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Isabel Mesquita, Joana Ribeiro, Sofia Santos and Kevin Morgan

The aim of this study was to analyze Portuguese expert coaches’ conceptions of learning sources that promote long-term coach development and the extent to which these sources are currently present in coach education programs. Six expert coaches were individually interviewed, using a semistructured format and the interviews were analyzed using QSR N6 Nudist software. The results highlighted the participants’ awareness of the uniqueness of coach education, emphasizing the importance of reflecting and engaging with a variety of learning experiences. Findings also revealed dissatisfaction with the current dominant education framework in Portugal, which remains excessively didactic and classroom-orientated. In contrast, the participants externalized a constructivist approach for coach education assuming the need for theoretical knowledge to be framed in practical contexts, where they have the opportunity to share and reflect their own and others’ experiences to develop learning. Such a position echoes Sfard’s acquisition and participation learning metaphors.

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Michel Milistetd, Pierre Trudel, Isabel Mesquita and Juarez Vieira do Nascimento

In Brazil, contrary to the situation in many countries, sport coaching at all levels is considered a profession. Following a law passed by the government, those who want to coach are required to earn a university diploma called a ‘Bachelor in Physical Education’. This bachelor’s degree prepares future professionals to work in any of the following areas: health, leisure, and sport performance. Because universities have some fexibility regarding the courses that they offer and can also focus on one or any combination of the three aforementioned areas, we cannot assume that graduate students have acquired the same knowledge and developed the same competencies. Therefore, a broad inquiry of what is provided by different universities was needed to create a picture of the curriculum that future sport coaches will experience. In an effort to situate the Brazilian coaching and coach education system within a worldwide perspective, the data collected are interpreted using the International Sport Coaching Framework (ISCF).

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Cláudio Filipe Farias, Isabel Ribeiro Mesquita and Peter A. Hastie

The impact of a hybrid Sport Education-Invasion Games Competence Model (IGCM) unit of instruction on students’ game performance and game understanding in soccer was examined in this study. Pre- and posttest measures were collected from one fifth grade class of students (n = 24, mean age 10.3) residing in Portugal during a 17-lesson unit of instruction (season). Students’ game performance during multiple 10-min long matches was assessed using the coding instrument of Blomqvist, Vänttinen, and Luhtanen (2005). An author developed game understanding test was used to assess knowledge on decision making and skill execution. Performance differences between males and females were examined using the Mann-Whitney test and student improvement pre- to poststudy was examined using the Wilcoxon test. The combined application of Sport Education (authentic learning environment) and the IGCM (with learning tasks focused on the specific tactical-content and skills of soccer) promoted improvements in students’ game performance and understanding, and increments on the correlations between both constructs.

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Michel Milistetd, Pierre Trudel, Steven Rynne, Isabel Maria Ribeiro Mesquita and Juarez Vieira do Nascimento

Previous research has suggested a shift from instructor-centred to learner-centred approaches in an attempt to improve coach education programs. To implement such crucial change it is essential to master the ‘new language’ and better understand educational contexts. The purposes of this article are to (a) highlight new social factors indicating an urgent need to change, (b) present a learner-centred framework based on the work of a recognized group of researchers (i.e., Blumberg, Cullen, Harris, and Weimer), and (c) analyse the learner-centeredness of a Bachelor in Physical Education program, especially with respect to its sport performance area. Based on the social factors explored throughout the text and the learner centred principles, results showed inconsistencies between the conceptual orientations mentioned in the ‘official documents’ and the teaching processes used in the Bachelor program. Recommendations for higher education leaders and instructors are explored.