«Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport A report for sportscotland by The University of Edinburgh Developing the Potential of Young People ...»
Without that support practice tended to revert back to old patterns.
They all left very inspired and thought it was really good but four weeks down the line, unless there was kind of drip feeding on the stuff they do, they kind of lose it. So it started off huge big blast and then it just kind of tailed off a little bit.
Support for the Teachers – More Psycho-behavioural Support Required?
The seconded teachers highlighted that the support for the teachers tended to be heavily biased towards the psychomotor programme simply because that is where the weakness lay in the teachers practice and additionally the teachers appeared very happy and comfortable with the nature and content of the psycho-behavioural resource.
However, particularly in Stirling, this aspect of the programme may have benefited from more support and review from the seconded teacher.
However, I think I should have spent equal amount of time on both. I think it would have helped if I had have pushed the psycho-behavioural a bit more.
The Structure of the In-Service Training The structure of the in-service was something that could be improved, not just to improve the effectiveness of the training but also to allow for the problems of getting cover for teachers for the required days. A more effective model that was suggested was two initial days up front, followed by a one day follow up a month later. The followup appears to be an important factor to motivate the teachers and allow them to get used to what is expected of them before they can come back and discuss any more informed issues.
This idea of a follow up day after a month will also help, almost force, the teachers to try out the psycho-behavioural more.
More drip-feed the in-service. The bit at the start … the four days was good and then go back maybe in, I don't know, three months time, just for a kind of catch-up session, ‘how are you getting on?’.
The teacher in-service training, very good content, I thought the content was excellent, philosophies, very, very difficult to argue against, you know.
Four days for me was far too long and not in that the stuff didn't last four days or it was too long in that way. Four days is too long for cover implications, practical implications I'm talking about.
My initial ideas would be two days. A day of psychomotor, psychobehavioural. A day of each. Half a day spent on the theory, half a day on practical application. Then give it a month of putting those skills into practice with the additional support of the psychological aspects and the psychomotor for a month. Then a re-assessment day.
4.4.3 Teachers The results detailed here examined the teachers’ perceptions regarding the training.
Although many of the teachers highlighted that the training was a challenge, all participants highlighted that they had enjoyed the training and had found it useful.
We enjoyed it [the in-service training]. We came back to school and we were absolutely full of it to the rest of the staff. They probably really got fed up with us because we kept talking about what we were doing and this new faith and we were almost throwing it, shoving it down people’s throats but that was because we could see where it was going and it did make sense to us and there was a right balance between doing the psychobehavioural stuff and the physical stuff. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) I thought your in-service was excellent … I felt I went away with a very positive attitude and I think it provided me with everything I needed to implement the programme. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) I thought the training was super because I don’t know if you’re aware of this from talking to teachers but a lot of training isn’t actually valuable at all and you feel it’s been a terrible waste of your time. So the ones that are good really stick out. (Primary school teacher from the Bannnockburn cluster) It’s quite a challenging training I thought. It was very good, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I think we learned quite a lot because we actually did it [the activities] and knew what the children had to do. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) Additionally, although participants were not directly questioned about the extent that their opinion was valued during the development of the programme, 31% of those interviewed mentioned how they enjoyed being part of a programme that was still evolving where their opinions were respected and acted upon constructively.
I think it was delivered well and it was delivered in such a way that you were able to contribute and you felt as if you were being part of it. You weren’t … you weren’t being told, and I suppose that’s the advantage of this being a pilot, you weren’t being told ‘this is the way it is and it has to be done like this’. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I thought they [the in-service training days] were really, really good. They involved you as well, it wasn’t just about you guys preaching to us what you wanted us to do. It was useful and it was practical. So, I thought it was good. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) I think it was well delivered and I think it was done in a formal/casual way, where people were able to share with each other and to talk about their own experiences and to put forward their ideas and what came out of it for us was we had different teachers there, class teachers, PE teachers, people like yourself. So there was a wealth of experience coming in from different areas, so you were able to think ‘oh right OK, that doesn’t work for me but it might work if I do what you’re suggesting here and adapt that’.
So, yeah, I thought it was ideal … (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) However, teachers from North Ayrshire, whilst they fully agreed with the philosophy and aims of DPYPS, reported that they initially struggled to take the resources with which they had been provided and organise a lesson. This difficulty is clearly expressed by one of the North Ayrshire teachers.
The first lesson I planned it took me two or two and a half hours. That’s a long time when you have got the rest of the curriculum to do! It took that long because you were worried all the time that you were doing the right thing. I would say more help on lesson planning [during the in-service training] would be useful. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) As a result of this feedback and information received from the seconded teacher, greater emphasis was placed on lesson planning during the training phase in the Bannockburn and Balfron clusters. No similar concerns were expressed by the teachers from these two clusters. In fact, all teachers highlighted how they thought both the method and the content of the training was appropriate and had equipped them with enough information to enable them to pilot the programme with the support of the seconded teacher.
