The Sport Pedagogy Network has been established to provide a forum for European researchers working in the academic spaces where education and sport come together. ‘Sport Pedagogy’ focuses on learning in, about and through sport/physical activity in a range of contexts including the school, community and family. It includes physical education, coaching science/studies, and relevant aspects of sport policy. The EC ‘White Paper on Sport’ (2007) signals the importance of sport at a European level, suggesting that engagement in sport has the potential to offer citizens a range of positive outcomes including those linked to health, and personal and social development. The purpose of this Network is to share research expertise in order to develop new knowledge and understandings that can improve the experiences of participants wherever they engage in sport and physical activity. The Network has a particular interest in stimulating research collaborations across national boundaries and developing strong consortia that can bid for research grants.
Sport Pedagogy has three core dimensions that form the basis of its research interests:
i. Knowledge in context.
Physical education/sport knowledge is always context-bound. What is viewed as valuable or appropriate sport knowledge to be taught, coached or learned is contingent upon a range of historical, political, economic and social factors that must be analysed and understood.
ii. Learners and learning.
Participants in sport, whether in physical education programmes at school or through leisure activities in the community, are diverse, embodied learners. At the core of sport pedagogy, therefore, is learning theory and understanding the needs of diverse learners.
iii. Teachers/teaching and coaches/coaching.
The development of effective career-long professional learning for teachers and coaches is an essential step towards providing positive sport experiences for participants with diverse needs.
Key research topics include:
- Curriculum in historical, political, economic and social context
- Cross-Cultural Comparisons of PE and Sport
- Diversity, inclusion and exclusion in sport
- Youth disaffection and re-engagement through sport
- Health and body pedagogies
- Body pedagogies
- The rights of the child in sport and youth voice
- PE/ sport as settings for formal, informal and non-formal learning
- Innovation in and through sport
- Professional development for teachers and coaches.
There are clear links between this Network and Networks 1 (Professional Development); 4 (Inclusive Education); 5 (Children and Youth at Risk); 8 (Health Education); and 10 (Teacher Education). The Sport Pedagogy Network is unique in its core focus on sport and education. One of the key aspirations of this Network, however, is to inform – and be informed by – colleagues working in other relevant networks.