Task Adaptations as a Function of Content Knowledge: A Functional Analysis

Res Q Exerc Sport. 2020 Dec;91(4):539-550. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2019.1687809. Epub 2020 Jan 31.


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to investigate how teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in the form of task adaptations differed as a function of content knowledge. Method: Participants were three elementary school teachers (two females and one male) and their students (n = 66). Functional analysis of instructional events (i.e., adaptations) between teachers and students was used to examine PCK before and after a content knowledge workshop in crawl swimming. The appropriateness of the adaptations was measured and all data were collected through live observation by trained observers. Results: All teachers increased their average number of task adaptations per lesson after the content knowledge workshop. Appropriateness of adaptations increased substantially for two teachers but decreased for one teacher. Discussion/Conclusion: Functional analysis of student-teacher interactions is a valuable tool to examine teachers' PCK. The interrelationship between student- and teacher behavior can be modified through a content knowledge workshop.

Keywords: Applied behavior analysis; elementary school; pedagogical content knowledge; physical education; three-term contingency.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knowledge*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • School Teachers / psychology*
  • Swimming
  • Teacher Training*
  • Teaching