I can’t think of anything that could have been improved. To me, you had the key people there: the person co-ordinating it, the PE specialists, the class teachers and yourselves. I mean, you did bring in people who had experienced the programme before [from North Ayrshire cluster], which was an advantage. So, for me, I thought the delivery was … or the four days targeted exactly what we should be doing. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Two of the teachers from the Balfron cluster highlighted that the timing of the training which was prior to the summer holidays, was unfortunate as they felt they would have liked to have started the programme immediately after receiving the training.
The one thing I was going to say was I think my in-service training, I know it was before the summer holidays, but I felt there was too big a gap between it and the implementation of the programme, in as much as it was over a summer holiday. So I felt I would probably have been better doing the in-service training in August and going straight into the programme within two weeks. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) Additionally, one teacher highlighted how, whilst they found the training useful, they
would have appreciated a greater practical element to the training:
I found it interesting, it was much more relaxed than any other in-service PE training I’ve had, a much more enjoyable day. It was much more stimulating. I’ve never had PE in-service like it in fact, never. … Although, it could have been more practical and less theoretical. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) It should be noted that this teacher was only able to attend the first training day which primarily focused on the theoretical underpinning to the programme. Other teachers stressed the importance of highlighting the theoretical underpinning of the programme and commented favourably on the weighting given to the theoretical and practical elements during training.
I think that [providing us with a philosophy behind the programme] … that was the key to it. So, the philosophy behind DPYPS, which was very clearly set out from the beginning, influenced the way that I took it forward.
(Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I think it was just right because the first two days were people working on the programme and with knowledge about it and expertise, giving us the idea behind the philosophy of it and then the next two days were practical.
I remember we were at Bannockburn High and we were actually doing the running and, you know, seeing how the cards would work, the motor cards. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Further, four of the teachers highlighted it was the best PE in-service training they had attended.
Before she [the specialist primary PE teacher] went along to the in-service, she was, and an awful lot of us were, quite sceptical … The fear was either that we would have heard it all before or it would be poorly presented or it would not really relate directly to what I’m doing in class.
And she came back and said it was one of the best in-service trainings she’s ever had. She was coming back from the training days and saying that she really felt strongly about it and she wanted to get it right and she was trying things out before we even started [the programme]. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) There was no comparison with other training I’ve received … It’s streets ahead of what I’ve experienced. All I’ve experienced in PE training has been council-led training on the TOPS programme but the delivery of that, in my opinion, was not good. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) 4.4.5 Sport Specialists: Coaches, Active Primary and School Sport Co-ordinators and PE Specialists Many Coaches or Teachers have had Very Little Previous PE In-service Training Many of the deliverers highlighted that not many people had had in-service training before and lots of the things presented through the DPYPS programme were new concepts.
A lot of the training days, I know it's only practical the two days but it was, teachers going ‘Oh right’. ‘Oh I didn't know that's how you would teach that’ because it's not something they do. They don't have much CPD for teachers about, you know, learning skills or whatever. Yeah. So it's almost like down to that particular teacher.
The deliverers felt that the in-service was well received, but as it involved changing philosophy it would need considerably more training.
I thought it was excellent. I thought... I mean, I loved it, both days. And you could see your weaknesses as well as your strengths. And if you just had time to consolidate them all the time, you know? But I think I would need to have extra training. I would need to, you know, have somebody at the end of the day. But, again, you would have to get this into your colleges, people that are coming out that are involved, they have to change their philosophy. And that is a major task.
The deliverers in general felt that the major improvement to the in-service would be to show more practically how the programme looked, converting the cards into what they would actually look like in practice.
I thought, mm, this is interesting but kind of just for interest’s sake. I don't quite see how this fits with these particular classes that I know people have. I suppose a lot of teachers are very quick in saying, ‘Right OK, that's great but what am I going to have to do?’ And I don't know what the best way to do that is, I don't know if you're better to start with the practical bits or if you're better to do a bit of both.
But actually reading it over and actually translating what does this mean?
How am I going to apply this, what was this going to, what will this look like in the gym? How will I divide this up? That bit was OK. I'm not sure how the class teachers think about that though.
It was highlighted that a positive point was that there were some passionate and knowledgeable people out there trying to push these concepts forward. The deliverers felt it was important to have quality people presenting the ideas and concepts and supporting the programme.
I think one of the things that is good is how passionate you are about the DPYPS and I think you've given 200% to it and I think that comes across.
And I think if you're there, you're inspired, so you're saying ‘Right, I can do this.’ You know? I think you truly believe in what you're doing. And I think if you don't truly believe in what you're doing and then, it's not an end in itself then it's problems. But I think that's been good where... it's comforting to know that there's folk like you out there. So it will work if we've got loads of you out there.
The more closely the coach in-service training was developed with a close group of likeminded people, in the same club or sport, the better it worked. Indeed, this way of ‘club’ development is crucial and will allow many volunteer coaches to get some guidance and training without having to dedicate too much of their personal time to training.
If you had Russell Hogg and me (two coaches at badminton club), who had taken the badminton working together on DPYPS, you can work in partnership. If somebody's not comfortable with something we say ‘OK, but we need to do it and we need to address it’. Because we know each other we are comfortable with that and we could support each other.