Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2022) 21, 153 - 163   DOI:

Research article
A Novice Teacher as Facilitator of Learning During a Hybrid Sport Education/Step-Game Approach Volleyball Season
Rita M. R. da Silva , Cláudio F. G. Farias, Ana G. A. Ramos, Isabel M. R. Mesquita
Author Information
CIFI2D, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Rita M. R. da Silva
✉ Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport (CIFID). Faculty of Sport, University of Porto Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, 91, 4200-450, Porto, Portugal
Publish Date
Received: 02-12-2021
Accepted: 07-03-2022
Published (online): 01-06-2022

This study aimed to examine how a novice Physical Education teacher unfolded her pedagogical practice as a facilitator of learning during a hybrid Sport Education/Step-Game-Approach volleyball season; and to investigate students’ perceptions about their lived learning experiences and active involvement in building their own learning process. For this purpose, an insider action-research design was implemented throughout one school term (20 lessons of 45 minutes each in total). Twenty-five students (aged between16 and17 years old), enrolled in the 12th grade at a Portuguese high school took part in this investigation. The novice teacher, who held two years of professional experience, assumed the dual role of teacher-researcher, facilitating an in-depth understanding of the complexity featuring of the teaching-learning process. Qualitative data were collected using multiple data sources (i.e., teacher’s lesson plans and field diary, and student’s focus-group interviews), and analyzed using a hybrid approach of inductive and deductive thematic analysis. The results revealed that the use of this hybrid season helped the teacher to act as facilitator of learning, namely by: (i) using two student-centered models with unique internal structures and functionalities, (ii) increasing the level of responsibility taken by students for their own learning experiences, (iii) adapting the lesson plans to students’ individual needs, and (iv) combining a more supportive intervention with the use of more indirect teaching strategies. Together, these strategies seemed to prompt students’ autonomy and sense of active control of the class activities, the development of students’ abilities and volleyball-based knowledge, leading them to be more interested and engaged in Physical Education. In conclusion, the alliance between the student-centered environment (Sport Education) and the specificity of the content subject-knowledge (Step-Game Approach for non-invasion games) seems to have allow the novice teacher to adjust her pedagogical intervention as facilitator of learning to students’ individual learning needs.

Key words: Student-centered models, volleyball, physical education, high school, action-research, qualitative analysis

           Key Points
  • The alliance between the Sport Education and the Step-Game Approach allows the novice teacher to adjust her pedagogical intervention as facilitator of learning to students’ individual learning needs.
  • Students perceived that they developed their autonomy and sense of active control of the class activities, their abilities and volleyball-based knowledge, which made them more interested and engaged in PE.
  • Future studies should consider longitudinal AR designs and video-audio as a complementary data source data.
  • PETE and professional development programs should be more focused on developing teacher’s ability to game design, to use effective questioning and gradually to empower students to assume an active role over their learning experiences. Also, offer school placement training and postgraduate professional practice based on student-centered approaches.
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