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Step away from the multi-activity curriculum

What do you want your students to learn? How do you teach this? How do they learn this? Do you change the way you teach and the way they learn to achieve this? Why? Why not?

#Physed and #Physeders get a raw deal. We’re poorly represented in the media, often blamed for our nation’s (yours and mine) poor health and lack of sporting success, and frequently devalued in terms of both curricula and extracurricular provision. While it’s easy to look at such external factors and cast the blame elsewhere (they made us do and then they don’t support us), we do need to look in mirror and consider what is reflected back at us. There is, as they say, often no smoke without fire.

#Physed and #Physeders get a raw deal for all the smoke. But, often we’re not responsible for the original fire. That blame could well lie elsewhere. With our teachers. With our parents’ teachers. With our grandparents’ teachers. And so on and so forth. But the buck has to stop somewhere. With someone. You in this case. I suggest, however, that if you’re reading this blog that’s a decision you may have reached by yourself.

The problem is “what’s the problem?” 

This is where the idea for this blog stumbles and possibly falls. I’ve made the decision to blog about models-based practice and even titled this piece “step away from the multi activity curriculum”. Those two decisions in and of themselves suggest a) that models-based practice is a good thing, and b) the multi activity curriculum isn’t. While I believe, through my experiences as a teacher and teacher educator, that these two assumptions are the case - that doesn’t have to be your starting point for pedagogical and curricular change. In many ways, what I’m offering with this blog is a solution to problem I perceive not a problem you’ve necessarily identified yourself. That said, I started with the desire to use what Metzler (2001) called an instructional model or model-based practice (in my case Sport Education, Teaching Games for Understanding and Cooperative Learning). I wanted to use different models in my teaching and that was the main driver (at least initially) for change. That said, I also identified a problem - an underlying dissatisfaction with my ‘one-dimensional’ pedagogy - but I can’t deny that I was also driven by the shiny new pedagogical model in front of me.

With that in mind, I’m going to hit the pause button and ask you to reflect on ‘the problem’ and/or what’s brought you to this blog. I invite you to problematize the #physed that’s occurring in your school. You might do this by imagining what your students tell their parents about your lesson?  You might do this by considering what students are learning or not learning in your lessons.  What do you teach them? And I don’t just mean team games or yoga but what they learn about hierarchies, standing in queues, ability, gender, competition, cooperation, winning and losing etc. What don’t you teach them?  What do they learn from other students?

Now think about what you’d like them to learn. How do you teach this? How do they learn this? Do you change the way you teach and the way they learn to achieve this? Why? Why not? Now choose your own questions. Really unpack you approach to teaching #physed.

In the recent Routledge Handbook of Physical Education Pedagogies I opened my chapter on Models-Based Practice with the following words:

“There presently exists a really delightful and vigorous array of approaches to schooling which can be used to transform the world of childhood if only we will employ them” (Joyce & Weil, 1972, p. xiii).

Writing more than forty years ago Joyce and Weil (1972) argued that at a time of fearsome educational trouble there were “approaches to creating environments for learning” (p. xiii) that could serve different educational purposes and different ways of thinking. The title for their preface “we teach by creating environments for children” seems as apt a way of positioning this chapter as it does for their book. We live at a time when education has become a policy centre for national governments and an increasingly fertile ground for global comparisons, where teachers are being de-professionalized and curriculum are being written to exclude rather than include their insights and passions. Like Joyce and Weil we face some fearsome troubles and we need to create environments that can serve the diverse needs of the learners in our care.

I also believe that there are diverse approaches to teaching that serve different educational purposes and different ways of thinking. The desire to create programmes that serve such educational purposes and ways of thinking lies, I believe, at the heart of models-based practice. These are theoretical and pedagogical ideas that have been through lengthy ‘field trials’, have been developed in alpha, beta, gamma, delta etc. versions and have been tweaked and modified by, in some cases, thousands of teachers. And they set out to achieve different things.

Sport Education, for example, was conceptualised to help young people become competent, literate and enthusiastic sports people. Teaching games for understanding grew up out of the creators’ frustrations that the relationship between the game and the player was being lost in the drive for technical proficiency. Cooperative learning emerged as a pedagogy to help learners better achieve both academic and social learning outcomes.

That’s not to say that excellent pedagogical practices do not occur outside of models-based practice. I’d not be alone when I suggest that motivated teachers have always and will continue to design and teach their own models and will always strive to motive and inspire their children.

Others, like me, started this journey by identify a problem and finding a potential solution. I didn’t fully know what I was getting into but I’m glad I took the step. I’m also glad I got some help from model already in our field because I don’t think I was capable of designing and teaching my own models.

Stepping away from we know – especially something as treasured as our pedagogy – isn’t easy. Especially when it’s probably a close approximation of the approach used by our teachers to teach us. The very approach that maybe inspired us to become teachers. That said – and I acknowledge my bias here – the multi-activity curriculum is not the long-term future of #physed. Not in the same way – again acknowledging my bias – as an approach that caters for the learning needs of young people across multiple domains (for example the four attributed to PE: physical, cognitive, social and affective). Teaching many similar activities in the same or very similar ways has been likened to a scatter gun firing mud pellets (i.e. fire enough activities at them and something will stick) and it’s where we’re coming unstuck.

