Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr Jennifer Brown

Second Advisor

Amanda Blackmore


The purpose of this study was to examine whether the verbal feedback distribution patterns of teachers in coeducational secondary physical education lessons were gender equitable. Previous literature indicated that inequality in verbal interaction and feedback existed in coeducational secondary physical education classes. This inequality tended to favour males to the disadvantage of females.

Fourteen lessons by male teachers and fourteen lessons by female teachers were video-recorded. The study utilized a modification of the systematic behaviour observation instrument developed by Siedentop (1983). Data obtained were categorized for analysis and interpretation. Statistical procedures were applied to establish the significance of the findings. Data were analyzed to determine verbal feedback distribution patterns to male and female students, verbal feedback distribution patterns by male and female teachers, and finally, whether interactions (relationships) existed between gender of students and gender of teachers in the distribution of verbal feedback. The observed teacher behaviour data reported in this study contrasted with the findings of previous research. No significant discrimination against students of either gender in the proportion and type of verbal feedback received was found. The categories of feedback collected included 'total', 'positive', 'corrective', 'general' , 'quality' , 'individual' , ‘group', 'behaviour', and 'skill'. A general pattern emerged with respect to differences in proportions of verbal feedback communicated by male and female teachers. Female teachers distributed significantly more verbal feedback to students than male teachers in the following categories; ‘total', 'positive' , 'corrective' , 'general' , 'quality' , 'individual', and 'skill'. The 'group' category of verbal feedback showed distribution by female and male teachers was gender equitable. Only one finding was statistically significant with regard to the interaction between gender of students and gender of teachers in the proportions and types of verbal feedback given in co-educational secondary physical education lessons. This finding indicated that female teachers distributed significantly more 'behavioural' verbal feedback to male students than to female students, whereas male teachers distributed almost the same number of 'behavioural' verbal feedback comments to male and female students. With the exception of the latter finding, these findings supported those reported in previous research in claiming that male teachers and female teachers may behave and interact with students differently, but collectively by gender they interact reasonably equitably with male and female students.