Cooperative Learning – Athletics

Last month Ashley Casey (@DrAshCasey) shared, through Dropbox, a number of Athletics resources based on cooperative learning (independent learning). He originally developed these resources for his PhD that was published in 2009, an abstract of the article can be found here: http://uobrep.openrepository.com/uobrep/handle/10547/223803.

Since I was introduced to the resources, I have been looking forward to the Athletics unit as personally I am a keen advocate of independent learning – mainly due to the whole school initiative last year.

The resources are based on students independently working through each event teaching, coaching, leading and providing feedback to/for each other. Ashley Casey developed a resource sheet for each event (Sprint, Distance, Relay, Hurdles, Long-jump, Triple-jump, Discus, Javelin and Shot-put) that is divided onto 3, 4 or 5 ‘practices’ for students to complete. As they work through the ‘practices’ in small groups of 3/4 they are continually assessing their own and their peers’ performance by assessing their progress against the ‘Learning Cues’ provided.

With this week being our first lesson of the Athletics unit I decided to strongly base the lesson structure on what Ashley suggests in the ‘Introduction’ resource, but also put an emphasis on the London 2012 Olympics. The students were introduced to the the resource sheets and how the unit will be structured 4 (double) lessons of ‘training’ to build up to the ‘Olympics’ at the end of the unit. Students were organised into groups of 3/4 and were given an Olympic nation to represent at our mini Olympics. After the initial teacher led introduction, the responsibility was then placed on the students to teach, guide, support and feedback on each Olympic event they were training for.

After one double lesson, I have been impressed with the response from students, obviously there is always something to improve on/adapt to tailor to your students needs but the idea has huge potential and I plan to use this in the future.

For further information or to join the discussion on the resources please comment below or on the PEPRN discussion.

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