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Kevin Patton and Linda L. Griffin

This article describes comparative case studies of 2 of 12 veteran middle school physical education teachers participating in the Assessment Initiative for Middle School Physical Education (AIMS-PE), a reform-based teacher development project. The goals of the project were to help teachers examine and reframe their assessment practices and to design and implement curricular programs that encourage active teaching and learning. The following research questions guided this study: (a) What are the ways in which teachers changed their practices and/or beliefs concerning physical education teaching and assessment of student learning? and (b) what factors, both personal and institutional, influenced the level of changes (i.e., materials, teaching approaches, beliefs) experienced by each teacher? Three patterns of change were prominent in the teachers’ experiences: (1) increased planning and more efficient organization and management, (2) improved alignment of instruction processes and assessments, and (3) a shift in teacher roles characterized by the use of more indirect pedagogies to facilitate student-oriented small-sided games and student peer assessment. Even though these teachers made substantial changes, major shifts in assessment and instructional practices were not accomplished overnight. Changes required time, opportunity, and ongoing support.

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Suzan F. Ayers and Linda L. Griffin

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Linda L. Griffin and Suzan F. Ayers

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Linda L. Griffin, Daryl Siedentop and Deborah Tannehill

This study describes the instructional ecology of a high school sport setting involving 4 players from a 10-player team and their coach. Systematic observation strategies were used to detail 44 practices. Post-season focus group interviews were conducted with the team and, individually, with the coach. The managerial, instructional, and student social systems in this volleyball setting interacted intimately. The quiet practice expectations, the posting of fast-paced practice tasks, and the coach clearly “in charge” all speak to orderly management. This system supports the explicitness and specificity of tasks and the clear, differentiated expectations of players by role and responsibility within the instructional task system. Both systems were interwoven and operated jointly to increase player cooperation and practice involvement. Complex levels of the accountability system related to a player’s position and role on the team. Practice effort and quality of match play time produced a secondary accountability system related to competition.

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Salee Supaporn, Patt Dodds and Linda Griffin

This study was designed to investigate how the classroom ecology (interactions among task systems) and program of action influence participants’ understandings of misbehavior in a middle school physical education setting. One teacher and 14 students participated in a 10-day basketball unit with 47- minute classes. Data included fieldnotes, stimulated recall using videotapes, and semi-structured teacher and student pre- and post-unit interviews. Data were first analyzed inductively by constant comparison (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) and then by using Doyle’s (1986) classroom ecology model to understand the inductively generated categories. Data trustworthiness involved prolonged engagement, member checks, and triangulation. Results indicated that the teacher’s weak managerial task system, coupled with vague and incomplete instructional tasks, interacted with a student social system grounded in various forms of talk as social tasks to support a social program of action. Both teacher and student actions jointly created a primary social vector characterizing the overall program of action.

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Ann MacPhail, David Kirk and Linda Griffin

In this article, we were interested in how young people learn to play games within a tactical games model (TGM) approach (Griffin, Oslin, & Mitchell, 1997) in terms of the physical-perceptual and social-interactive dimensions of situativity. Kirk and MacPhail’s (2002) development of the Bunker-Thorpe TGfU model was used to conceptualize the nature of situated learning in the context of learning to play an invasion game as part of a school physical education program. An entire class of 29 Year-5 students (ages 9–10 years) participated in a 12-lesson unit on an invasion game, involving two 40-min lessons per week for 6 weeks. Written narrative descriptions of videotaped game play formed the primary data source for the principal analysis of learning progression. We examined the physical-perceptual and social-interactive dimensions of situated learning (Kirk, Brooker, & Braiuka, 2000) to explore the complex ways that students learn skills. Findings demonstrate that for players who are in the early stages of learning a ball game, two elementary, or fundamental, skills of invasion game play—throwing and catching a ball—are complex, relational, and interdependent.

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Patt Dodds, Linda L. Griffin and Judith H. Placek

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Alisa R. James, Linda L. Griffin and Patt Dodds

The purpose of the study was to examine the ecologies of two teachers and the extent that each teacher’s agenda aligned with instructional activities and assessments for each unit of instruction. Data were collected in four ways: (1) videotaped record of each lesson, (2) live observation field notes and expanded field notes from the videotape, (3) formal and informal interviews, and (4) document data. Field note data were analyzed inductively and excerpted into meaningful units that demonstrated aspects of the classroom ecology and instructional alignment. Interview data were analyzed qualitatively through constant comparison. Results indicated that the teachers had differing agendas for the units of instruction. The differences in their agendas resulted in different classroom ecologies and a weakened program of action. The teachers shifted their espoused agendas (focus on student learning) to an enacted agenda that focused on safety and completing tasks. As a result of this shift, the focus of each teacher’s agenda was not assessed in the manner that they had espoused. Consequently, there was no instructional alignment between the teachers’ espoused agenda, lesson tasks, and assessments.