Understanding Scaffolded Learning – A Vygotsgian Investigation in Sport
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Traditional theories surrounding coaching have perceived coaching to be a one-dimensional, linear process whereby the coach is the sole being responsible for an athlete’s learning and progression. After closely examining these assertions, recent research within the last ten years has inspected coaching from a non-linear perspective, suggesting that athletes themselves have considerable influence over their own learning. Combined with the careful instruction and support of a coach during the learning process, it is believed that athletes’ capacity to learn and develop is much greater. A qualitative data analysis in the form of interviews was conducted to explore and understand the coaching concept of scaffolding within high performance cricket settings. The work of Lev Vygotsky, specifically the 'zone of proximal development', is primarily used to underpin and interpret the data collected. Findings of the study reflect key features of the scaffolding process that coaches have, and continue to use in their respective environments such as establishing structure and developing knowledge through clarity and game-based practice. Barriers to scaffolding such as parental influence and time are also identified. Conclusions focus on scaffolding’s current limitations, implications for future coaching practice and recommendations for future research.
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