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    “Not all things in the real world can be done by the book”: A self-study examination of teaching practice in sport science.

    Earls, Desmond (2023) “Not all things in the real world can be done by the book”: A self-study examination of teaching practice in sport science. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis considers the incorporation of practice knowledge and competencies into practical class teaching through a self-study of sport science pedagogy. The growth of sport science and related education programmes continues apace despite continued criticisms of sport science practice, a dominant biomedical epistemology in academia and didactic instructional methods. Examining my teaching practice through a ‘pracademic’ lens (Posner, 2009) of sport science pedagogy, I focus on my interactions with my site of practice (Schatzki, 2002) to address these criticisms. This then leads me to consider how practical classes can influence the development of sport science students towards theoretically informed expertise (Benner, 1984). My self-study methodology explores an Active Blended Learning (ABL) (Armellini & Padilla Rodriguez, 2021) approach to promoting student engagement in dialogue and reflection (Freire, 1970; Mezirow, 1997) for the development of practice knowledge and competencies. A qualitative approach incorporating self-study (Samaras, 2011) and action research (McNiff, 2002) is used to interrogate this process with feedback from students and utilised fellow pracademics as critical friends to focus my reflections. Findings on the impact of an ABL approach are in keeping with active learning approaches in other disciplines. An ABL approach encourages reflection-on and in-action (Schön, 1983) among students which demonstrates that practitioner competencies can be developed through practical classes. Lecturers that use a pracademic lens in their teaching are uniquely placed to assist students in developing the breadth of knowledge necessary in sport science practice. In gaining insight into my pedagogy, my research argues that a pracademic-focused pedagogy emphasises the development of applied practice knowledge. This can be achieved by incorporating elements of ABL, creating constructive learning experiences for students that go beyond didactic teaching and scaffolding the development of practice-focused competencies alongside traditional forms of theoretical knowledge. A framing of higher education as a foundation for developing future expertise may assist educators in developing programmes that improve the effectiveness of sport science practitioners at later stages of their careers.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: self-study examination; teaching practice; sport science;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 18147
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2024 16:09
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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