Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Elite Sports Coaching and Feedback: The use of communication and metacognitive strategies in sport
    Jackson, Brendan Craig ( 2020)
    The similarities in skills of coaches and teachers have been of particular interest to researchers for half a century. Within coaching research, the emphasis has been on coach observation studies, whereas in education research the evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions on student outcomes has been the focus. Furthermore, most coaching literature explores coaches at the sub-elite level. Crucially, to develop coaching practice, more information is needed regarding the impacts feedback, pedagogical techniques and instructional interventions employed by coaches have on athlete outcomes in the elite sporting environment. A mixed-methods approach was used in this thesis to explore the impact of coaches’ actions and behaviours on elite teams. In Part A, communication between the senior coach, three assistant coaches and 45 players from the VFLW competition were explored across a six-week period; during meetings, training sessions and competition. Feedback was predominantly descriptive in nature, with the exception of in-competition settings, where prescriptive feedback was predominant. Coaches and players asked minimal questions of one another regardless of the format of the interactions. In Part B, nine VFLW players were interviewed about their feedback preferences. Players preferred individual, specific and prescriptive feedback. Players acknowledged the benefits of video review feedback yet suggested playing an active role in the review process would improve learning. In Part C, a metacognitive strategy (Think Aloud) was introduced into the player review process for 14 AFLW players. This occurred across an entire pre-season and season of the AFLW competition to assess the impact it had on the understanding and performance of a tactical concept. The results showed an effect size of 0.68 for the introduction of a metacognitive strategy on athlete understanding and performance outcomes, compared to 0.37 for no metacognitive strategy. Major conclusions relate to coach feedback not always reflecting player preferences for how feedback is communicated, with feedback tending to be descriptive in nature. Players and coaches evaluate understanding and performance differently, however the implementation of metacognitive strategies into coaching practice led to a higher impact on athlete learning and was similar to the effects reported in prior educational research with students. Further exploration of the overlap of effective teaching pedagogies and their applicability to sports coaching practice would be useful.
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    Uses made of students' writing: implications in terms of language and learning
    Cosgriff, Russell Owen ( 1980)
    Students in our schools do a great deal of writing - writing has always been regarded highly in our educational system. We, as teachers, are responsible for giving our students most of the writing that they do and, because of this, we need to answer some pertinent questions: e.g. Do we know why we give our students the writing? Are we aware of where writing fits in the overall learning process of our students? Is what we are actually doing in the classroom with respect to our students' writing the same as what we think we are doing? This study is concerned with questions such as these in order to determine what is current practice, and to critically discuss such practice in terms of its impact on the learning success of students. The relationship between thought and language is intricate, but there is evidence that these have different genetic roots and develop differently; at certain stages, their curves of development meet. Word meanings may be. viewed as the overlap of thought and speech, and it is through word meanings that there is transition from thought to words. Written language requires a higher level of abstraction than spoken language. There is a reliance on formal meanings of words, and more words are needed than with speech, due to the absence of a communicating partner whose knowledge of the current subject can be pre-supposed. The communication is meant for a person who is not present or who may even be imaginary; motives for written language differ from those for spoken language. Different types of language can be discerned. James Britton categorized language as being transactional, expressive or poetic, where the purpose of the language differs in each case. Language closest to the students' everyday speech is expressive, yet there is evidence the predominant language demanded of secondary school students is transactional, and this demand increases as the student moves up the school. If language plays, a central role in students' learning, what are the consequences of this? There is also evidence that, as the student moves through the secondary school, the teacher is seen increasingly as almost the sole audience for the writing. What impact does this have? What then, are the uses made of students' writing? Why do teachers set it? How do they mark it? What uses are made of it by teachers after they have marked it and handed it back? Two research reports are considered in detail which focus on such issues in order to determine what is happening across the curriculum at about middle secondary school level. The first, by Douglas Barnes and Denis Shemilt, made use of an open questionnaire. Factor analysis was employed to establish patterns. Replies were seen as falling on a dimension which was called the Transmission-Interpretation dimension. The researchers further hypothesized by extrapolating from teachers' attitudes to writing in order to reconstruct their attitudes to knowledge and learning. The second research report resulted from a survey conducted by the present writer. A closed questionnaire was circulated to teachers of middle secondary level in twelve schools and the replies were factor analyzed. Two factors were discussed in detail; for both factors, there was evidence that patterns in responses closely matched the pattern obtained by the Barnes-Shemilt study. Having obtained some knowledge of language types expected or demanded, audiences provided for students' writing and the uses made of the written work, the implications in terms of language and learning are discussed.