Situated Learning in Physical Education

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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David KirkThe University of Queensland

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Doune MacdonaldThe University of Queensland

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In this paper we argue that a version of situated learning theory, as one component of a broader constructivist theory of learning in physical education, can be integrated with other forms of social constructionist research to provide some new ways of thinking about a range of challenges currently facing physical educators, such as the alienation of many young people from physical education. The paper begins with a brief comment on some uses of the term “constructivism” in the physical activity pedagogy literature, then provides a more detailed outline of some of the key tenets of Lave and Wenger’s (1991) theory of situated learning. We then go on to show how this theory of situated learning can be applied to thinking about the social construction of school physical education, using the example of sport education.

David Kirk and Doune Macdonald are with the Department of Human Movement Studies at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia 4072.

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