Instead, by acknowledging the need to teach a broader range of learning outcomes and choosing different pedagogical approaches to help you achieve that you better serve the needs of your students. By simultaneously acknowledging that you’re in this for the long haul, and Rome wasn’t built in a day, you give yourself the time to do this slowly.

This blog is ‘set up’ to challenge your teaching. I have chosen to talk you though the development of a models-based practice curriculum but I hope it simply challenges you to think a little differently At the core of this blog is the need to talk, as a community and as individuals, about what we already do well and then identify small steps to develop. I started with one model, with one class and dipped a toe in the water. It took me four years to begin to teach a models-base curriculum and I believe that I’d still be developing it had I stay in schools and not moved into university teaching. So, sit back, take a breath and decide where you want to start. 

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On Tuesday 19 September at 14:58 Steve said

 

As someone who was taught underneath the multi-activity model in grade school-and while I can say I enjoyed Phys. Ed. class up through the years-I can definitely see some flaws that my younger mind did not pick up on or even perceive as flaws at the time. The older curriculum is thoroughly steeped in sport activities and fitness, and while these are integral to physical learning I believe that the new wave of models-based practice is the way of the future. According to Landi (2016) “[Models] might well enrich programs and shift practice in positive ways, if they are customized for the contexts and students for which they are employed.” That is to say grading based purely on students performance in certain tasks is old-hat where this new model can gauge how students progress in four different outcomes (physical, cognitive, social, and affective) rather that just the physical. Models-based practice demonstrates an awareness of the different modes of learning present within individuals, and according to Casey (2014) “[...]variables inherent in physical education – i.e. personnel, learning goals, facilities, content, activities, and teacher instruction - are such that no one model is capable of encapsulating and then delivering them all.” Due to the diverse nature of physical education, instructors should not only be encouraged to take up this practice, but it should be their duty to as it accommodates the variety of students they will encounter. This pedagogy itself was born out of the shortcomings of its predecessors, and while the old adage of “old habits die hard” rings true I believe switching is the right path. As someone who is still in the process of becoming an instructor I admit I have no frame of reference for abandoning one pedagogical model in favour of another one, especially if the first one I subscribed to was my own personal “tried and true” method, so perhaps I am at an advantage for being taught this model from the get go than having to adopt it later. With that being said I recognize the hesitancy some instructors may display when considering whether they should or should not accept Models-based practice as newer, better way.

 

 


Cite

Casey, A. (2014). Models-based practice: Great white hope or white elephant?. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 19(1), 18-34.

Landi, D., Fitzpatrick, K., & McGlashan, H. (2016). Models Based Practices in Physical Education: A
Sociocritical Reflection. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 35(4), 400-411.

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On Tuesday 19 September at 16:04 Matt McDonald said

This article struck me as very intriguing. Models-based practice is a concept that I have recently been introduced too and my experience with it is fairly limited. As a student in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland, I am at the entry stage of my career. At this time I am interested in learning a wide range of methodologies to teaching Physical Education and models-based practice is one that particularly hits a stride. One thing that I initially enjoyed about it was that it allows multiple teachers to touch on different teaching and learning methods, while also retaining some of their own personal pedagogy. Personally, I believe that one never truly departs from their pedagogy, or their core beliefs. Although in many circumstances we attempt to alter our strategies of instruction, I believe that our own philosophy and pedagogy remains intertwined in the lesson. Models-based learning allows for this to happen. Clearly, there are many issues surrounding physical education. Studies show that if we do not alter our methods then our field will cease to exist; a fate that no one wants to see become a reality. Using your three models: Sport Education, Teaching Games for Understanding, and Cooperative learning, I feel that the needs and wants of each student in your class can be addressed. It is no surprise that each student learns differently along the wide range of multiple intelligences. It can be difficult to cater to each individual student, nearly impossible at times. However, I believe that the best way to do this is through models-based practice. The wide array of learning outcomes that can be obtained from this method of teaching far surpasses any other method, from the method’s that I have studied anyway. This teaching style takes time and in my home province of Newfoundland much of the onus falls on each individual teacher to implement it into the classroom. One can imagine the difficulties of communicating with colleagues due to geographical restrictions, making teachers less likely to discover new methods of teaching. Nonetheless, I believe that it is ultimately up to young, upcoming teachers as myself to change the perception of physical education in order to reassure the field continues to prosper, grow and succeed. I very much enjoyed your initial blog posting and I look forward to following your series.

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On Tuesday 19 September at 20:57 Justin M said

In Physical Education, as in any other academic subject, the curriculum shapes instruction by mapping out for teachers what students should be taught and how their acquisition of knowledge and skills should be assessed. As a recent graduate of the Physical Education program and a pre-service teacher at Memorial University of Newfoundland, I am quickly coming to realize that “what students should be taught” in physical education is a dynamic, debated and often misunderstood concept. I must admit, it is difficult for me to fully grasp what models I personally favour, or even what aspects of each models works best for me as a Physical Educator. I believe that those philosophies will develop and solidify within the first five years of my career however, my fresh of the press degree may hold some value within the debate when considering “Step away from the multi-activity curriculum”. I once heard that the gymnasium is the biggest room in the school so that it can house all of the potential that does not get discovered in a traditional classroom setting. I personally believe that this potential is only unlocked when the teacher delivers an effective, diverse and purposeful curriculum. When considering a curriculum delivered using multi – activity practice, I must agree with the perspective of Casey. We, as future physical educators must us our unique opportunities to present diverse approaches “that serve different educational purposes and different ways of thinking” (Casey). This particularly appeals to me because students deserve to have a form of education that works for them, and while that cannot always be achieved, teachers are able to be more progressive towards this goal with such a diverse approach. Going forward, I will personally look into models based practice with more detail, looking at ways to apply the model to my provinces curriculum and my own teaching pedagogy. Physical Educators of my generation must keep a progressive attitude and strive to teach the students under multiple domains; with models based practice, we are able to just that by stepping away from the outdated, old school methods and instead, focusing on an inspiring, holistic physical education experience.

