Relations Between Epistemic Beliefs and Instructional Approaches to Teaching Games in Prospective Physical Educators


  • Ken R. Lodewyk Brock University



Direct instruction, Teaching Games for Understanding, Sport Education



 The academic advantages of knowledge are often compromised when learners and teachers hold counterproductive epistemic beliefs, that is, personal convictions about the nature of knowledge and knowing. This study was an investigation of associations between prospective physical educators' game-specific epistemic beliefs (worldviews and beliefs in simple and stable knowledge and the need for cognition) and their preferred instructional model (Direct, Teaching Games for Understanding, or Sport Education) for teaching games in physical education. Following theoretical and applied instruction of each instructional model, 311 junior and senior undergraduate students enrolled in elective formal games classes at a mid-sized public university in south-central Canada completed several previously validated quantitative measures and one open-ended qualitative item. Those reporting a high need for cognition in games had higher contextualist and lower realist worldviews, along with more sophisticated beliefs about the simplicity and stability of knowledge. Participants most preferred a contextualist epistemic worldview and the TGfU instructional method, and a significant main effect difference was found in epistemic beliefs by preferred instructional model. Students' qualitative comments about each instructional model also reflect a collective awareness of the dynamics of the models and their potential advantages and disadvantages in particular learning settings. It appears useful to increase knowledge about the potential role of epistemic worldviews and beliefs on games teaching preferences in prospective physical educators, particularly if these educators are to foster availing epistemic beliefs in their students. 

Author Biography

Ken R. Lodewyk, Brock University

Associate Professor

Department of Kinesiology

Faculty of Applied Health Sciences