Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education (Hons.)


School of Education


Western Australian College of Advanced Education


Academic Learning Time in Physical Education (ALT-PE) is defined as the portion of engaged time when a student is involved in practice appropriate to his or her ability. The amount of time students are appropriately engaged in physical education activities has been found to have a high correlation with student achievement (Godbout, Brunelle & Tousignant, 1983; Graham, Soares & Hanington, 1983; Harrison, 1987; Phillips & Carlisle, 1983; Placek & Randall, 1986; Silverman, 1985). The teacher has control over the amount of time children can practise the criterion skill in a particular lesson. Investigating the way in which the students spend time during the lesson will aid those who want to improve the teaching-learning process. This study aimed to increase the amount of ALT-PE provided to a class by a primary school physical education specialist. To increase the amount of ALT-PE a student receives in a lesson required a modification of the teacher's behaviour. Clinical supervision provided valuable feedback to the teacher in an attempt to increase the amount of AL T-PE. Two Year 6 classes, and a primary physical education specialist fanned the subjects for this study. The children were from a coeducation government primary school. The study used a single subject A-B research design. The students and teacher were observed during six mini-tennis lessons. The first three lessons for tennis were conducted with one Year 6 class. These lessons were used to form a baseline for the amount of ALT -PE received by students. When forming the baseline from which to intervene, efforts were made to match the content and sample of children. The teacher taught the next three lessons with similar content to the other Year 6 class. However, after each lesson the teacher received feedback about the amount of AL T-PE that students received. Discussions With the teacher occurred in an attempt to modify the teacher's behaviour. To gather data about ALT-PE, the ALT-PE/SPORT Observation Instrument developed by Wilkinson and Taggart (1989) was used. This required interval recording on a selected individual representing the class, and produced a percentage breakdown of the time for the lessons. Anecdotal notes were also taken for each lesson to assist the recording of key teaching-learning behaviours. The results from the baseline phase of the study showed that the teacher compared closely to other studies in the literature. Following intervention that involved clinical supervision by the researcher, the teacher increased the average amount of AL T-PE from 17.3% to 42.2%. This represented an average increase of 24.9% following intervention. To achieve such an increase in ALT-PE the teacher modified many teaching behaviours and altered the skill practices that were originally used in the baseline. Transition time (organizing and instructing the skill practices) was reduced by an average of 13.2% following intervention, and the involvement of the supporting child, used a great deal in the baseline lessons, was reduced in the intervention phase, The intervention was significant as it produced, on average, an increase of 7 minutes 29 seconds in the time students practised the criterion task in each lesson. Increases in ALT-PE occurred at the expense of non-productive time within a lesson where children were not engaged with the learning of the criterion task.