Preservice teachers implementing a nonlinear physical education pedagogy

MOY, B., RENSHAW, I., DAVIDS, Keith and BRYMER, E. (2019). Preservice teachers implementing a nonlinear physical education pedagogy. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.

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Background In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the evolution of physical education teaching practice from a traditional teacher-centred approach to a student-centred approach. Consequently, research has focused on questions about the changing conceptions of the teaching and learning process, that is, from how ‘we’ teach to how ‘they’ learn. A contemporary theoretical model of the teaching and learning process could underpin learning design and delivery adopted in physical education. The constraints-led approach (CLA) is a viable alternative as its practice design and delivery is grounded in the contemporary motor learning theory of ecological dynamics within a nonlinear pedagogy framework. However, its implementation is thought to present unique challenges to physical education practitioners due to the dynamic individual learner-environment interactions from which learning occurs. For this reason, it has been suggested that researchers work symbiotically with practitioners to help facilitate the adoption of nonlinear pedagogies and provide valuable information regarding the application of theory into practice. Purpose This study sought to explore two PETE students’ experiences learning to implement a nonlinear informed pedagogical approach, specifically the CLA, with physical education students in a school practicum setting. The two PETE students were provided with support from the primary researcher during the experience. Participants and setting A purposive sample of two second-year PETE students from an Australian university were recruited for the study. Participant selection was based on meeting the pre-specified selection criteria of a demonstrated receptiveness to the CLA and a demonstrated confidence, ability and enthusiasm to implement the approach within a school setting. The two study participants were given the opportunity to implement the CLA within a supportive school culture while on their first physical education teaching practicum. Data collection and analysis The data collection methods utilised were documentary evidence, in the form of PETE students’ post lesson written reflections, primary researcher observations with written reflections and semi-structured student interviews undertaken within 1 week of the culmination of the practicum. These data sources were analysed collectively using thematic analysis to identify repeated patterns of meaning within the data. Findings As expected, implementing the CLA presented significant challenges to novice practitioners, due to the complex nature of student learning within a nonlinear informed approach. Specifically, the PETE students rarely detected any of the multiple pupil responses that ‘unexpectedly’ emerged from their modified learning environments. They also had difficulty manipulating the learning environment to facilitate the emergence of learners’ tactical problem-solving behaviour through the natural learning processes underpinning the CLA. Conclusion For an evolution of physical education teaching practice to progress, it is important that PETE educators work together with the physical education department of a local school to support PETE students to effectively implement nonlinear informed approaches in a school environment. Opportunities need to be provided to allow PETE students to progressively develop their experiential knowledge and conceptual understanding of the exploratory learning processes underpinning a nonlinear approach.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physical education; nonlinear pedagogy; constraints-led approach; ecological dynamics; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy; 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2019 11:21
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 19:31

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