Changing the face of coach education: using ethno-drama to depict lived realities
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
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Background: Coaching holistically and viewing coaching as interdisciplinary, where different knowledges meet, interconnect and dissect, has increasingly gained recognition. In an effort to engage more effectively with this agenda and to educate coaches to meet the integrated, fluid nature of their work, Jones and Turner advocated a problem-based learning (PBL) approach to coach education. From a case-study example, the PBL approach was a general success, as proof emerged of a better appreciation by students of the inherent complexity of coaching, and of the many interrelated knowledges needed to excel at the activity. Despite such encouragement however, the presentation of static written scenarios, which could be revisited by the students as many times as they wanted in efforts to develop 'preferred' responses, lacked a degree of real-world credibility. Aims: In an effort to increase the sense of problematic authenticity to PBL scenarios, the purpose of this article was threefold. First, to make the case for ethno-drama as a bone fide means to engage sport coaches with their practice. Second, to document a process through which such a multi-layered, dynamic pedagogy was presented to post-graduate sport coaching students and third, to record and interpret the students' responses to the approach in terms of their learning experiences. Method: ethno-drama scenes were developed, produced and performed as part of a PBL module on the MSc (sport coaching) programme at Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU), in collaboration with the Drama Department at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). More specifically, a theatre director/educator from LJMU worked with student actors to dramatize sport coaching scenes developed and scripted in advance by the CMU teaching team. Following the performances, the coaching students (who witnessed the dramatization) participated in small discussion groups in order to develop preferred ‘solutions’ to the performed scenarios. Finally, an evaluation of the ethno-drama approach was carried out through three semi-structured focus group interviews. Results: Inductive procedures were used to carefully examine, categorise and analyse the results. The findings suggest that the approach was generally successful in producing realistic dramatized scenarios that not only intellectually engaged the students, but also stimulated thought and discussion amongst them regarding issues of ‘preferred practice’. Conclusion: Many further challenges exist in terms of the significance of using ethno-drama as a pedagogy to teach sport coaching. Nevertheless, we believe enough encouragement resulted from this project to merit further use, engagement and research into this potentially very innovative form of coach education.
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy;
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, Volume 18 (5) pages 520-533
- Sport Research Groups 
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