• ‘Seeing the trees not just the wood’: steps and not just journeys in teacher action research

      Casey, Ashley (Taylor and Francis, 2013)
      Employing a number of data-gathering tools (reflective journals, unit diaries, post-cycle reflective analyses, student interviews and observations) this paper examines the residual and emergent effects of cooperative learning on the participants in a second, sequential unit of track and field athletics taught a year after the first intervention. It suggests that learning was both academic and social, and that participants felt the unit built on their prior learning about track and field because it was progressive, motivational and student-centred. The paper concludes by suggesting that, in seeking to understand a teacher’s pedagogical and curricular change process, we need to intersperse research that focuses on the journey towards change with research that explores the individual processes of change.
    • Selenium supplementation and exercise: effect on oxidant stress in overweight adults

      Savory, Louise A.; Kerr, Catherine J.; Whiting, Paul; Finer, Nicholas; McEneny, Jane; Ashton, Tony; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2012-04)
      Both obesity and acute high-intensity exercise increase oxidant stress levels. This study investigates whether selenium (Se) supplementation could be a potential effective therapy to reduce obesity-associated oxidant stress and exercise-induced oxidant stress. Ten normal-weight (NW) (22.80 ± 0.41 kg/m(2)) and ten overweight (OW) healthy subjects (28.00 ± 0.81 kg/m(2)) were assessed during a randomized double-blind Se supplementation study (200 µg sodium selenite/day for 3 weeks) with a 3-week placebo control and inversion of treatment periods. Blood levels of lipid hydroperoxide (LH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), erythrocyte glutathione (GSH), and total antioxidant status (TAS), were measured at rest, pre-, and postexercise (30 min 70% VO(2) max before and after treatment (pretreatment (week 0 and 12) and post-treatment (week 3 or 15)). At rest, compared to placebo, Se supplementation had no significant effect on LH, SOD, GSH, and TAS levels. However, Se supplementation decreased LH levels in the OW group, immediately postexercise (-0.25 ± 0.12 µmol/l, P = 0.05) compared to placebo treatment. Postexercise, with or without Se supplementation, no changes in TAS, SOD, and GSH levels were observed in both the NW and OW group. This study has highlighted a potential benefit of Se in reducing LH levels postexercise in OW individuals. Given that oxidant stress is a predictor of coronary events, it is imperative to better understand oxidant stress-related responses to lifestyle factors (in particular "high-risk" population groups) and potential antioxidant therapy.
    • Situated learning as a theoretical framework for sport education

      Kirk, David; Kinchin, Gary (Sage Publications, 2003-10)
      The article seeks to establish the usefulness of situated learning theory as a means of thinking differently about the alleged abstraction of school learning in a range of subjects including physical education, and the issue of transfer of learning. Following a discussion of Lave and Wenger’s notion of situated learning as legitimate peripheral participation in communities of practice, the article explores the potential of Siedentop’s sport education model as a means of providing young people with educative and authentic experiences of sport as legitimate peripheral participants. It is concluded that sport education may have the potential to provide educative and authentic experiences of sport, but that further detailed empirical investigation is required to establish the conditions in which this potential might be realized.
    • Social positioning and the construction of a youth sports club

      Kirk, David; MacPhail, Ann (Sage Publications, 2003-03)
    • Sport Education as a pedagogical application for ethical development in physical education and youth sport

      Harvey, Stephen; Kirk, David; O'Donovan, Toni M.; University of Bedfordshire (2012-05-15)
      The purpose of this paper is to consider four pedagogical applications within the Sport Education model to examine the ways in which a young person can become a literate sports person and develop ethical behaviour through engagement in physical education and youth sport. Through a systematic review of the Sport Education research literature we present evidence to suggest that although notions such as inclusion, responsibility and ownership, personal and social development and social justice are part of the architecture of this pedagogical model, our findings show that rather than simply being caught, ethical conduct must be taught. Consequently, in the final part of the paper, we present four pedagogical applications within Sport Education that physical education teachers as well as youth sport practitioners and administrators may find useful to promote ethical development: (1) ethical contracts; (2) sports panels; (3) modified games; and (4) awards and rewards.
    • Sport Education, critical pedagogy and learning theory: toward an intrinsic justification for physical education and youth sport

