Challenges and Facilitators to the Implementation of a Sport Education Season: The Voices of Teacher Candidates
Keywords:sport education, teacher education, curriculum, physical education
Background/Purpose: Physical education teacher education (PETE) programs have been encouraged to provide teacher candidates (TCs) with the competencies and dispositions needed to implement a variety of curriculum and instructional models. Likewise, it has been suggested that TCs should have opportunities to practice implementing such models in field experiences that are closely related to methods courses. Given these recommendations, it is important to conduct research on the pedagogy implications related to the inclusion of a range of curriculum and instructional models in PETE programs. The purpose of this study was to examine TCs’ perceptions of the challenges and facilitators associated with the implementation of a Sport Education (SE) season in a 5-week field experience. Method: In this qualitative inquiry, participants were 13 TCs enrolled in pedagogical content knowledge classes within an accredited PETE program. Data were collected through focus groups conducted on the week following the field experience conclusion. The focus groups followed a semistructured format, in which discussion prompts were designed to capture TCs’ perceptions of the challenges and facilitators related to planning, classroom management, content delivery, and assessment of a SE season. Data Analysis: Data were analyzed using the inductive content analysis stages suggested by Miles and Huberman (1994), along with the constant comparative method. Results/ Discussion: TCs consistently reported the following challenges related to the implementation of a SE season: (a) spending time and energy on planning, (b) establishing fair teams, and (c) assessing student learning. Alternatively, TCs consistently indicated the following facilitators related to the implementation of a SE season: (a) experiencing the model as a student in the 10 weeks preceding the field experience, (b) establishing the routines pertinent to the SE model, and (c) having knowledgeable and helpful supervisors. Conclusion: Findings from this study contribute to the existent body of literature on how teachers learn to implement the SE model. This study provides relevant information related to the issues that might hinder or facilitate a SE season implementation from TCs’ perspectives. This information can contribute to the design of SE-based field experiences in PETE programs.
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