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Gestalt Psychological Principles in Developing Meaningful Understanding of Games and Sport in Physical Education

Shane Pill and Brendon Hyndman

In a games-based approach, the idea of understanding is located within the concept of games as decision-laden, problem-solving contexts. However, the concept of “understanding” is largely implicit in much of the germane literature. We are arguing for a more deliberate framework to approach the concept of understanding. We propose that the game-based approach to teaching physical education can be underpinned by the Gestalt psychological theoretical principles to provide students with more meaningful engagement in the process of learning to play games. The Gestalt psychological principles underpin the learning of games and sport through the Principle of Totality and the Principle of Psychological Isomorphism (Reproductive Thinking). The Gestalt psychological principles are underpinned by meaning-making, which is proposed as much “deeper” knowledge, developed over time, involving reflection, and agency. Although game-based approaches provide an alternative to technical and mechanical (progressive part) notions of what players need to know and do to be “skilled players,” in this paper, we question whether game-based approaches also encompass how students in physical education are learning with understanding.

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An Investigation Into the Reasons Physical Education Professionals Use Twitter

Stephen Harvey and Brendon Hyndman

Purpose: To date, there have been limited investigations relating to physical education (PE) professionals’ engagement in the use of Twitter. Consequently, the aim of the study was to investigate the reasons PE professionals use Twitter, with questions underpinned by Casey, Goodyear, and Armour’s three-level conceptual classification framework of Pedagogies of Technology. Method: The application of Leximancer text mining software was uniquely employed to text mine the survey data to determine the key themes and concepts. Results: It was discovered that PE professionals perceived the Twitter platform to be highly valuable to connect with others in the profession, learn from others, and share ideas (both within schools and more broadly) via a convenient, usable form of technology. Discussion/Conclusions: Understanding the reasons PE professionals use Twitter can provide a broader understanding for those contemplating the utilization of this platform and inform future Twitter/social media research directions for the field of PE.

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Chapter 6: Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Twitter for Health and Physical Education Teacher Education: A Self-Determination Theoretical Approach

Brendon P. Hyndman and Stephen Harvey

Purpose: Limited research has been conducted relating to the use of social media during health and physical education teacher education. The aim of this study was to investigate preservice teachers’ perceptions of the value of using Twitter for health and physical education teacher education. Methods: Preservice teachers completed a qualitatively designed survey. Thematic analyses were conducted via Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software, aligned to self-determination theory. Results: Twitter was perceived to be valuable for the following motivational components: (a) autonomy (choice over professional development, latest ideas, and learning flexibility), (b) relatedness (enhancing communication, tailored collaborations, and receiving practical support), and (c) competence (transferring ideas to classes, increasing technological competence, and keeping ahead of other teachers). Yet there were concerns due to Twitter’s public exposure to undesired Twitter users (relatedness) and how to navigate the platform (competence). Discussion/Conclusions: The study provides guidance to health and physical education teacher education providers on how digital learning via Twitter can meet preservice teachers’ learning needs.

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Chapter 7: An Investigation Into Sports Coaches’ Twitter Use

Stephen Harvey, Obidiah Atkinson, and Brendon P. Hyndman

Purpose: To investigate sports coaches’ Twitter use. Methods: Coaches (N = 310) from 22 countries and a range of sports completed an online survey. Quantitative survey data were analyzed descriptively and triangulated with qualitative data using Leximancer (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) text mining software. Results: Most participants reported using Twitter for ≥3 years and accessed the platform multiple times per day. More than half participants agreed that using Twitter had positively impacted both their own confidence as a coach and their athletes/players/team’s performance. The strongest overall themes from the qualitative data revealed that Twitter helped sports coaches improve their practices through the sharing of information, connecting with other coaches, and building positivity into their interactions when supporting players. Discussion/Conclusion: Sports coaches perceive Twitter to be a highly valuable platform to network, collaborate, gain access to information, and share ideas and resources.

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Physical Education Teachers’ Use of Digital Game Design Principles

Shane Pill, Brendon Hyndman, Brendan SueSee, and John Williams

Purpose: The research applies a multidisciplinary perspective to create knowledge and insight about the opportunities that digital game design principles offer to physical education (PE) pedagogy. Methods: Data were initially collected through an appreciative inquiry (AI). AI offers an alternative research perspective to critical theory that has dominated the investigation of the work of PE teachers. This study uniquely used AI with a narrative approach and multidisciplinary analysis to examine two teachers’ use of digital game design pedagogy in PE. Results: It was found that the teachers were motivated to use digital game design principles to provide students with means to solve problems, manage learning motivations, evaluate progress, and gain control over their learning in ways that are not normally associated with the common PE method. Conclusion: The two examples provided illustrate the generative potential of AI research combined with a multidisciplinary perspective directed at examples of pedagogical change in PE.

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Chapter 1: Introduction to Social Media for Professional Development and Learning in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy

Stephen Harvey, Jeffrey P. Carpenter, and Brendon P. Hyndman

Social media sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Voxer, Instagram, etc.) have become platforms for self-directed professional development and learning (PDL) for many educators, including physical educators and sports coaches. The aim of this chapter is to provide an introduction to this current monograph on physical educators’ and sports coaches’ social media use for PDL by presenting key issues and relevant literature, and previewing the chapters to follow. The chapter begins with a background discussion of social media, followed by brief literature reviews of PDL research in education and physical education and sport pedagogy, and research on social media use for PDL. Next, an overview of key theories and concepts used within the monograph is provided. The chapter concludes with individual summaries of the six empirical chapters of the monograph.