A learning journey : unintended and liberating consequences of an integrated teaching experience in sport science
Thompson, Kylie; Stamp, Daniel; Sieuw, Mieke; Nash, Simon; Ferkins, Dr Lesley
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Citation:Thompson, K., Stamp, D., Sieuw, M., Nash, S., & Ferkins, L. (2016, May). A Learning Journey: Unintended and Liberating Consequences of an Integrated Teaching Experience in Sport Science. In H. Hamerton & C. Fraser (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2015 National Tertiary Learning and Teaching Conference: Te Tipuranga – Growing Capability (pp.42-51).
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/3579
In 2013-2014 a small team of sport science lecturers at Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland undertook action research to better integrate their teaching of content across sport-related disciplines. They aimed to treat content holistically and for it to more closely reflect real world phenomena rather than being segmented by disciplines. The teaching team’s ‘integrated’ approach was enthusiastically received by students who began making significant conceptual connections between disciplines and frequently sought even stronger integration of content. For students, the integrated, holistic approach was perceived as a natural way to learn. For teachers, the positive student response was compelling evidence of the value of integration, leading them to powerful and unexpected insights into their teaching practices. The experience has been liberating and confidence enhancing for the teachers and for their conceptions of professional identity. This research offers significant insights into the difficult process of achieving effective, durable educational change. We identify a number of key elements in support of that change. First, the developmental action research approach supported deep understanding of issues and refinement of actions. Second, professional development was embedded in the project and driven by teachers’ needs - combining scholarship and experience in a problem-solving process. Third, the teaching team operated within a supportive, enabling ‘teaching and learning regime’. As a consequence of this project, the teaching team have more expansive plans for further integrating teaching practices in future.