Education and transfer of water competencies: An ecological dynamics approach

GUIGNARD, B., BUTTON, C., DAVIDS, Keith and SEIFERT, L. (2020). Education and transfer of water competencies: An ecological dynamics approach. European Physical Education Review, 1356336X2090217-1356336X2090217.

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© The Author(s) 2020. To cope in various aquatic environments (i.e. swimming pools, lakes, rivers, oceans), learners require a wide repertoire of self-regulatory behaviours such as awareness of obstacles and water properties, floating and moving from point to point with different strokes, decision making, emotional control and breathing efficiently. By experiencing different learning situations in stable indoor pool environments, it is assumed that children strengthen aquatic competencies that should be transferable to functioning in open water environments, where prevalence of drowning is high. However, this fundamental assumption may be misleading. Here, we propose the application of a clear, related methodology and theoretical framework that could be useful to help physical education curriculum specialists (re)shape and (re)design appropriate aquatic learning situations to facilitate better transfer of learning. We discuss the need for more representativeness in a learning environment, proposing how the many different task and environmental constraints on aquatic actions may bound the emergence of functional, self-regulatory behaviours in learners. Ideas in ecological dynamics suggest that physical educators should design learning environments that offer a rich landscape of opportunities for action for learners. As illustration, three practice interventions are described for developing functional and transferrable skills in indoor aquatic environments. It is important that aquatic educators focus not just upon ‘learning to swim’, but particularly on relevant transferable skills and self-regulatory behaviours deemed necessary for functioning in dynamic, outdoor aquatic environments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Drowning prevention; foundational movements; physical education; representative learning design; swimming; water safety; Sport Sciences; 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy; 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1356336X2090217-1356336X2090217
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2020 16:14
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 02:01

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