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On Tuesday 19 September at 22:10 Brandon Petten said

Dr. Casey, I am a pre-service teacher from Memorial University. A component in my Education 4190 course is to read and digest your blog postings, as well as comment my thoughts and opinions. I definitely agree that there is a problem in society today such as health, fitness, and obesity and we are always the first to blame. I also agree that we as educators should move our focus from multi-activity curriculum to model-based curriculum. I found an interesting paper where pre-service teachers like myself completed a study on the conceptions of teaching within sport education and multi-activity education. Their study found the sport education model to be more attractive then the multi activity model. They stated that model based education was more effective and had structural advantages over multi-activity teaching. In saying that, my goal as a teacher is to educate students in a manner that is fun, positive, and most effective. Finding the happy medium between this is key. As you said, the need to teach a broader range of learning outcomes is vital. I agree totally that you will educate your students much more effectively and students will feel more engaged with your class as well. When you said that realizing that you’re in this for the long haul and that Rome wasn’t built in one day really brought things into a better perspective for me. I understand that I am only a pre-service teacher and I will learn more and more each year as I gain experience. I may even be retired years down the road and still be learning ways to apply a better learning environment for my students. But I firmly believe that model-based curriculum is the main starting point to fixing “the problem” many educators have within their curriculum.

Rerference

Curtner-Smith, M., & Sofo, S. (2004). Preservice teachers conceptions of teaching within sport education and multi-activity units. Sport, Education and Society,9(3), 347-377. doi:10.1080/13573320412331302430

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On Tuesday 19 September at 22:10 Brandon Petten said

Dr. Casey, I am a pre-service teacher from Memorial University. A component in my Education 4190 course is to read and digest your blog postings, as well as comment my thoughts and opinions. I definitely agree that there is a problem in society today such as health, fitness, and obesity and we are always the first to blame. I also agree that we as educators should move our focus from multi-activity curriculum to model-based curriculum. I found an interesting paper where pre-service teachers like myself completed a study on the conceptions of teaching within sport education and multi-activity education. Their study found the sport education model to be more attractive then the multi activity model. They stated that model based education was more effective and had structural advantages over multi-activity teaching. In saying that, my goal as a teacher is to educate students in a manner that is fun, positive, and most effective. Finding the happy medium between this is key. As you said, the need to teach a broader range of learning outcomes is vital. I agree totally that you will educate your students much more effectively and students will feel more engaged with your class as well. When you said that realizing that you’re in this for the long haul and that Rome wasn’t built in one day really brought things into a better perspective for me. I understand that I am only a pre-service teacher and I will learn more and more each year as I gain experience. I may even be retired years down the road and still be learning ways to apply a better learning environment for my students. But I firmly believe that model-based curriculum is the main starting point to fixing “the problem” many educators have within their curriculum.

Rerference

Curtner-Smith, M., & Sofo, S. (2004). Preservice teachers conceptions of teaching within sport education and multi-activity units. Sport, Education and Society,9(3), 347-377. doi:10.1080/13573320412331302430

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On Tuesday 19 September at 23:28 Abigail Penton said

Hello Dr. Casey, My name is Abigail I have a Bachelor of Physical Education and I am currently in my last year at Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador completing the Education program. A component within one of my Education courses is to read interpret, and create a response to your blog postings based on my thoughts on the topic. After reading this blog I agree with your statement that the multi activity curriculum is a problem. Although as a pre-service teacher I have had little experience thus far in the Physical Education setting I have had much exposure to the curriculum and have gained knowledge of the ever changing and diverse student learning strategies. The “traditional” Physical Education practices are ineffective and model-based practice can and should be a start for pedagogical and curricular change.  The key to model-based practice is that using multiple models helps to meet the needs of the diverse physical education class. After completing some research on the topic of model-based practice I found that in some other subject areas outside of physical education, particularly in science, studies have suggested a positive correlation between student achievement and model-based instruction. I have found that your statement holds true to many other researchers and fellow teachers that “stepping away from what we know- especially something as treasured as our pedagogy-isn’t easy.” That is why as a pre-service teacher I am intrigued and find this topic to be of importance as I am beginning to develop my own pedagogy and prepare to begin my teaching career as a Physical Education teacher. In saying that, as a young upcoming teacher I must remind myself that I am not going to change the world. I understand that we as teachers must acknowledge that we are in this for the long haul and the change doesn’t happen over night but stepping out into the teaching world on the right foot is crucial. This blog and the research on model-based instruction has challenged me to think differently than the way I have been taught during my years in school. Although it may be difficult to think outside of the “norm” I feel that as a pre-service teacher I have a head start and the upper hand on pedagogical change.   

