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A Sense of Connection: Toward Social Constructivist Physical Education

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine D. Ennis, Professor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: In social constructivist educational theory, the classroom is seen as a community of learners. According to social constructivists, learning occurs through peer interactions, student ownership of the curriculum and educational experiences that are authentic for students. The purpose of this study was to investigate how teachers used social constructivist strategies to encourage student construction of knowledge and meanings, and how students constructed knowledge and meanings in two middle school physical education classrooms. A qualitative naturalistic design was used to collect data over a five-month period with two experienced middle school physical education teachers. Data included 11 weeks of observational field notes and interviews with teachers and students. Data were analyzed using cross-case and inductive analysis. Findings indicated that the teachers’ strategies created a learning environment in which students actively constructed knowledge and meanings by making connections to their peers and by connecting physical education to their lives, their communities, and the real world. Students shared information, assumed leadership and responsibility, and became decision-makers. By connecting to to their peers, students felt supported in their learning. This study offers additional findings in support of social constructivist pedagogy in physical education that encourages individual growth and social awareness in communities of learners.

Additional Information

Publication
Sport, Education, and Society, 8,179-197.
Language: English
Date: 2003
Keywords
Social constructivism, Physical education, Philosophies of education, Methods of education, Community of learners, Pedagogy