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ERIC Number: EJ1094417
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Learning to Teach: Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Adventure-Based Learning
Sutherland, Sue; Stuhr, Paul T.; Ayvazo, Shiri
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v21 n3 p233-248 2016
Background: Many alternative curricular models exist in physical education to better meet the needs of students than the multi-activity team sports curriculum that dominates in the USA. These alternative curricular models typically require different content knowledge (CK) and pedagogical CK (PCK) to implement successfully. One of the complexities of learning to teach these models for pre-service teachers (PTs) is understanding the different CK and PCK required which is compounded by their personal lack of experience of the model. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the PCK enacted by PTs learning to teach an alternative curricular model (adventure-based learning [ABL]) in urban middle schools. Research design: Qualitative methods were used to explore how the PTs demonstrated their PCK while teaching an ABL unit to urban middle school students. The study took place at a major university and in three middle schools in a large urban school district in Midwestern USA. Participants: Thirteen PTs enrolled in the secondary methods course and associated internship agreed to participate in this study. The PTs (five males and eight females) ranged in age from 21 to 26 years and all self-identified as white. Data collection and data analysis: Three methods of data collection were employed in this study: interviews, daily reflections called critical friends, and stimulated recall reflection of teaching an ABL lesson. Data were analyzed using constant comparison. Trustworthiness was established through triangulation of the data using multiple data sources, peer debriefing, member checking, and negative case analysis. Findings: Four themes represented the PTs' demonstration of PCK when learning to teach ABL in urban middle schools. The themes were (a) trusting the sequence, (b) knowing your students, (c) facilitate don't dictate, and (d) processing the experience. The findings provide further insight into the demonstration of PTs' PCK in secondary physical education, and specifically relative to teaching ABL in urban middle schools. To better equip PTs to be able to teach using these models, we recommend the following: (a) they have the opportunity to 'live the curriculum' in their PETE programme, (b) developing the PTs' specific CK and student-centered pedagogical knowledge for specific alternative curricular models is imperative in developing the PCK for such model, (c) developing PTs' knowledge of students relative to the complexities of learning to teach each specific model, (d) observing an expert teach the model to K-12 students, and (e) recognizing that learning to teach these models is a developmental process and providing the PTs with an emotionally safe and caring space to explore teaching such models is crucial.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A