By Liza Martin, Lucile Lafont
The effectiveness of interactive modeling and coping models for novice pupils was analyzed in a study—on learning a gymnic task—that relied on a theoretical, social psychology framework of development and learning. The first, interactive condition used an expert peer model, who regulated her intervention according to the actual skill level of the observer novice. The second, coping condition demonstrated a skill level and emotional state close to a novice’s first stage of learning, then gradually improved her performance and affect. A total of 36 sixth-grade participants, exclusively girls, were randomly assigned to one of the three model conditions: 12 worked with interactive modeling, 12 with a coping model, and 12 with a traditional, unadjusted “mastery model.” The empirical intervention considered the ecological context, using peer, live models working with different groups of three learners. Findings identified the benefits of interactional forms of learning and peer tutoring for young pupils. Results emphasized the superiority of adjusted and progressive demonstrations, both for motor learning and self-efficacy. Coping models showed particular effectiveness when the task to be learned was difficult, acrobatic, unknown, and potentially stressful. Data collected also suggest the necessity and benefits of training programs for models.