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Richard Light

Davis and Sumara (2003) argue that differences between commonsense assumptions about learning and those upon which constructivism rests present a significant challenge for the fostering of constructivist approaches to teaching in schools. Indeed, as Rink (2001) suggests, initiating any change process for teaching method needs to involve some understanding of the theories supporting it. Although there has been considerable discussion about constructivism in the physical education literature over the past decade, there has been less attention paid to the assumptions about learning and knowledge that underpin it. This article makes a contribution toward redressing this oversight in the literature by examining the epistemology and assumptions about learning that constructivist theories of learning rest upon. Drawing on the work of Davis and Sumara (2003), I suggest that the term “complex” learning theories may offer a more useful description of the sometimes confusing range of constructivist approaches. I provide examples of, and suggestions for, the application of constructivism in practice and within which the body forms a prominent theme.

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John H. Hoover and Michael G. Wade

This paper traces the rare intertwining of motor learning theory and research undertaken with mentally retarded (MR) individuals. Some of the broad themes in the research are outlined from a historical context, and their impact on motor learning in MR persons is examined. If for no other reason than the sheer volume of the work, traditional information processing theory is emphasized within its historical context. The review treats as subject matter the main theoretical developments leading to the adoption of the information processing model. Rationale for the widespread use of the model to account for rather than describe the performance of MR persons is outlined, particularly as it relates to theoretical development. Further, some comment on the state of knowledge is added along with conjecture about the future of motor control research with MR individuals.

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Jean M. Williams and Bonnie L. Parkhouse

Sex bias in attitudes toward male and female basketball coaches was examined within a context of social learning theory to determine if the precepts of social learning theory help clarify exactly when and why differential attitudes toward males and females occur. More specifically, would having a male or female coach role model and participating on a winning or losing team mediate sex bias previously found when female athletes evaluate hypothetical coaches who vary in sex and status (defined by won/loss record and coaching honors)? In addition to evaluating written coaching philosophy statements from a hypothetical male and female coach with a successful or unsuccessful professional status, the subjects (N=80) were forced to choose which coach they would prefer to have as their own. Attitudes were mediated by both the sex of the athlete's own coach and successfulness of the athlete's team. There appears to be merit in future researchers examining the potential causes of sex stereotypes and bias within a context of social learning theory.

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Simon Roberts and Paul Potrac

To develop our understanding about how learning theory can help to make sense of and inform the facilitation of player learning, this article presents a fictitious discussion, which takes place following a postgraduate sports coaching lecture on learning theories, pedagogy and practice. Following the lecture, Coach Educator (CE) joins two group members for a coffee to listen to their thoughts, experiences, and coaching practices in relation to pertinent player learning theory. Behaviourist Coach (BC) discusses his approach to coaching and how he has come to coach in this way; and his practices that conform to behaviourist learning theory. When BC has finished sharing his views and practices, CE then invites the other student to contribute to the discussion. Constructivist Coach (CC) recognises that his philosophical beliefs about the facilitation of player learning are vastly different to those of BC. As such, CC decides to share his approach to coaching, which aligns itself with constructivist learning theory. It is hoped that this dialogue will not only further theorise the facilitation of player learning, but do so in a way that helps coaching practitioners make the connection between learning theory and coaching practice.

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Ashley E. Stirling

Coach education is the key to improved coaching. In order for coach education initiatives to be effective though, the conceptualization of those initiatives must be developed based on empirical learning theory. It is suggested that Kolb’s theory of experiential learning may be an appropriate learning theory to apply to coach education. This paper outlines how Kolb’s theory of experiential learning was used in the development of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program coach education module entitled “Empower +: Creating Positive and Healthy Sport Experiences.” The module is summarized briefly, and Kolb’s six key tenets of experiential learning are reviewed. Applications of each tenet within the coach education module are highlighted, and recommendations are made for future evaluation and research.

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Grace Goc-Karp and Dorothy B. Zakrajsek

This study determined and compared the planning models taught in preservice physical education (theoretical) with those practiced in junior high school physical education (reality). Empirical and ethnographic data were collected through a survey of college professors (n = 59), close-ended (n = 36) and open-ended surveys of teachers (n = 28), and a nonparticipant observation study (n = 4). The results indicated that the theoretical model focused on planning for student learning whereas the reality model focused on planning for teaching. The personal philosophy of the teachers, coaching commitments, the teachers’ routines of planning and teaching, and the students’ reactions were major influences on how teachers planned and why they planned. Reasons for lack of transfer of the planning model from theory into practice are discussed and suggestions for further investigation are made.

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Stephen Macdonald and Justine Allen

The purpose of this study was to examine the coach-created talent development motivational climate in Canoe Slalom in the United Kingdom using achievement goal theory, self-determination theory and transformational leadership. The participants were six (five male, one female) full-time Canoe Slalom talent development coaches and 24 athletes (13 male, 11 female). A multidimensional, mixed methods approach examined participants’ perceptions of the motivational climate, transformational leadership behaviours, coaching practices, and coaching philosophies. Data were collected through questionnaires, interviews, and systematic observation. A summary of the coaching climate, practices, and philosophy was developed for each coach based on the perspectives of the athletes, coach, and observer. These were then compared and commonalities and differences amongst the coach-created climates were identified. The coaches created a motivationally adaptive (structured, relatedness supportive, individually-focused, task-involved) talent development motivational climate. However, the coaches varied in the extent to which the climate was autonomy supportive and intellectually stimulating. Analysis of the coaching climates using a learning continuums framework revealed two distinct forms of climate: behaviourist/structure and humanistic/agency. The implications for talent development and key stakeholders are discussed.

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Weidong Li, Xiuye Xie and Huanyu Li

research provides evidence to support that situated learning theory is a viable framework to study teaching and learning in PE. Teachers’ instruction and views about how learners develop their skills should emphasize on how the relations of the individual with the tasks and environments change through

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Reza Abdollahipour, Ludvík Valtr and Gabriele Wulf

According to the OPTIMAL (Optimizing Performance Through Intrinsic Motivation and Attention for Learning) theory of motor learning ( Wulf & Lewthwaite, 2016 ), three factors are key to optimal motor performance and learning. Two of these factors are motivational in nature (enhanced expectancies

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Molly Hayes Sauder and Michael Mudrick

beneficial on an academic level as it expands the current body of literature through deliberate examination of the intricacies of satisfaction and learning during sport management internships, and further explores Kolb’s ( 1984 ) experiential learning theory within the context of the sport management