Blakemore, C. L., Hilton, H. G., Harrison, J. M., Pellett, T. L., & Gresh, J. (1992). Comparison of students taught basketball skills using mastery and nonmastery learning methods. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 11, 235-247.

Mastery learning is an instructional strategy that embraces the philosophy that almost anyone can learn what is being taught given sufficient time and help. Mastery students receive knowledge about the results of their performance, along with a prescription of corrective or enrichment activities, each time an assessment is made. This study attempted to instruct three basketball skills to seventh-grade boys.

A control and non-mastery instructional group were compared. Students in the mastery group were not taught new skills until 80% had mastered the skills instructed. The other two groups did not change in individual skill performance. The mastery group performed significantly better on isolated skills than did the other two groups. There was no significant difference between the groups in performance of skills in competitive games.

Implication. Goals aimed at mastery improve skills at practice. However, the transfer of those improvements to competitive settings is not likely unless there is considerable similarity between the practice and competition situations.

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