Supporting learning of practitioners and early career scholars in physical education and sports pedagogy


SPORT EDUCATION AND SOCIETY, vol.24, no.6, pp.584-596, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13573322.2019.1598966
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.584-596
  • Keywords: Professional development, physical education, teacher, coach, early career scholar, FITNESS KNOWLEDGE, COMMUNITY, IMPACT


Improving school physical education (PE) practices in the future mainly depends on supporting the professional capital of practitioners' and early career scholars'. In this paper, I aim to present effective strategies to support the human, social and decisional capital of those PE and sports professionals in Turkey. To this end, first, the complex social-ecology of the country-specific PE setting was discussed by using Bronfenbrenner's (1979) social-ecological model. Then, six strategies' that were effective in supporting the professional development of teachers, coaches and early career scholars in this specific context, including identifying the learner subsets, understanding the local social, physical, and policy setting, connecting PE stakeholders toward the same aims, creating learning communities, being future-oriented, and being data-driven in practice were presented with the evidence to support them. Social-ecological examination of the setting indicated the poor outcome of PE for the learning of K12 students in developing movement and lifelong physical activity skills and knowledge. There were weaknesses identified in PE teachers', coaches', and scholars' professional knowledge and skills. The social setting was not supportive especially for girls' physical activity participation in rural areas. Physical Education-related community, organizational and the physical setting had inequalities for the population living in different regions of the country due to fast urbanization, family income level, geography, and climate variations, rapidly growing school-age population and migration. At the macro level, the influence of a centralized education system and the policies of institutions with interest in youth education, health, and sport over the PE practices was critical. Application of the six strategies by considering the social-ecological characteristics of the Turkish PE setting was successful in general. Based on the evidence, I strongly recommend a comprehensive examination of the social-ecology in each cultural setting during structuring the professional development programmes for teachers, coaches, and early career scholars.