Moral Development in Sport Education: A Case Study of a Teaching-Oriented Preservice Teacher


  • Benjamin Schwamberger Minnesota State University Mankato
  • Matthew Curtner-Smit University of Alabama



Sport education, fair play, sporting behavior


Purpose: The occupational socialization literature suggests that teaching-oriented teachers are more likely to deliver Sport Education (SE) in its purest form and so provide conditions in which fair play and sporting behavior can be developed. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which Derrick, a teaching-oriented preservice teacher, promoted moral and sporting behavior while teaching 38 middle school boys within two SE seasons of team handball. Method: The theoretical perspectives employed were structural development theory and social learning theory. Data were collected with eight qualitative methods and analyzed with standard interpretive techniques. Results: Many of the students gained a more sophisticated understanding of fair play and sporting behavior during the study. On numerous occasions, students were observed playing fairly and acting in a sporting manner. Derrick’s teaching orientation, his own concept of sporting behavior and fair play, his delivery of a pure version of SE, and his pedagogy had much to do with these positive outcomes. However, many of the more skilled students’ willingness to engage in sporting behavior was context specific. As gameplay became more competitive, some of these more skilled students engaged in more unsporting behaviors. Conversely, many of the less skilled students maintained a universal concept of sporting behavior and fair play when the competition became fiercer. Conclusion: The results of the study confirm that the pure form of the SE model is an excellent medium through which sporting behavior and fair play can be developed.

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Author Biographies

Benjamin Schwamberger, Minnesota State University Mankato

Assistant Professor

Department of Human Performance

Matthew Curtner-Smit, University of Alabama


Department of Kinesiology