 

David Kirk (2013) Educational Value and Models-Based Practice in Physical Education, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 45:9, 973-986, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2013.785352

Buckley, B. C. (n.d.). Model-Based Teaching. SpringerReference. doi:10.1007/springerreference_302431

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On Wednesday 20 September at 01:55 Kasondra Perrier said

Hello Dr. Casey, I am a pre-service physical education teacher, and as an assignment I am to read your blog posts and comment on them. I’ll start with agreeing that physical educators are not portrayed in the same light that other educators are. In class this week, our instructor showed us a quote which read “those who can’t do, teach. And those who can’t teach, teach gym.” In which was originally said by Woody Allen. Although our instructor informed us her anger towards these lines, she did not fail to acknowledge that Woody Allen himself perhaps had a negative experience in physical education class, in which his teacher used traditional methods which can be hurtful.

Kirk on models-based practice says : “Models-based practice offers a possible resolution to these problems by limiting the range of learning outcomes, subject matter and teaching strategies appropriate to each pedagogical model and thus the arguments that can be used for educational value” (2013). Here, Kirk suggests that this practice may ‘fix’ issues in physical education through pedagogical models. The model-based practice is a new term for myself and many others in my class, so your blog posts has proved extremely relevant for us.

I agree that moving away from the multi-activity curriculum is a step in the right direction, yet a challenge, as future teachers, have been taught and perhaps encouraged to become teachers through this model. I think this is why it is important that learning the model-base curriculum be standard for pre-service teachers, as the future of P.E depends on it. Although I am willing and hopeful to learn and implement this newer model, there is still a lot for me to understand.

 

References :

Kirk David. Educational Value and Models-Based Practice in Physical Education, Educational Philosophy and Theory. 2013.  

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On Wednesday 20 September at 03:07 Tim said

Hello Dr. Casey, my name is Tim Goosney and I am a graduate of the physical education program at Memorial University and currently unrolled in the education program. One requirement for our course is to read your blog and express our thoughts on your ideas. As a pre service teacher with little experience in the field of teaching, I find the idea of model based practice very interesting. I believe that physical education was, and still is heavily sports based, relying on the sport itself to provide the students with physical activity. This poses the issue that only the most athletic students will benefit from the physical education classes. Continuing with this thought, I feel that physical education is weak in the areas of promoting an active lifestyle and physical fitness and instead promotes talent in specific sports. This leads back to your idea that physical educators are poorly represented in the media regardless of what they are teaching in their classrooms. For this reason, I believe that transitioning to a model based practice, that doesn’t fully grade students on their ability to perform in particular sports but grades them on their understanding and cognitive ability. Don’t get me wrong, I feel that sports are a great way to keep students active, but teaching it using a multi activity curriculum is not the best way to fully engage students. A study done by Casey and Fletcher on the challenges of models based practice stated the need for physical education to undergo a pedagogical and curriculum reformation or its life may be short lived (Fletcher & Casey, 2014). Schools seem to be enforcing the idea that physical education is less important then the academic courses within the school system, which is why many schools have cut out their physical education programs. The study uses an eight model framework for its model based practice, each model consisting of 3 parts. These models navigate away from the sports aspect of physical education and incorporate ideas like cooperative learning and teaching games for understanding (Fletcher & Casey, 2014). I think this is the direction that physical education needs to go in order to prove it is a crucial part in the development of students and should be mandatory in the curriculum.

 Fletcher, T., & Casey, A. (2014, August). The Challenges of Models-Based Practice in Physical Education Teacher Education: A Collaborative Self-Study. Retrieved from ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264406323_The_Challenges_of_Models-Based_Practice_in_Physical_Education_Teacher_Education_A_Collaborative_Self-Study

 

 

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On Wednesday 20 September at 15:20 David Roberts said

Hi, my name is David Roberts and a Pre-service teacher from Memorial University. As part of course we are to comment on your blog. I most certainly agree with your post as Model space Practice is a new concept for me . Physical education is a subject that is so diverse, but the diversity is sometimes lost when the outcomes become focused on one particular way of learning.
I agree that model based practice from the blog can have the ability to affect students, however it can be challenging as it is a new pedagogy from what we as teachers are used to. In the blog it argues against multi-activity curriculum.  Multi-activity curriculum should be less of a focus, this type of teaching often only sees success for those of the more competitively driven nature and can lead to a large part of students having a negative experience leading to the extinction of Physical Education for those students. The importance of model based practice is perhaps the ability to change not only what the teacher is doing to relay the material, but also what the students can achieve from it. The blog refers to a quote by  Joyce, and Weil (1972) “… [A] vigorous array of approaches to schooling which can be used to transform the world if only we will employ them.” This quote resembles the sort of transition phase that physical education is moving towards if we continue with the traditional style of outcomes for competitiveness and only to achieve an outcome of winning and not reinforcing model space practices and basing lesson off of that, then how can we continue? For example if the outcome is only on winning or developing a skill, then how could you possibly teach cooperative learning?  Learning isn’t done one way it's done in many different ways and that is why I think the blog is important and it demonstrates the changes that need to be made to allow for more students to have a better overall physical education experience.

