Self-identified teaching styles of junior development and club professional tennis coaches in Australia

Hewitt, Mitchell and Edwards, Ken (2015) Self-identified teaching styles of junior development and club professional tennis coaches in Australia. In: Empowering educators: proven principles and successful strategies. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., London, United Kingdom, pp. 127-154. ISBN 978-1-137-51588-9

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Abstract

Many educational theorists believe that there is no 'best' teaching style. A common principle in the discipline of coaching is that coaches should base their teaching style(s) on a number of considerations. These include: the developmental characteristics and individual requirements of the player, as well as the subject matter intent. Apart from anecdotal reports, however, the subject of tennis coaches and teaching styles remains unexplored. It is unknown what teaching styles coaches are employing during coaching sessions and whether these teaching styles are associated with recommended pedagogical principles advocated by scholars. Perhaps this noted lack of information regarding teaching styles is due to the theoretical and practical difficulty of comparing the various terms and interpretations that tennis coaches have in relation to their instructional processes. Arguably, many of these conceptions about teaching styles are not organised in a common theoretical framework but rather exist with the individual interpretations of tennis coaches. It has been anecdotally suggested that the terms used to define teaching styles largely lack consistency and uniformity and are frequently employed interchangeably. Conceivably, this has led to confusion and the absence of a definitive set of concepts and principles reflective of the tennis coaching process and effective practice within it. As diverse learning conditions and experiences are often created by employing different teaching styles, the necessity for coaches to understand and purposefully implement a range of teaching styles to achieve various learning objectives is vital. The requirement for a tennis coach to possess the capacity to employ a range of teaching styles when appropriate is perhaps reliant on a number of considerations. Coaches must be prepared to cater for the diversity of players' learning needs, interests, preferences and developmental readiness or stage of learning. Additionally, tennis involves learning aims from the psychomotor (physical/motor skill), cognitive (decision-making) and affective (enjoyment/motivation) domains. This might suggest the application of specific teaching styles to comprehensively develop each learning area. As no one teaching style encompasses all learning eventualities, an effective coach must have the capability to change, combine and transition between various teaching styles during sessions.
This chapter demonstrates how a conceptual model of teaching can be used to evalute and assist in the practice of pedagogical possibilities. It presents the findings of research completed on the self-identified teaching styles of 208 tennis coaches in Australia using Mosston and Ashworth's Spectrum of Teaching Styles (2008) as a basis for identification. Exploring the teaching styles of tennis coaches establishes a baseline of information and provides assistance to identify how the coach facilitates learning. Only an understanding and awareness of coaching behaviours does theorising with regards to current limitations become likely. The possible identification of different features within pedagogical behaviour among tennis coaches in Australia will be particularly crucial in the design of coach education programs and professional development initiatives. These findings may also extend relevance into sports coaching more broadly. Contrary to educational convictions and perceptions, however, the results from this study indicated a different view in relation to the recommended employment of a variety of teaching styles. Results from this study reveal that during their coaching sessions throughout the year, Junior Development and Club Professional tennis coaches predominantly use one teaching style that illicited practice of a specific task described or modeled by the coach. This teaching style is named Practice Style-B. The predominant use of Practice Style-B strongly correlates with the pedagogical principles associated with direct instruction guidelines whereby the coach makes decisions about what the students are learning in addition to how and why they are learning it.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submitted Version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2016 07:05
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2017 00:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: tennis coaching; spectrum of teaching styles; sports pedagogy
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130210 Physical Education and Development Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24918

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