Last week, Grade 11 Sports Science students put on their teacher’s hats and taught Physical Education (PE) to an Early Years class (EY5).
In their current unit ‘Pedagogy for Skill Acquisition’, Grade 11 are studying about different theories and methods to facilitate learning.
They explore the difference between a traditional approach to teaching, a content-focused method which occurs through the simple transmission of fixed knowledge and skills from coaches/teachers to athletes/students, and non-linear pedagogy, a process-oriented approach to teaching in which coaches and athletes explore a situation/problem together.
Within the non-linear approach, they looked at Newell’s (1986) constraint-led approach to teaching motor skills in physical education. A constraints-led approach to teaching motor skills in PE is based on the fact that everyone is different and it is impossible to train each individual in exactly the same way.
Essentially, the role of the PE teacher is to adjust individual tasks and environmental boundaries or ‘constraints’ to facilitate the emergence of movement patterns and decision-making behaviors.
Grade 11 students were asked to design a simple activity, in keeping with the above-mentioned constraints, and apply what they’ve learned into a real setting.
At the end, the students were asked what went well and what challenges they faced in performing the activity in a practical environment. Some of their reflections included:
“I was very pleased to see so many kids actually be able to jump all the way over the boxes or see them get over their fear and jump.”
“The children were initially not engaged; I tried to make the activity more fun by adding a component of competition.”
“It was nice to build a connection with the children and get them interested from the start.”
“On the whole, both grades learned a lot from each other,” FIS PE teacher Alessia Prest shares. “Especially the little ones loved being taught by older students and saw them as role models, which made the older students even more responsible and caring. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, which I would love to repeat.”