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ERIC Number: EJ816015
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Implementing a Tactical Approach through Action Research
Gubacs-Collins, Klara
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v12 n2 p105-126 Jun 2007
Background: Influenced by the original observations of Bunker and Thorpe, physical education theorists began to question the effectiveness of a traditional model for teaching games and have increasingly begun to believe that concentrating only on specific motor responses (techniques) fails to take into account the contextual nature of games. Games knowledge refers not only to the ability to execute complex motor skills but also to decisions concerning the appropriate use of the skill within the context of the game situation. Thus advances in sport pedagogy have resulted in a dialogue between whether skill/technique development or strategy/tactical skill development is more important in learning how to play a game or sport. Rather than deepen an either/or dichotomy, Griffin et al. introduced an approach that accentuates the connection between technique and tactics. The more the author of this paper analyzed the potential benefits of a tactical approach relative to problems inherent to the traditional approach, the more apparent it became that changes were necessary in her teaching strategy. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to introduce the methods, selected findings and a discussion of an action research on implementing a tactical approach to teaching tennis in a pre-service teacher education setting. The major purpose of this study was to investigate physical education majors' and their teacher educator's perceptions regarding the implementation of a tactical games approach in an eight-week tennis class. Participants and setting: The main participant of this investigation was a physical education teacher education (PETE) practitioner who studied her own practice. There were also the student participants of this study who were 18 pre-service PETE majors, 10 females and eight males ranging from freshman to senior. Pseudonyms were used to protect the participants' identity. The study was conducted during an eight-week tennis course that met twice a week for 90 minutes. Research design: The research design used for this study was a self-reflective inquiry conducted by the teacher educator considered as action research, a process in which teachers systematically and critically reflect on their work and make changes in their practice as a result of their reflection. Teachers are actively involved in their own educational process. The "products" of action research generally include the generation of knowledge about teaching and learning, increased understanding of practice, and improvements in teaching and learning. This research fully describes the first action research cycle of planning, acting, observing, and reflecting on the implementation of a non-traditional teaching approach. Data collection: Action research was used to investigate the process. Data collection techniques included: teacher educator's self-reflection, pre-service teachers' reflections, student interviews and videotaped observations. Self-reflections were collected after all classes. Each entry of the journal was accompanied by the date of the class or event and contextual information, such as time, location, participants, focus of observation or reflection. The immediate reflections were audio-taped at the conclusion of each class and then transcribed. In addition, every class was also videotaped to aid the reflection process. Students were also asked seven times during the semester to reflect on their learning experience at the conclusion of the class. Finally, all student interviews were conducted at the conclusion of the eight-week class. Data analysis: The data were analyzed using the inductive method for the reflective journals and constant comparison for the interviews. The videotapes were viewed to observe commonalities and differences between reported findings from participants and actual events that had taken place during class time. Findings: The teacher educator's experience indicated that a tactical approach resulted in an increased content knowledge, which was essential in the development of the question/answer (Q/A) session of a tactical lesson. Learning to use the Q&A session occurred in a three-step learning continuum: imitation, rephrase, and dual-directional conversation. The increased understanding of the approach resulted in a shift in her beliefs about teaching. The participants indicated that the experience was meaningful because of combining skill development and tactical knowledge in the game context while in a fun environment. The participants emphasized the importance of the Q&A session and suggested that the questions challenged them cognitively and provided feedback about their performance. Conclusions: Participants experienced frustration during the initial stages of the study. Nonetheless, pre-service teachers reported that a tactical approach improved their tactical knowledge and increased interest and excitement for both teacher and students. The struggle between long-standing habits of traditional thought and practice and the different thinking and practices required by a tactical approach was difficult but attainable for all participants. (Contains 3 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A