 

 

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On Wednesday 20 September at 15:36 Zack Hurley said

I found this article to be of great interest. I am currently in my second semester of Education at Memorial University and have been recently introduced to Models-based practice in the teaching profession. I am just at the early stages of my career and through my degree so far it has come to my attention that there is no one way to teach. I strongly believe that everyone who teaches (Phys. Ed. especially) has their own unique way of doing so, however, we must involve our own pedegogy with the three you have discussed above, if not more. It is obvious that Physical Education has hit a rough patch and is on the decline with regards to interest and participation which is why something has to change and who else better to change it than the up incoming teachers like myself. That's not to say that teachers with years of experience cannot make a change as well. I just believe as a teacher starting my career that I, along with many others, have a blank slate when it comes to teacher methods and strategies. By using just one model (i.e. Sport Education) we limit ourselves as teachers to involve every student in the class. This is where Models-based practice comes into play. Not every student will like sports the way others do as well as not every student will find interest in cooperative learning based activities as other do. This is why teachers of today need an array of teaching methods and strategies at their disposal so that they can connect and reach out to every student possible. Obviously this would not be seen in just one class, however, over the span of a week, month, semester or even a year we can measure a difference. Nonetheless, I believe the ultimate goal as Physical Education teachers is to promote a healthy and active lifestyle to our students and if that means experimenting with a variety of teachin styles and strategies such as Models-based practice then we must do so. I have really enjoyed this blog and I am looking forward to reading the next few. Every bit of communication between teachers, in my mind, is very helpful even if we agree or disagree. I think it helps us grow as teachers and individuals and makes for a better learning experience for the students. 

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On Wednesday 20 September at 15:42 Tonie Keats said

Hi Dr. Casey, my name is Tonie Keats and I am a pre-service physical education teacher. I am currently in my last year of my Education degree and a component for one of my courses is to read your blog and comment my views and thoughts. After reading this blog, I have many of the same opinions and views as yourself. As I think back to what my physical education classes were like, being mainly sports based, where sports would be the main source of physical activity for most students. In my opinion, this raises a red flag because what about those students who are not athletic and do not excel in sports. These individuals are the ones who you get that do not want to participate because it is not fun for them or even discourages them. Physical education teachers need to steer away from having their classes be sports based and focus more so on promoting healthy and active lifestyles through other concepts and in different ways that would make it more inclusive. This is where teaching through models-based practise comes into play. Using various models such as, Teaching Games for Understandng or Cooperative Learnng, is a starting point to focus more on the physical activty and inclusion aspect of physical education. Now dont get me wrong, I am all for sports being a part of the pysical education curriculum and think it is important for students to understand these various concepts linked to sports. However, it is also important to incorporate various other models to fit the needs of every student and to ensure that every student s getting adequate physical activity. Every student is different and it is up to us to make every effort to create our lessons so that it will benefit everyone. It won't all happen at once but if we put in the time and effort to change the way we teach so that it is inclusive to every student and their needs then we can only succeed. I strongly believe that a models-based practise is the main point to fixing this "problem" you have mentioned about that many educators are facing within their curriculum. I enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading your future posts. 

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On Wednesday 20 September at 17:18 Kylie J Beals said

As a pre-service teacher who is only beginning their journey into the world of teaching Physical Education I am very new to the concept of models-based practice. Like many other individuals my age and older my personal Physical Education experience in school was taught as a multi activity curriculum so my exposure to models-based practice was close to non-existent prior to my studies concerning Physical Education. Even throughout the very recent completion of my Physical Education degree at Memorial University, multi activity curriculum was the dominant pedagogy I was exposed to in my methods courses. As Casey eluded to in the blog, part of the reason that many of us as Physical Educators originally entered the profession is because we were successful in and inspired to teach by our own childhood Physical Education experience that was multi activity based. Casey points out in the blog above that this is why some teachers find it hard to step away from this known pedagogy; however, for me it is part of the reason I am interested in learning about a variety of other pedagogical methods. Even though I was personally successful using the multi activity curriculum mindset, I know that I was a minority. For many of my former classmates this type of Physical Education class not only failed to engage them but blatantly turned them from physical activity since their learning style was not being catered to. I am personally interested in learning more about models-based practice so that as a teacher I can engage all students. I found that this blog post was a very good introduction to the concept of models based practice and gave a good foundation of knowledge for me as someone relatively new to the concept. I look forward to reading more of this blog series and learning more about models based practice.

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On Wednesday 20 September at 22:13 Brad Murray said

I agree that the multi-activity model of teaching is a type of road block in the future teaching of physical education, especially when you consider what exactly students are being graded on. Performance style grading seems to miss the mark for me regarding what we are trying to teach and instill in students, which for me as a pre-service teacher, is lifetime activity. The system seems to only to reward skilled athletes, while hopping from one activity to another in hopes that those struggling will at least find something they are moderately good at. No doubt to a student unmotivated by sports, this method could be discouraging or even humiliating. In short many critics find the model is severely lacking inclusivity (Pill, Penny& Swabey, 2012). By introducing models-based practice, at least students can see progress, whether they are highly skilled or athletically lacking. In addition, teachers are given the opportunity to grade students on other outcomes for example social behavior (sportsmanship, teamwork), allowing teachers to not only produce good or moderate athletes, but also good people.  By no means am I saying that the “physical” part of physical education is not important, but at least it is considered alongside other areas which can be just as important. I think what I’ve learned most from this blog, however, is the fact that there is no single model which is capable of sparking learning in all physical education contexts at the secondary level (Fernandez-Rio 2014). Although I do feel as though the multi-activity model is outdated in its current form, if modified (ex. Asking students what they are interested in) and used alongside models based practice, cooperative learning etc., a sort of a hybrid model of teaching, it may not be completely useless. In short, models-based practice is not necessarily the one and only solution to physical educations problems, we shouldn’t forget there are many other models that can be used in unison to provide optimal instruction for students.

