CE  Vol.11 No.12 , December 2020
Practices of Didactic Interventions in Physical and Sport Education and Place of Expertise: Effective Teacher Designs and Achievements
Abstract: This paper reports on research in the teaching of Physical and Sports Education (PSE) which aims to question the use of verbal interventions in the teaching of EPS, depending on whether the teacher is a specialist or not in the physical and sporting activity (PSA) that he teaches. The purpose of this study is to provide a detailed description of intervention practices. They include describing to what extent and how knowledge is staged. Our case studies reflect the effects of the expertise which structures professional skills in relation to the test and knowledge. The teaching of Kais is indicative of his expertise in volleyball, he articulates his own logic of expert to that of the student and the activity, Ramzi non-specialist teacher relies more on logic inherent in his footballer’s sporting experience, to his knowledge of the students as well as that of the discipline of volleyball (Touboul, 2011). These results are interpreted and discussed in the light of these contexts and the professional uniqueness of Kais and Ramzi.

1. Introduction

Interest in interventions, and more specifically verbal intervention in didactic regulation (VIDR), has gradually become necessary to understand the mechanisms underlying this emotional relationship and this posture of the teacher in the classroom. What IVs are implemented as part of a volleyball lesson? Are they voluntarily and consciously? Our research will seek to answer these questions by giving teachers a voice to try to question their daily practices, their attitudes towards students and the intentions underlying these behaviors. Our study is anchored in the perspective which considers that the intervention of didactic regulation can be treated as a legitimate theme. We will choose to focus our analysis on teaching/learning interactions, that is to say, on language interventions that ensure the coordination of two complementary processes: teaching and learning. The studies carried out in PSA didactics during the last decade (Mahut, 2003; Nachon, 2004; Zghibi 2009; Chang, 2009), call for a shift from a classic conception considering the teacher as a designer of situations and provider of solutions all ready for a “constructivist” conception which considers the teacher as a “mediator” of knowledge extracted from experience. More precisely during the debate of ideas, the teacher will adopt the attitude of a “stage manager by stimulating the reflection of the students, without taking a position” (Nachon, 2004). This benevolent neutrality is indeed essential for students to take the risk of formulating personal ideas, convictions that were the audacity to formulate their thought by confronting it with others and by arguing. According to Pieron (2000), the quality of teaching depends on the teacher’s aptitude, his interventions, his knowledge and his vision of learning. We will add here the skill to generate reflexive postures of the students in a climate of mutual listening and cooperation. The acquisition of knowledge in general, and the development of knowledge and skills in PSE in particular, depend on the “didactic context”, that is to say, the teaching/learning situation and the mode of intervention of the teacher.

In addition, the role of the teacher in PSE and especially in volleyball is not only to teach students technical gestures to perform or combinations and tactical patterns to reproduce, but it is also a certain practice reflective close to students in/through action (Zghibi, 2010). It is in this perspective that our work aims to:

­ Convey the conceptions emitted by EPS teachers regarding the importance of verbal interventions in the teaching/learning process during volleyball sessions;

­ Study the weight of expertise on PSI teachers’ IRD during four volleyball sessions.

2. Methodology

Our data processing methodology combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. These two types of approaches each have their interests and limitations. To process the data and reach final conclusions, I referred to an approach inspired by the work of J.-M. Bouffard, J-F. Robin (2012).

It is therefore a question of constructing an empirical tool from expected and unexpected data. We will therefore opt for a purely exploratory analysis of the didactic interventions of EPS teachers during a volleyball cycle. It will therefore be an illustrative analysis of the interventions of these teachers during volleyball sessions, based on examples and on a case study which will focus on the content of the statements made by these teachers as well as the discursive categories. Which appear through their didactic interactions (Austin 1970). Our studies will involve two EPS teachers working in secondary schools in the Kef region. These two EPS teachers (GB specialist and non-specialist) will be observed in the same sports activity (School Volley Ball). Each teacher will be filmed in at least four sessions with a single class, or no less than four hours of film per teacher. These teachers will be chosen randomly but all work in the same high school whose characteristics are similar (urban establishments, whose population is socially mixed and intermediate level results. An interview will then be conducted to question their teaching practice, identify their beliefs about their actions in class and note in particular their personal conceptions on verbal and nonverbal interventions. It was first of all a general interview on didactic teaching regulations what they included in each category and what role they attributed to these communications in the didactic relationship. A second part of the interview, based on reminders stimulated by a juxtaposing montage of selected passages from their interventions, aimed to collect their comments on these sequences and their intentions at the time. Second part of interview allowed confronting the reality of their practice the beliefs expressed above. The various interviews will be transcribed.

The different items to be observed see the verbal interventions. In parallel, the concomitant verbal message as well as the description of the action carried out by the professor was reported for each intervention. All this allowed self-stimulated reminders from the second part of the interview. Our grid also included the duration of the interventions, the person who initiated the interaction (teacher or student), the student concerned. Other categories will also be observed, in addition to those described: the teacher’s silence, jokes with the students, questions about the student’s extra-curricular life (extra-curricular interest: IES).

• The data to be processed:

The useful data that we have to process for each teacher are:

○ Two free interviews carried out just after the last sessions allowing access, through the teacher’s personal report, to a first feeling of the teacher through the meanings given to certain events.

○ Eight filmed sessions lasting between 45 and 55 minutes.

The video and audio recordings of the four sessions for each teacher will make it possible to report on actual practices with regard to the didactic variables that we have selected.

• Participants:

Two beginner teachers: “kais” (specialist in volleyball) and “Ramzi” (specialist in football) who teach at the school on March 2 in the city of Le Kef, participated in this study. The project was presented to these teachers three weeks before the start of the study, and the classes of first year of secondary school were chosen because of the constitution of the learning groups made by the teacher during the first session of the cycle. These classes were chosen according to the level of practice of the students in volleyball, so as to bring the students together with fairly contrasting levels (Table 1).

➢ Data collection:

A period of familiarization with the classes and the study system preceded the actual data collection. This consisted for the researcher of an observation of the students’ activity (integrating video recordings) during the last three sessions of the cycle preceding the volleyball cycle.

At the end of this familiarization period, the observation data in situation were collected during four sessions using a digital camera, installed on feet, which records the teacher’s behavior and verbalizations (using a lapel microphone and an HF transceiver. Ethnographic notes were also noted by the researcher during the four sessions.

➢ Data processing techniques:

Our data processing methodology combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. These two types of approaches each have their interests and limitations. To process the data and reach final conclusions, I referred to an approach inspired by the work of J.-M. