self-check Practice Self-check Practice Self-check Practice
Mastery goal 4.34a.66 4.16b .66 4.32a.56 3.85c.75 4.23d.33 4.23d.33 4.32d .18 3.78f.33
Performance-approach goal 2.97a.99 2.82a 1.02 2.18b.65 2.66c1.03 2.99d.53 2.82d.40 2.21e .28 2.70d.49
Performance-avoidance goal 2.69a1.01 2.81a .97 2.35b.75 2.75a.92 2.64d.34 2.81d.27 2.37e .30 2.74d.39
Mastery climate 3.95a.74 3.88a .72 4.27b.60 3.65c.76 3.93d.33 3.80d.41 4.25e .21 3.60f.30
Performance-approach climate 2.74a.72 2.65a .77 2.33b.64 2.74a.84 2.63de .36 2.67df .35 2.35e .18 2.76f.37
Performance-avoidance climate 2.71a.85 2.58a .77 2.26b.69 2.75a.86 2.69d.35 2.55d.31 2.27e .24 2.74d.41
Enjoyment 4.29a.67 4.32a .70 4.51b.52 4.07c.89 4.27d.254.32d.39 4.50d .20 3.98e.44
Effort 4.03a.97 4.05a .80 4.37b.60 3.74c.994.06d.29 4.03d.29 4.40e .20 4.03f.29
Self-monitoring 3.89a.85 3.75a .93 4.25b.67 3.50c.86 3.90d.31 3.73d.42 4.27e .32 3.46f.42
Planning 3.87a.85 3.69a .88 4.20b.63 3.53a1.02 3.88d.32 3.69d.42 4.21e .27 3.50f.35
Overall metacognitive activity 3.49a.70 3.42a .63 4.20b.55 3.36a.68 3.51d.22 3.43d.24 4.22e .23 3.36d.20
Note: Group means sharing the same subscript are not significantly different at the .05 level.
in each class (for each gender in every class: 15 > n > 6), scale
scores for each class were computed separately for each gender.
Descriptive statistics for scale scores using class as the unit of
analysis are shown in Table 2.
Differences between “Self-Check” and “Practice”
Style of Teaching
To investigate possible differences between “self-check” and
“practice” styles in goal orientations, motivational climates, in-
trinsic motivation, self-monitoring, planning and overall meta-
cognitive activity, four doubly repeated measures MANOVAs
were computed using student as the unit of analysis. In each of
these MANOVAs, independent variable was the teaching style
and depended variables were the following variables before and
after the intervention: 1) The three goal orientations; 2) The three
climate scales; 3) The two intrinsic motivation variables; and 4)
The three metacognitive variables. Results from all doubly re-
peated measures MANOVAs revealed significant interaction ef-
fects of the repeated measures factor with the teaching styles
factor (p < .001).
To investigate these effects for each dependent variable we
conducted repeated measures ANOVAs (measurement × teach-
ing style). The results revealed significant interactions between
measurement and teaching style in all depended variables (Ta-
ble 3; Figures 1-11). In order to better understand these inter-
actions separate simple effect analyses were performed (Table
2). From the initial to the final measurement, in comparison to
the scores of students who were taught with the “self-check”
style of teaching, the scores of students who were taught with
the “practice” style were decreased for scales capturing mastery
goal, mastery climate, intrinsic motivation (enjoyment and effort),
overall metacognitive activity, self-monitoring and planning (Ta-
ble 2, Figures 1, 3, 7-9 and 11) but they were increased for
scales measuring performance goals and performance-oriented
The same statistical analyses were contacted using class level
as the unit of analyses. Almost similar results emerged, con-
firming most of our research hypotheses. Significant interact-
tions (p < .001) emerged between the repeated measures factor
and the teaching styles factor in all doubly repeated measures
As it can be seen in Table 3, results from repeated measures
ANOVAs (measurement × teaching style) for each dependent
variable revealed significant interactions between measurement
and teaching style in almost all the depended variables. Com-
pared to classes that were taught with “self-check” style of teach-
ing, classes that were taught with “practice” style of teaching
had lower scores in the final measurement in scales measuring
mastery goal, mastery-oriented climate, intrinsic motivation and
metacognitive activity and higher scores in scales measuring
performance goals and performance-oriented climates.
It has been suggested that the “self-check” style of teaching
assists students to set process goals (Zimmerman & Kitsantas,
1996; Papaioannou & Kouli, 1999). The present study tried to
elaborate deeper into this matter by exploring the cognitive
processes that are activated when students are taught with the
“self-check” style of teaching.
The aim of this study was to verify the notion that teaching
physical education skills with the “self-check teaching style” has
important benefits for students’ motivation and self-regulation.
Specifically, it was hypothesized that the adoption of this style
of teaching has positive effects on motivational climate and
students’ goal orientations, intrinsic motivation and metacogni-
tive activity in physical education classes. All hypotheses were
The results showed that the “self-check” style helps students
to activate two core processes of the self-regulation system,
namely, self-monitoring and planning. Through the use of the
criteria sheet, pupils are asked to monitor themselves, to ana-
lyse their performance and to decide about the correctness of
their actions. Then, by applying this information they are asked
to set new or to re-establish process goals for the improvement
of their motor performance in the next trials. Through this pro-
cedure students complete the three phases of self-regulated learn-
ing (forethought, performance, self-reflection; Zimmerman 1986;
2000) and adjust their actions by themselves using personal
feedback loops which involve the activation of conscious cog-
nitive processes. Such feedback loops constitute the basis of
self-regulation (Carver & Scheier, 1998) and the activation of
them requires metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive regu-
Table 3.
Results of the repeated measures ANOVAs (measurement × teaching style).
Unit of analysis: student Unit of analysis: class
F Sig. η2 F Sig. η2
Mastery goal 10.76 .001 .035 14.37 .001 .374
Performance-approach goal 23.53 .000 .079 14.04 .001 .369
Performance-avoidance goal 4.98 .026 .018 1.39 .249 .055
Mastery climate 28.86 .000 .095 16.32 .000 .405
Performance-approach climate 23.15 .000 .077 3.66 .068 .132
Performance-avoidance climate 30.01 .000 .098 12.71 .002 .346
Enjoyment 20.52 .000 .069 10.96 .003 .314
Effort 29.53 .000 .097 46.28 .000 .658
Self-monitoring 27.64 .000 .091 25.72 .000 .517
Planning 15.31 .000 .053 22.42 .000 .483
Overall metacognitive activity 69.79 .000 .202 96.48 .000 .801
Initial measur.Final measur.
Figure 1.
Changes in mastery goal orientation.
Initial measur.Final measur.
Figure 2.
Changes in performance approach goal orientation.
Initial measur.Final measur.
Figure 3.
Changes in performance avoidance goal orientation.
Initial measur.Final measur.
Figure 4.
Changes in mastery motivational climate.
Initial measur.Final measur.
Figure 5.
Changes in performance approach motivational climate.
Initial measur.Final measur.
Figure 6.
Changes in performance avoidance motivational climate.
Initial measur.Final measur.
Figure 7.
Changes in enjoyment in physical education.
Initial measur.Final measur.
Figure 8.
Changes in effort in physical education.
Initial measur.
Figure 9.
Changes in self-monitoring.
Initial measur.Final measur.
Figure 10.
Changes in planning.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 115
Initial measur.Final measur.
Figure 11.
Changes in general metacognitive activity.
lation. Indeed, the present findings provided strong support to
this notion by revealing large effect sizes. Students who were
taught the soccer skills in the “self-check” conditions were much
more likely to use several components of metacognitive knowl-
edge and regulation (i.e., overall metacognitive activity) than
students who were taught with the practice style.
Apart from the cognitive benefits, the use of the “self-check”
style has motivational benefits too. This study confirmed that
the “self-check” style contributes to the development of a posi-
tive motivational climate which is characterized as high mas-
tery and low performance oriented. Specifically, by setting proc-
ess goals students individualize the learning process, which is
an important dimension of a mastery-oriented climate (Ames,
1992). Indeed, the present findings confirmed that the “self-check”
style of teaching had more positive effects on perceptions of
mastery-oriented climate than the practice style. This individu-
alized learning process helped students to sustain their attention
on their learning task and to be less distracted by others’ be-
haviours and performance in comparison to students who were
taught with the “practice” style of teaching. In sum, this led to
decreased perceptions of social comparison and consequently
reduced perceptions of teachers’ emphasis on performance ap-
proach or performance avoidance goals in the “self-check” style
The positive effects of the “self-check” style on motivational
climate led to positive consequences in students’ adoption of
mastery and performance goals. Students in “self-check” classes
adopted higher mastery goals and lower performance goals than
students in “practice style” classes. By being more self-regulated,
students in “self-check” classes were also more autonomous
learners than students in “practice style” classes. By attending
less the performance of others, students’ progress in “self-check”
conditions was more self-determined in comparison to students
in “practice style” conditions. These higher levels of autonomy
and self-determination led to higher intrinsic motivation (Deci
& Ryan, 1985) for students in the “self-check” conditions in
comparison to students in the “practise style” conditions.
In total, in comparison to preferable teacher-centred styles
such as the “practice” style (Curtner-Smith, Todorovich, McCau-
ghtry, & Lacon, 2001), the present results were clearly in fa-
vour of the “self-check” style. It appears that this style of teach-
ing establishes an educational environment which includes af-
fordances for self-regulation. These findings refer to begin-
ners, but further research should examine whether these impli-
cations can be generalized across students with advanced know-
ledge and skills because in the opinion of several researchers
there are many types of self-regulated action that are more or
less suitable for different tasks, in different domains, and for
different students. On the subject of metacognitive regulation
the present study clearly focused on self-monitoring and plan-
ning. Thus, longer interventions involving a number of combi-
nations between “self-check” and other styles of teaching are
needed, because they better reflect the multidimensionality of the
teaching process than the limited number of the present classes.
Implications for Physical Education Teachers
The present findings imply that in grades 5 - 8 which is a pe-
riod when students are introduced to new sports skills, the use
of the “self-check” style could have a prominent role in the
teaching process. However, this conclusion has not to be con-
sidered as an effort to verify the supremacy of one style over
another. Mosston and Ashworth (1986) emphasize that no sin-
gle style of teaching is superior to another and suggest the physi-
cal education teacher to determine first what has to be accom-
plished and then to decide which style is more appropriate in a
given situation. For example, early research findings (Beckett,
1990) confirmed that the “practise” is equivalent to the “inclu-
sion” teaching style in cases of performing a motor skill. But
between these two styles the “inclusion” style of teaching is
preferable when the students are girls and when the enhance-
ment of perceived athletic competence is the goal of the lesson,
(Chatoupis & Emmanouel, 2003). Thus, the main message of
this study is that teachers concerning in promoting self-regulatory
skills and in establishing a mastery-oriented climate in physical
education classes can choose “self-check” style to achieve their
goals. Having in mind the above, the adequate training of the
physical education teachers about the implementation and the
precise usefulness of each style becomes a main priority. Physi-
cal education authorities through seminars and workshops have
to ensure that physical education teachers have adequate knowl-
edge of the variety of teaching styles in order to choose which
one better achieve their goals.
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