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Sport Education by Lauren Doubrava and Julie Watson Its main goal is “to educate students to be players in the fullest sense, and to help them develop as competent, literate, and enthusiastic sportspeople.”. Theory and Rationale. Sport is recognized as a form of play

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Theory and Rationale

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Sport Educationby Lauren Doubrava and Julie WatsonIts main goal is “to educate students to be players in the fullest sense, and to help them develop as competent, literate, and enthusiastic sportspeople.”


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Theory and Rationale

  • Sport is recognized as a form of play

  • Societies pass down “play” through teaching

    “If sport, as an accepted form of play, is a valued part of any society, it is the society’s responsibility to find ways to formalize the process of how people come to learn and participate in the sport culture.”

  • Theory of Sport Education

  • Sport is recognized as a form of play

  • Societies pass down “play” through teaching

  • “If sport, as an accepted form of play, is a valued part of any society, it is the society’s responsibility to find ways to formalize the process of how people come to learn and participate in the sport culture.”

Many fans have strong affiliations with their teams


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  • Sport Education was designed to promote a positive sport experience for all students through simulating the key features of authentic sport.

  • Sport is done by seasons

  • Players are members of teams and stay on that same team for the entire season

  • Seasons are bounded by formal competition, which is interspersed with directed practice sessions

  • There is a culminating event to each season

  • There is extensive record keeping

  • There is a festive atmosphere in which the season takes place


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  • What are the Assumptions About Teaching?

  • 1. The teacher needs to use a combination of strategies to facilitate the varied learning goals in the Sport Education Model.

  • Direct Instruction

  • Cooperative Learning

  • Peer/Small Group Teaching

  • 2. The teacher serves as the major resource person in Sport Education seasons, rather than be in direct control of every learning activity.

  • 3. The teacher guides students to make decisions that reflect the inherent values, traditions, and conduct of sporting activities.

  • 4. The teacher plans for and facilitates student opportunities to take on and learn the responsibilities within nonplaying roles.

What are the Assumptions About Teaching?

  • The teacher needs to use a combination of strategies to facilitate the varied learning goals in the Sport Education Model.

    Direct Instruction

    Cooperative Learning

    Peer/Small Group Teaching

  • The teacher serves as the major resource person in Sport Education seasons, rather than be in direct control of every learning activity.

  • The teacher guides students to make decisions that reflect the inherent values, traditions, and conduct of sporting activities.

  • The teacher plans for and facilitates student opportunities to take on and learn the responsibilities within nonplaying roles.


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What are the Assumptions About Learning?

  • What are the Assumptions About Learning?

  • 1. Students can assume many decision making and other responsibilities in the Sport Education season.

  • 2. Students can work cooperatively within the team structure to set and reach group goals.

  • 3. Active, rather than passive, participation is the preferred way to learn sport.

  • 4. Students determine developmentally appropriate forms of sport for themselves but sometimes need the teacher’s guidance.

  • 5. The Sport Education structure provides an authentic sporting experience.

  • Students can assume many decision making and other responsibilities in the Sport Education season.

  • Students can work cooperatively within the team structure to set and reach group goals.

  • Active, rather than passive, participation is the preferred way to learn sport.

  • Students determine developmentally appropriate forms of sport for themselves but sometimes need the teacher’s guidance.

  • The Sport Education structure provides an authentic sporting experience.


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Sport Education is validated by research…


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  • Carlson and Hastie examined the student social system within Sport Education seasons at an Australian High School. They found that…

  • Students prefer the activity of the duty job roles over the passivity of having to wait on the sidelines to play again

  • Students valued the opportunities for social development promoted by continuing team membership

  • Students expressed a preference for getting their instruction from peer teachers (as coaches and teammates) over the typical teacher-directed instruction.


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  • Key Findings from Carlson and Hastie

  • Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

  • Students seem to particularly enjoy sport education seasons because of the opportunities for socializing and having fun

  • Many students comment on how much they enjoy being with their friends and being free to make decisions independent of the teacher

  • Students report increased understanding of team strategies and tactics, as well as increased knowledge of the rules

  • Low-skilled students report not only that they have improved in skill levels, but also that they now believe they can make a positive contribution to their teams.

  • Girls reported that they get equal practice and playing opportunities and particularly enjoy playing on teams consisting of both boys and girls

Camaraderie develops through consistent team membership


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  • The Rationale of Sport Education is simple and direct.

  • We must teach each new generation our sport culture, and one of the best places to do that is within the school curriculum.

  • The best place to provide a broad-based, educational, and egalitarian sport experience is through our schooling system.

  • Sport Education is designed as a way to pass down our sport culture in a way that features sport’s most positive characteristics.


