Development of teachers’ and coaches’ approaches and beliefs about games teaching in New Zealand schools as a process of learning.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This study builds on inquiry into the complexity of physical education teachers and sport coach development that accounts for the powerful influence of experience and context with a focus on teaching, and coaching team sport and games in schools. Over the past few decades, there has been growing research interest in student/player centred approaches to teaching and coaching team sport commonly referred to as GBA (games based approaches). Despite the promise of this development of GBA such as TGfU (teaching games for understanding) and Game Sense, this body of literature identifies a disappointing rate of teachers’ and coaches’ uptake of them. Given varying views of what is and what is not a genuine GBA, this may be misleading with few, if any, studies looking into at what influence they might have on teaching and coaching and how this occurs. To redress this oversight in the literature, this study adopted an open-ended, inductive research approach to inquire into the beliefs about, and practice of, teaching and coaching team sport among five New Zealand teachers and coaches and how their beliefs were developed over their lives with a focus on interaction and the influence of context. Employing a combined grounded theory and narrative inquiry methodology this study drew on the work of Dewey to conceptualise teacher/coach development as a learning continuum over their lives. It examines their learning through experience in socially and culturally shaped contexts about teaching and coaching to provide insight into the development of their beliefs about and practice of, teaching and coaching team sport as a learning continuum shaped by experience, interaction and context. The study suggests how the teachers’ and coaches’ beliefs and practice towards games and team sport teaching were developed through a process of learning located in a continuum of experience influenced by interaction and context over their lives. It adds to knowledge about the use of GBA by physical education teachers and sport coaches in schools by providing an understanding of the complex processes through which they develop their beliefs about teaching and coaching team sport and how this is shaped by social, cultural and institutional context. It suggests that when a more open approach is taken to research on the uptake of GBA, it has a more significant influence on practice than it is currently assumed in the literature.