      Kirk, David; Leeds Metropolitan University (Human Kinetics, 2006-05)
      I argue in this paper that sport should be retained as an important part of the educational rationale for physical education. I consider Siedentop's critique of physical education and his alternative in the form of Sport Education. Siedentop's goals for youth sport and physical education and use of the work of Alisdair McIntyre are explored. It is argued that if we work to experience activities that are inherently pleasurable and intrinsically satisfying, then there is a possible future for activities such as sport. I conclude that school physical education is well placed to take up this challenge of sustaining sport as a moral practice and that the pedagogical tools already exist to do this in the form of a critical pedagogy.
    • Sport education: promoting team affiliation through physical education

      MacPhail, Ann; Kirk, David; Kinchin, Gary (Human Kinetics, 2004-04)
      The development of feelings of identity, the sense of belonging to a team, and the growth of social skills are experiences that sport, if properly conducted, is well placed to offer (Siedentop, 1994). Evidence suggests that some characteristics of traditional, multiactivity forms of physical education work against realizing these goals (Locke, 1992). Siedentop's Sport Education (SE) model is one attempt to overcome this shortcoming by recasting units as seasons and maintaining persisting groups as teams throughout the season. Extended units intended to foster team affiliation while promoting affective and social development are common objectives in physical education. We report on a 16-week SE unit that includes over 70 Year-5 students (9- to 10-year-olds) from one UK school. Our findings show that the opportunity to become affiliated with a team was an attractive feature of the pupils' physical education experience and that, under the framework of SE, there was an obvious investment made by the Year-5 Forest Gate students in relation to their sense of identity and involvement as members of a persisting group.
    • Student investment in a research methods course: the influence of achievement goals on motivational patterns

      Hall, Howard K.; Hill, A.P.; Appleton, Paul Richard; Kozub, Stephen A.; University of Bedfordshire (2009)
    • Student learning during a unit of student-designed games

      Casey, Ashley; Hastie, Peter A.; Rovegno, Inez (Taylor and Francis, 2011)
      Aim of the paper was to examine students' learning during their participation in a unit of student-designed games. Conclusions: The student-designed games provided a forum that allowed students to develop a more sophisticated understanding of game structures and game play, but designing games was not easy. However, the findings of this study support the idea that when students design games they discover the impact of the many elements that make up a game.
    • Student-designed games: understanding the importance of rules and strategies

      Casey, Ashley (Association for Physical Education, 2012)
    • Students and teacher responses to a unit of student-designed games

      Casey, Ashley; Hastie, Peter A. (2012-05-23)
      Background: Despite the support in primary education that student-designed games enhance student contextualisation of skills and tactics, there has been little support in secondary education, nor any empirical research exploring these claims. This paper attempts to rekindle these beliefs and explores the use of student-designed games in an English secondary school. Aim: To provide a detailed account of classes of secondary students designing their own games, and to investigate their responses to the games-making process. Method: Two classes of boys (aged 14–16) at a school in England participated in the study. Each class was divided into three teacher-selected teams and attended one lesson per week, each lasting 40 minutes, for seven weeks. Lessons were adapted to give students four phases of development: a 2-week library-based planning and wiki construction phase; a 1-week outdoor modification and wiki update phase; three weeks of trials of the games with a wiki refinement phase; and a 1-week game and wiki finalization phase. In this time frame the pupils involved were challenged to design an invasion game that would be played in a subsequent unit. Data consisted of: teacher post-teaching reflections, interviews between a professor-researcher and the on-site participants, observations and analysis of wikis. Data analysis occurred on three levels. The first aspect was immediate and ongoing by the teacher-researcher to meet the ‘on the spot’ learning needs of his students. Secondly, the professor-researcher aided the teacher-researcher in systematic collection, organisation and analyses. Thirdly, peer debriefing occurred in which the research team analysed and critiqued the data during the collection and writing processes. Results: We found that students ‘bought into’ the process of games-making, were afforded an inclusive voice and worked as teams. Furthermore they engaged in immediate searches for innovation which were influenced by popular media, and shared ideas and learning with others to a degree that allowed them to exclude problematic skills. However, there was student frustration induced by watching others failing to properly play these games. Conclusions: We concluded that student-designed games ‘freed’ children to define competition at their own developmental level. This paper shows that by trusting pupils and supporting them to be creative in the games that they play it is possible to gain an insight into the processes by which students apply their knowledge about physical education.
    • Students' conceptions of sport and sport education