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  • Learning Domain Priorities

  • There will generally be a balance across all three domains as the Sport Education season progresses. The three-part theme of the model makes that point clearly:

  • Competence refers to the ability to discern and execute skilled strategic moves (psychomotor, with strong cognitive support)

  • Literateness refers to one’s ability to comprehend and appreciate a sport form and culture (cognitive and affective)

  • Enthusiasm refers to making sport a central part of one’s life and daily activity (affective)


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  • Student’s Role

  • Determines specific rules and procedures for the season

  • Organize and conduct team practices

  • Prepare teams for competitions and coach them during games

  • Bring equipment, prepare the playing area, return equipment

  • Keep score and maintain season records

  • Coaches and captains can evaluate their players

  • Statisticians can analyze players’ performance with game stats


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  • Teacher’s Role

  • Despite the significant role of students in the conduct of sport education, the teacher is still the architect of the model.

  • Good planning and organization are essential

  • Can decide or give students choices on the sport for each season

  • Establishes the ground rules on selecting captains and teams

  • Trains students for duty jobs

  • Be able to teach skills and strategy

  • Be able to explain, model, and provide practice for good sporting behavior


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  • Task Presentations

  • This will vary across grade levels. The design of the model supports indirect and cooperative learning activities to the highest degree possible for students in a given class. The teacher should start by giving students a reasonable amount of autonomy and then make adjustments only when that appears not to be effective.

  • Teaching players—the teacher arranges for teams to be selected, oversees the organization of the season, and lets each team work cooperatively to determine what learning must take place and how it will get achieved.

  • Teaching duty roles—the teacher is more likely to take a direct instruction approach to teach students their assigned support duties for the season.


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  • Content Presentations

  • Teachers can either decide which sport to offer in a Sport Education season or give students a range of choices and let them select the sport for each season. One option is direct while the other becomes interactive.

  • Key Teaching Skills

  • Planning

  • Time and class management

  • Determining developmentally appropriate nonplaying roles

  • Communication

  • Instructional information

  • Review and closure


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  • Designing a Sport Education Season

  • Training Camp—students learn skills of the games, they are given specific time to practice, and the teacher is able to teach students their roles.

  • Pre-Season—teams will play against each other and students will begin to officiate and learn to keep score. There is no consequence for losing during the pre-season.

  • Formal Competition Phase—the games that “count” take place.

  • Culminating Event—a celebration of the work all contestants put in during the season. An example would be like the closing ceremonies in the Olympic Games.


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  • Assessment Of Learning

  • Assessment must include outcomes from both key roles:

  • Assessment in a player role

  • Assessment in assigned duty job role

  • Assessment must reflect major goals (same goals in both roles):

  • To be competent

  • To be literate

  • To be enthusiastic participants


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  • Assessment in “Player Role”

  • Basic skills

  • Checklists observed and completed by student, coaches and teammates

  • Knowledge of Rules and Strategies

  • Short written test or quizzes on main rules to be usedduring the season (rules may be modified to fit class, only test on rules being used by class)

  • Game Performance and Tactics

  • Assessment takes place during games

  • Statistics of players

  • Checklists designed specifically for each position or duty job

  • Game Performance Assessment Instrument (Griffin, Mitchell, & Oslin, 1997)


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  • Assessment in “Player Role” cont.

  • Team Membership

  • Observation of interaction between players

  • Checklists of positive participation behaviors devised by students prior to games, then given to team members to evaluate their own performance and teammate’s performance

  • Good Sporting Behavior

  • Teacher and students compile list of good sporting behavior for checklist before season begins

  • Checklists completed during preseason

  • Checklists completed after each regular season game

  • Students in duty job of recorder makes brief reports of sporting behavior after each class


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  • Assessment of Duty Job Role

  • Job Knowledge

  • Prior to season students must gain knowledge of duty jobs

  • Written and/or oral tests

  • Executing Specific Techniques

  • Example: Knowing when and how to signal a time-out

  • Students demonstrate as teacher uses checklist to note key parameters of task (done during preseason games)

  • Fulfilling Decision-Making Responsibilities

  • Checklist designed by teacher for each job to monitor students’ performance (checklist may also be given to student for self-assessment)


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  • Verification of Instructional Process

  • Sport Education uses a combination of direct instruction, cooperative learning, and peer teaching

  • Benchmarks are used to verify that the model is being implemented correctly

  • Separate Benchmarks are needed to verify both types of participation a. student in player role, b. student in duty job role


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  • Advantages of Sport Education Model

  • Every student has a task for that day

  • Able to gain complete knowledge of sport because of ability to change roles of player and duty job from lesson to lesson

  • Equal emphasis on 3 learning domains

  • Model can be used for upper elementary all the way to college or adult programs – easy to modify


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  • Disadvantages of Model

  • Hard to implement in small classes

  • 2. Not all schools have all equipment needed to successfully run the unit

  • 3. Students will most likely not enjoy every role


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