 References:

Fernandez-Rio, J. (2014). Another Step in Models-based Practice: Hybridizing Cooperative Learning and Teaching for Personal and Social Responsibility. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 85(7), 3-5.

 

Pill, S., Penny, D., & Swabey, K. (2012). Rethinking Sport Teaching in Physical Education: A Case Study of Research Based Innovation in Teacher Education. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(8)

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On Wednesday 20 September at 22:14 Brad Murray said

I agree that the multi-activity model of teaching is a type of road block in the future teaching of physical education, especially when you consider what exactly students are being graded on. Performance style grading seems to miss the mark for me regarding what we are trying to teach and instill in students, which for me as a pre-service teacher, is lifetime activity. The system seems to only to reward skilled athletes, while hopping from one activity to another in hopes that those struggling will at least find something they are moderately good at. No doubt to a student unmotivated by sports, this method could be discouraging or even humiliating. In short many critics find the model is severely lacking inclusivity (Pill, Penny& Swabey, 2012). By introducing models-based practice, at least students can see progress, whether they are highly skilled or athletically lacking. In addition, teachers are given the opportunity to grade students on other outcomes for example social behavior (sportsmanship, teamwork), allowing teachers to not only produce good or moderate athletes, but also good people.  By no means am I saying that the “physical” part of physical education is not important, but at least it is considered alongside other areas which can be just as important. I think what I’ve learned most from this blog, however, is the fact that there is no single model which is capable of sparking learning in all physical education contexts at the secondary level (Fernandez-Rio 2014). Although I do feel as though the multi-activity model is outdated in its current form, if modified (ex. Asking students what they are interested in) and used alongside models based practice, cooperative learning etc., a sort of a hybrid model of teaching, it may not be completely useless. In short, models-based practice is not necessarily the one and only solution to physical educations problems, we shouldn’t forget there are many other models that can be used in unison to provide optimal instruction for students.

 References:

Fernandez-Rio, J. (2014). Another Step in Models-based Practice: Hybridizing Cooperative Learning and Teaching for Personal and Social Responsibility. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 85(7), 3-5.

 

Pill, S., Penny, D., & Swabey, K. (2012). Rethinking Sport Teaching in Physical Education: A Case Study of Research Based Innovation in Teacher Education. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(8)

Brady Turner
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On Wednesday 20 September at 22:23 Brady Turner said

Good day,
I think you identified some very thought provoking points to reflect upon as an educator. My main driver to provide a quality Physical Education (PE) program is the discipline. I believe that PE is by far the most important and beneficial way to positively affect students, however, our field is often chastised. The legitimacy of PE is still a battle many professionals are still fighting today. As an example, in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the former department head mentioned that he spent the bulk part of his energy encouraging colleagues to even discuss PE at meetings, not to mention create positive change. My assumption is that this is a common trend globally. Dr. Casey theorizes that the problem is ‘what’s the problem?’; I believe the problem lies in teacher motivation. From my observations, the people on this blog are either: professional teachers who take their job seriously and want to increase instructional effectiveness, and the quality of their programs; researchers who are passionate about PE; and a cohort of teachers in-training who are excited to embark and begin their PE journey. These are the individuals who will create positive change in their schools, provinces, state, and countries- however, in my opinion, there are not enough professionals to improve the legitimacy of PE as a whole.
Models-based practice is exactly the approach teachers need to legitimatize PE. It limits uniformity, encourages community, and stimulates critical connections with students and curriculum outcomes. I strongly believe in a future of PE that is based on teaching curriculum outcomes through instructional models. The question that I most hope to be answered throughout my research and participation of this blog is to how to best promote and advocate models-based practice to peers, colleagues, schools, departments, and government. I strongly believe that not enough professionals take time for professional development, and consequently hurts the legitimacy of our profession. As I am currently completing my graduate program at the University of Arkansas, I learned that the state is currently struggling with many PE teachers choosing to ignore the frameworks and/or intended curriculum outcomes. I point this travesty to personal experiences, and being uncomfortable. Many teachers, especially ones who have been employed for many years, teach what they are familiar with; perhaps their favorite sport, or perhaps what they were taught in University, etc. I would suggest that many professionals do not like to leave their comfort zone. If we have a problem with teachers not even instructing the curriculum, how can we promote and encourage strategies that is best to deliver the curriculum like models-based practice?
Dr. Ash, I look forward to continuing this blog series. As a future educator currently enrolled at Memorial University, I am looking for the best resources to teach the curriculum, and create confident and competent students. PE is a journey that I am real excited to begin, and I believe that the doom and gloom is prevented by a small step in the right direction.