      MacPhail, Ann; Kinchin, Gary; Kirk, David (Sage Publications, 2003-10)
      This article explores a class of Grade 5 (age 9 and 10) children’s conceptions of sport during a season of sport education at Forest Gate Primary School. The purpose, following Kirk and Kinchin (this issue), is to examine the extent to which the potential transfer of learning between school and sport as a community of practice may be possible through sport education in school physical education. With reference to student interviews and drawings we report and discuss children’s conceptions of sport, their experiences of sport outside of the school, and their emerging conceptions of sport education in light of these prior understanding and experiences. We conclude that there was an evident level of compatibility between students’ experiences of sport education and their conceptions of sport more broadly.
    • Teacher voice and ownership of curriculum change

      Kirk, David; MacDonald, Doune (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2010-10)
    • The teacher-as-researcher and the future survival of physical education

      Casey, Ashley; Kirk, David (Hacettepe University School of Sport Science and Technology, 2010)
      Many have suggested that the industrial model of schooling (i.e. one that concentrates on the year-on-year production of ‘educated’ students) is no longer suitable for a post-industrial education system. With this in mind, and in considering the three possible futures described by Kirk (2010) in his book Physical Education Futures, this paper suggests that teachers hold the key to the future survival of physical ducation. The industrial model of physical education has led to the evolution of an approach to teaching that foregrounds the development of sport-techniques (most especially in team games) at the expensive of understanding and intelligent performance. One possible future (and the one that looks most likely at this time) is what Kirk called ‘more of the same.’ With this response physical education will continue to foreground games and their techniques and ignore the growing dissatisfaction around this approach
    • Teaching games for understanding and situated learning: re-thinking the Bunker-Thorpe model

      Kirk, David; MacPhail, Ann (Human Kinetics, 2002-01)
      Bunker and Thorpe first proposed Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) in 1982 as an alternative to traditional, technique-led approaches to games teaching and learning. Despite interest from teachers and researchers, there has been no attempt to review the TGfU model. This is an oversight, given the important advances in educational learning theory and ecological approaches to motor control since the early 1980s. The purpose of this paper is to present a new version of the TGfU model that draws on a situated learning perspective. The paper describes the TGfU approach, overviews recent research on TGfU, and outlines a situated learning perspective. This perspective is then applied to rethinking the TGfU model. The intended outcome of the paper is the provision a more robust and sophisticated version of the TGfU model that can inform future directions in the practice of and research on TGfU.
    • Teaching games for understanding in American high-school soccer: a quantitative data analysis using the game performance assessment instrument

