Between hope and happening Problematizing the M and the P in models based practice.pdf (1.59 MB)
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Between hope and happening: Problematizing the M and the P in models-based practice

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journal contribution
posted on 17.06.2020, 14:34 by Ashley CaseyAshley Casey, Ann MacPhail, Hakan Larsson, Mikael Quennerstedt
Background: Advocacy through the work of many scholars in physical education and sport pedagogy highlights a significant direction towards which physical education is moving in light of calls for change. Importantly, and despite the ‘newness’ of the terms, ‘pedagogical models’ and ‘Models-based Practice’ (MbP) are beginning to shape the vocabulary of physical education and sport pedagogy Purpose: To ask what happens if we take some of the ‘good stuff’ associated with models and apply it in a different way while also taking some of the critical points raised towards
models into consideration. Put simply, we (as scholars with different views on MbP) want to step off the beaten track to take a road less travelled and engage in a respectful, agonistic debate about the ‘M’ and the ‘P’ in MbP. Key Arguments: From a practical perspective, the diversity of the language used in describing models and practices in physical education indicates both a growing excellence and tradition in the field and a degree of confusion. A number of phrases are currently used to identify the same concept with individuals unaware of alternative language use. At the heart of this paper lies the manner in which one interprets the use of the terms ‘model’, ‘practice’ and ‘practise.’ Discussion: Given the ‘hope’ inherent in pedagogical model development and implementation, we acknowledge that many of the negative or unintended consequences often arise as a result of the ‘happening’ both in research and in practice. However, by thinking in terms of what it is in students’ actions that teachers and researchers should pay attention to in order for them to see what students learn, and in what direction this learning is 3 developing, we are better able to see the outcomes of using MbP. In this way, the hope embedded in the chosen model, and the happenings teachers or researchers aspire to see, could be better aligned. Modelling and practicing through the focus on adaption and negotiation in various complex contexts has the potential to expand the field more than blueprints that potentially narrow the field. Conclusions: By recognising the dangers inherent in an essentialist notion of models (i.e. by nouning or proper nouning them), and by remembering the roles set aside for teachers in the development of pedagogical models, it is important that the practising of MbP always retains a very real sense of becoming. By continuing to problematize the M and the P, and by engaging in respectful and agonistic debate, we are better able to unite the hope and the happening of MbP.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy






111 - 122


Taylor & Francis (Routledge)


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© The Authors

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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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Dr Ash Casey Deposit date: 17 June 2020