Reference:
Kirk, D. (2013). Educational value and models-based practice in physical education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 45(9), 973-986.

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On Thursday 21 September at 00:22 Samantha Morey said

Hi, my name is Samantha Morey and I am a pre-service teacher with my BPE (Co-op) completing my Intermediate/Secondary Education degree at Memorial University. As a part of the course requirement, I have decided to comment on a few of your blog posts, this being the first.

Having prior knowledge of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory, it makes sense that not all students will respond positively to a specific type of teaching, nor will everybody experience success through one-dimensional teaching. Models-based practice just makes sense when it comes to teaching, and I feel that effective teachers teach this way unconsciously, even if they are unaware of Metzler’s instructional model.

Metzler states in his book that there isn’t one best way to teach (2011), with the right teaching methods used at appropriate times, all pedagogical methods can and will be effective. Scott Kretchmar, a researcher who has devoted his life to the physical education profession, stated that if we teach for joy, other outcomes will also likely be met (2017). So, if we use models-based practice to diversify our pedagogies, we are more likely to provide an environment that caters to the success of all types of learners, which, in turn, correlates to experiencing enjoyment. Basically, if we diversify our teaching strategies to reach more students, a greater number of students will likely have a positive learning experience in physical education.

We as pre service teachers can and will learn from the stumbling blocks that our predecessors faced if we choose to put in an extra effort before we become in-service teachers. By keeping up to date on current research in our field and always striving to better ourselves we can become a generation of effective and influential physical educators who will transform society’s perception of who we are and what we do.

With models-based practice at the forefront of our pedagogical development as new teachers, I believe that we can diminish the negativity associated with this profession and although this is a process that won’t happen over night, I am confident that if all pre-service teachers are passionate about this profession, we WILL do it.

Kretchmar, S. The Pursuit of Happiness Through Movement [Audio blog interview]. (2017, May 3). Retrieved from http://21clradio.com/pursuit-happiness-movement-run-life-52/

Metzler, M. (2017). Instructional models in physical education. Taylor & Francis.

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On Thursday 21 September at 00:41 Emily Babstock said

Hello Dr. Casey, my name is Emily Babstock and I am a graduate of Memorial University with a Bachelor of Physical Education and I am currently studying Intermediate/Secondary Education at Memorial. One course in my program requires me and my classmates to read your blog and formulate responses in order to develop an understanding of pedagogical models by becoming part of an online professional learning community. As a pre-service teacher, I cannot comment on the challenges current teachers are facing in changing from one pedagogical model to another, as I have not yet established my own pedagogy. However, I can understand the urgency for change. Before reading this blog post, models-based practice was a new term for me so I felt inclined to do some further research into the idea. After reading Kirk’s article, I agree that a models-based practice will ameliorate educational value for physical education students. I find it interesting that he suggests that physical literacy is an “existentialist philosophical perspective that could form the basis of a new pedagogical model” because early in my studies as a pre-service physical education teacher I quickly acknowledged the importance of physical literacy among today’s youth. In conjunction with my previous insight on physical literacy, and after reading your blog, I can now recognise the importance of moving away from multi-activity curriculum.  In my career I hope to develop a pedagogy that is based around the models-based approach and that facilitates physical literacy among my students. As a new teacher, I hope that my fresh mind will be able to bring forth change in the physical education setting. Although I acknowledge that, like you said, I’m “in it for the long haul” and “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” I believe that the future of physical education relies on more modern ideologies, such as the models-based practice.

 

Reference:

 

Kirk, D. (2013). Educational value and models-based practice in physical education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 45(9), 973-986.

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On Thursday 21 September at 00:41 Emily Babstock said

Hello Dr. Casey, my name is Emily Babstock and I am a graduate of Memorial University with a Bachelor of Physical Education and I am currently studying Intermediate/Secondary Education at Memorial. One course in my program requires me and my classmates to read your blog and formulate responses in order to develop an understanding of pedagogical models by becoming part of an online professional learning community. As a pre-service teacher, I cannot comment on the challenges current teachers are facing in changing from one pedagogical model to another, as I have not yet established my own pedagogy. However, I can understand the urgency for change. Before reading this blog post, models-based practice was a new term for me so I felt inclined to do some further research into the idea. After reading Kirk’s article, I agree that a models-based practice will ameliorate educational value for physical education students. I find it interesting that he suggests that physical literacy is an “existentialist philosophical perspective that could form the basis of a new pedagogical model” because early in my studies as a pre-service physical education teacher I quickly acknowledged the importance of physical literacy among today’s youth. In conjunction with my previous insight on physical literacy, and after reading your blog, I can now recognise the importance of moving away from multi-activity curriculum.  In my career I hope to develop a pedagogy that is based around the models-based approach and that facilitates physical literacy among my students. As a new teacher, I hope that my fresh mind will be able to bring forth change in the physical education setting. Although I acknowledge that, like you said, I’m “in it for the long haul” and “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” I believe that the future of physical education relies on more modern ideologies, such as the models-based practice.

 

Reference:

 

Kirk, D. (2013). Educational value and models-based practice in physical education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 45(9), 973-986.