      Harvey, Stephen; Cushion, Christopher J.; Wegis, Heidi M.; Massa-Gonzalez, Ada N. (2012-05-23)
      Background: Previous research examining the effectiveness of the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) approach has been equivocal. This has been hampered by a dependence on a comparative (i.e., ‘which method is best?’) theoretical framework. An alternative ‘practice-referenced’ framework has the potential to examine the effectiveness of TGfU against anticipated learning outcomes. Furthermore, there has been limited research examining the effects of using the TGfU approach on game play performance in coaching settings. Aims: This study had three purposes/aims: (a) to assess the practice-referenced approach, and consider if this is a viable framework for evaluating the effects of teaching and learning (i.e. performance) with TGfU; (b) to test the robustness of the defensive off-the-ball elements of game performance using the Game Performance Assessment Instrument (GPAI) in a coaching context, with small units of players; (c) to assess how ‘alignment of practice’ contributed to the development of overall game performance and involvement of high-school soccer players. Methods: One varsity (n = 18) and one first-year (n = 16) team of soccer players from a single American high-school boys' soccer programme received eight TGfU coaching sessions (45–60 mins in length). Sessions focused on defensive aspects of off-the-ball game performance (i.e. adjust and cover skills) were delivered by their respective coach, who had been trained to employ the TGfU approach. Changes in game performance were assessed in a modified three vs. three soccer game during baseline (n = 4) and intervention (n = 3) phases of the study. Data were collected on four individual measures (decision making, skill execution, adjust and cover) and two overall measures of game performance (game performance and game involvement) from the GPAI. Changes in game performance measures between baseline and intervention phases of the study were examined using a series of 11 paired-sample t-tests; effect size changes were also calculated. Results: Results revealed significant changes between baseline and intervention phases in appropriate adjusts for both teams and inappropriate covers and overall appropriate game performance for the first-year team. No significant changes between baseline to intervention phases of the study in inappropriate game performance constructs were noted. Conclusions: This study has shown evidence that the practice-referenced approach is an appropriate theoretical framework for evaluating the effects of a TGfU intervention with high-school soccer players, centred on defensive aspects of off-the-ball game performance. Game-situated teaching and learning (i.e. aligned practice) led to faster responses and quicker reactions within the game environment off-the-ball (i.e. to movements of the ball and/or team-mates). Thus, there was an improvement in the numbers of appropriate game responses by both varsity and first-year teams. Finally, the GPAI was found to be sensitive and robust in measuring the changes in defensive off-the-ball game performance made by the two teams of high-school soccer players over the two phases the study.
    • Telomere maintenance genes SIRT1 and XRCC6 impact age-related decline in telomere length but only SIRT1 is associated with human longevity

      Kim, Sangkyu; Bi, Xiuhua; Czarny-Ratajczak, Malwina; Dai, Jianliang; Welsh, David A.; Myers, Leann; Welsch, Michael A.; Cherry, Katie E; Arnold, Jonathan; Poon, Leonard W.; et al. (Springer, 2012-04)
      Leukocyte telomere length is widely considered a biomarker of human age and in many studies indicative of health or disease. We have obtained quantitative estimates of telomere length from blood leukocytes in a population sample, confirming results of previous studies that telomere length significantly decreases with age. Telomere length was also positively associated with several measures of healthy aging, but this relationship was dependent on age. We screened two genes known to be involved in telomere maintenance for association with the age-related decline in telomere length observed in our population to identify candidate longevity-associated genes. A single-nucleotide polymorphism located in the SIRT1 gene and another in the 3' flanking region of XRCC6 had significant effects on telomere length. At each bi-allelic locus, the minor variant was associated with longer telomeres, though the mode of inheritance fitting best differed between the two genes. No statistical interaction was detected for telomere length between the SIRT1 and XRCC6 variants or between these polymorphisms and age. The SIRT1 locus was significantly associated with longevity (P < 0.003). The frequency of the minor allele was higher in long-lived cases than in young controls, which coincides with the protective role of the minor variant for telomere length. In contrast, the XRCC6 variant was not associated with longevity. Furthermore, it did not affect the association of SIRT1 with exceptional survival. The association of the same variant of SIRT1 with longevity was near significant (P < 0.07) in a second population. These results suggest a potential role of SIRT1 in linking telomere length and longevity. Given the differences between this gene and XRCC6, they point to the distinct impact that alternate pathways of telomere maintenance may have on aging and exceptional survival.