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An ecological dynamics conceptualisation of physical ‘education’: Where we have been and where we could go next

Rudd, JR, Woods, C, Correia, V, Seifert, L and Davids, K (2021) An ecological dynamics conceptualisation of physical ‘education’: Where we have been and where we could go next. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 26 (3). pp. 293-306. ISSN 1740-8989

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Background: In this paper, we explore physical education from a relational worldview. Theoretically guided by an ecological dynamics framework, this perspective calls us to conceptualise ‘education’ in its etymological roots – ex-ducere – meaning ‘to lead’ an individual ‘out’ into the world. In doing so, an educator would employ a ‘softer’ pedagogy, seeking to guide the attention and encourage exploration of a less experienced individual toward the perception of things that can support, or regulate, their behaviours. This pedagogical approach could help learners to self regulate in the environment, becoming more responsive to emergent opportunities for action available. Theory: This is a pedagogy of exploration, search, discovery, invention and adaptation that is devised from three of the contributing theories to ecological dynamics: ecological psychology, dynamical systems theory and complexity sciences. Throughout this paper we show that this progressive view contrasts with the more traditional perspectives of physical education, grounded in established pedagogical approaches that are often pre-occupied with instilling idealised ways of moving in learners, typically at the expense of appreciating how the environment reciprocally shapes behaviour. Practical Implications: In an effort to support educators with integrating an ecological conceptualisation of PE into their practice we outline three cornerstones. We bring these ideas to life by concluding the paper with the presentation of three practical examples that transcends the physical educational journey from primary/elementary school through to secondary/ high schools. We exemplify how an ecological approach to PE can move us closer to achieving the aim of enabling children to lead a physically active life beyond the school gates.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy, 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2021 12:00
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 05:49
DOI or ID number: 10.1080/17408989.2021.1886271
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14556
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