A BACKWARD SHAPING PROGRESSION - JAVELIN
Lynne E. Evans
The following are the steps used to instruct a mature individual to throw a javelin. S had no experience with throwing the object although had a considerably rich history of involvement in sports. Four consecutive correct trials at a step needed to be performed to progress to the next step.
In this example it was necessary to teach how to hold and grip the implement (Steps A and B) prior to commencing the movement pattern.
Step Content A Hold B Grip C Recovery D Release E Arm movement F Position of feet G Backward lean H Body rotation I Arm extension J Arm withdrawal K Javelin carry L Total throw
Prior to starting any instruction S was asked to attempt four throws which were measured. The distances recorded were 31.8 m, 32.7 m, 28.5 m, and 33.0 m.
The instruction consisted of three sessions. On each day progressions always started with Step A and proceeded as planned.
Upon completion of the progression and performance of the terminal behavior criterion (four errorless executions of the total throw) four more throws for distance were conducted in a manner similar to pre-instruction testing. The distances recorded were 41.5 m, 42.7 m, 39.8 m, and 43.9 m.
Only 8% of trials were deemed errors and the performance improvement was 33.25%.
* This is a summary of an unpublished research project conducted by Ms. Evans as part of her studies for the M.Sc. degree in the Theory of Coaching at Lakehead Univeristy, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada in the spring of 1985.
Return to Table of Contents for this issue.