Sport Education Model in Russian Schools: Professional Development and Effective Teaching for Pre-service Teachers
Type of Degreedissertation
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The success of most Sport Education seasons depends on the quality of planning and instruction, as well as teaching effectiveness. Sport Education is not just a season of playing games but one with purposeful instruction in the beginning parts and intentional challenging of teams to work on skills and tactical challenges in their practice times during the season. While remarkably positive findings have been presented in research focusing on this curriculum model in school settings, investigations on how pre-service teachers learn to teach a new curriculum in physical education have been described as “the missing link” in curriculum research (McCaughtry et al., 2004). Pritchard, Hawkins, Wiegand, and Metzler (2008) compared traditional teaching styles and Sport Education when these were taught by pre-service teachers. They found that pre-service teachers were more effective in their teaching approach during Sport Education then during the traditional teaching. Kinchin (2006) argued that learning to teach Sport education is best done by being exposed to the model as a student, seeing the model in practice, and then teaching it. The purpose of this study was to introduce the Sport Education model to Russian students in a physical education pedagogical college, and track their understanding and intention to teach it through a series of learning experiences. An action research methodology was employed as a main design of this study, which included four experience cycles: lecturing, participating, planning, and teaching. Within each of these cycles, another mini-model, that being “plan-action-reflection”, was used to collect data and reflect on the research process and findings. A qualitative approach was used to analyze data. The most significant finding related to the knowledge that pre-service teachers received during their intensive participation. In particular, this cohort of pre-service teachers began with the misconception that Sport Education is a model where the teacher is essentially substituted by the students in terms of the operation of the class. However, by the end of the experience, the pre-service teachers held the believe that Sport Education is more like a completely different teaching style where the teacher becomes a facilitator of class events. In addition, teaching self-efficacy was evaluated and showed significant increases toward the end of the teaching cycle. Nonetheless, some of the pre-service teachers still demonstrated a strong resistance to a future teaching of the model, while others decided to postpone implementation of the model in their future career due to various reasons.