A Case for Nonlinear Learning through a Constraints-Led Approach
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Accepting the linear view of trying to model the coaching process (Lyle, 2002), has led the area of sports coaching to view research and development through an interpretivist epistemology (North, 2013). Following on from this shift in epistemology, nonlinear pedagogy has become an in-vogue term, to draw attention to the inherent complexity within the social learning environment. A qualitative research design, through reflective practice, now allows for an investigation of the application of a nonlinear constraints-led approach. Content analysis of the reflections produced three main themes that were based around the application of task design, the theoretical underpinnings of nonlinear pedagogy, and the role of the coach in a constraints-led approach. A key finding in the application of a constraints-led approach was not the understanding of how to manipulate constraints, but the lack of knowledge of the theoretical underpinning centred around ecological psychology and dynamical systems theory that guide a constraints-led approach. Conclusions focus on the ability to use the approach as a framework to guide a coach’s tacit knowledge, avoiding the notions of delivering constraint-filled sessions.
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