Research Article: Task planning for sports learning by physical education teachers in the pre-service phase

Date Published: March 20, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Sebastián Feu, Javier García-Rubio, María de Gracia Gamero, Sergio J. Ibáñez, Juan Carlos Perez Gonzalez.


Planning the learning task is one of the principal actions that a teacher should engage in, and it is important to know how teachers in the pre-service phase plan learning and communication tasks and the feedback that they use in the classroom. The aim of the present study was twofold: i) to characterize the learning tasks designed by the pre-service physical education teachers; and ii) to identify the relationships between the variables that define the learning tasks and the phases into which a session is structured in Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) in the pre-service phase. The sample comprised 695 learning tasks designed by fourteen pre-service phase teachers. The independent variable was the lesson structure and the dependent variables were the learning means, the game situation, the game phase, the space where the students practice, the use of the ball in the task, and the kind of feedback provided in the learning tasks. The high predominance of exercises, unspecific games, and no opponent situations, coupled with the low percentage of reflexive feedback, indicates that the pre-service teachers give prevalence to technical over tactical learning. In addition, pre-service teachers show preferences for some of the task characteristics for each part of the lesson structure. Teachers in PETE pre-service phase tasks tend to follow a more traditional methodology, despite having received information about the different methods of sports teaching in their initial training. The current findings seems to indicate a resistance to changing a traditional model for other models centered on game comprehension.

Partial Text

Invasion team sports represent the physical education contents most used in teaching planning [1] and are the most attractive for the students [2]. Invasion team sports are team-based games in which the purpose is to score points while invading the opponent’s territory and keeping the opposing team’s points to a minimum, within a defined time period. Their inclusion in the elementary school curriculum is controversial [3], and has to fulfill some requirements to be considered educational. In this planning, the teachers have to make decisions regarding the learning content and teaching plan, methodology or evaluation, adapting them to the teaching approach that they consider most suitable for achieving the desired learning [4]. One of the basic skills of physical education teachers is planning [5]. This is where the selection and design of learning methods and techniques start. Learning tasks organization is not a product of improvisation or an excess of creativity [6].

The study used a comparative transversal associative strategy [35], in which the PETE teachers in the pre-service phase were asked to plan a lesson plan and design tasks to be analyzed from the point of view of the parts of the session.

Table 1 presents the descriptive analysis of the learning tasks planned by the PETE teachers in the pre-service phase for the different parts of the physical education lesson. The most utilized learning mean of the analyzed tasks designed by the teachers was simple exercise (38%) and the unspecific simple game (23.2%). In the warm-up phase simple exercise (45.6%) and unspecific simple game (43.1%) predominate with a scarce presence of more complex games. In the main activity phase they principally used simple exercises (43%) and diverse specific game modalities for the sport: Modified game (13.9%), Specific game (16.2%) and Sport (10.3%).

The general objective of this study was to analyze the tasks planned by teachers in the pre-service phase before their specialization in the physical education area. During their internships in schools, these teachers plan the lesson plans of an invasion sport such as basketball using mainly simple exercises followed by unspecific simple game as the learning-teaching means. Only one third of the means are contextualized in sports game problems, employing modified games, the specific game and the sport. Moreover, half the game situations have no opponents, with the 1×0 situation predominating. The most utilized situation from those without opponents is the 1×1. Finally, the most worked on game phase is the attack phase.




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