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On Thursday 21 September at 01:10 Andrew said

Dr. Casey,

I’m a Bachelor of Education student at Memorial University currently completing my program in the elementary and high school levels.  Requirements for one of my courses is to read and analyze a blog post from you and provide my feedback to it.  I totally agree with your article when it comes to a model based approach.  As a student coming up through the high school system, I was taught physical education through the multi activity model.  During that time, I did not have any insight into curriculum theories and did not realize I was taking part in such.  From my experience, I can look back and see that learning was not the top priority, and I believe I was not fully understanding the content that was given to me.  I think the model based practice is the future of physical education and the teachers should know how to properly use them.  It will be the teacher’s responsibility to modify or change any activities it best fits their school curriculum.  Just like every model, it has its flaws. I read an article stating physical educators have sought to use it to achieve diverse and sometimes competing educational benefits, and these wide-ranging aspirations are rarely ever achieved.  But a model based practice can offer a solution to these problems by limiting the range of learning outcomes, subject matter and teaching strategies which are to fit each model to be covered.  I myself am a preservice teacher and I hope that I can teach a broader range of learning outcomes than I was taught in school and I agree when you say that is vital.  This article has opened my eyes and gave me a different perspective than I originally had.  I am only starting out my career as a teacher and now understand I will continuously be looking for better methods to help my students achieve the best of their potential and right now I think this is through model based practice. 

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On Thursday 21 September at 01:10 Andrew said

Dr. Casey,

I’m a Bachelor of Education student at Memorial University currently completing my program in the elementary and high school levels.  Requirements for one of my courses is to read and analyze a blog post from you and provide my feedback to it.  I totally agree with your article when it comes to a model based approach.  As a student coming up through the high school system, I was taught physical education through the multi activity model.  During that time, I did not have any insight into curriculum theories and did not realize I was taking part in such.  From my experience, I can look back and see that learning was not the top priority, and I believe I was not fully understanding the content that was given to me.  I think the model based practice is the future of physical education and the teachers should know how to properly use them.  It will be the teacher’s responsibility to modify or change any activities it best fits their school curriculum.  Just like every model, it has its flaws. I read an article stating physical educators have sought to use it to achieve diverse and sometimes competing educational benefits, and these wide-ranging aspirations are rarely ever achieved.  But a model based practice can offer a solution to these problems by limiting the range of learning outcomes, subject matter and teaching strategies which are to fit each model to be covered.  I myself am a preservice teacher and I hope that I can teach a broader range of learning outcomes than I was taught in school and I agree when you say that is vital.  This article has opened my eyes and gave me a different perspective than I originally had.  I am only starting out my career as a teacher and now understand I will continuously be looking for better methods to help my students achieve the best of their potential and right now I think this is through model based practice. 

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On Thursday 21 September at 01:48 Pat Slaney said

Hello, my name is Pat Slaney, and I am currently a prospective teacher and physical educator, completing the Bachelor of Education program at Memorial University of Newfoundland with focus areas in both Physical Education and Biology. Since beginning the semester a few short weeks ago, we have spent a lot of time being introduced to models-spaced practice methodology. I strongly believe that the common multi activity curriculum is outdated , and is doing absolutely nothing to help improve our nations current situation with obesity and other health issues that are related to lifestyle and fitness, or the negative image that surrounds physical activity .

I recently listened to a podcast featuring Scott Kretchmar who stated “sometimes we get the cart before the horse.” This quote particularly stuck with me because it refers to teaching for a sport, instead of teaching in a way that leads to understanding and joy. This follows the multi activity curriculum method and has lead many students to resent physical education. By teaching for a deeper understanding and joy for physical activity, you can create an environment where students thrive and enjoy sports and physical activity, using enjoyment as a distraction to lead students to the ultimate goal. In my opinion, persistent and skillful teaching can open many doors for kids outside of the classroom to become physically active . However I do not believe the traditional model of multi activity curriculum allows us as physical educators to do this in a way where we can reach out to all students.

We are currently living in the most evolutionary generation this world has ever seen. Everything else around us continues to evolve yet we are still clinging to the old methodology that is continuously failing us. I feel that there is no better time to be a Physical educator with the tons of resources available to us and the amount of technology that surrounds us .It is our responsibility to continue to evolve as educators and adapt new ways that help students learn to their best capabilities. Models based practice has the capability to reach far more students that the outdated methodologies of past educators, with a far better chance of allowing students to have a positive experience with physical education. There is no such thing as a one size fits all way to teach, and a models spaced practice allows us to diversify our teaching methods in ways to reach all students. I feel that most educators who reach a ‘mastery’ level so to speak, do these types of things unconsciously, which is where I am striving to be some day.

To once again quote Kretchmar “when movement is experienced as joy, it dornes our lives, makes our days go better, and gives us something to look forward to. When movement is joyful and meaningful, it may even inspire us to do things we may never thought possible ”. I feel that this perfectly describes what we should be striving for as physical educators, and that a models based practice is a key ingredient to helping our students achieve this. I found this blog post to be very insightful, and I look forward to continuing to read your blog series. I hope that these types of resources can reach many more physical educators as we strive towards a positive image on physical activity


Kretchmar, S. The Pursuit of Happiness Through Movement [Audio blog interview]. (2017, May 3). Retrieved from http://21clradio.com/pursuit-happiness-movement-run-life-52/

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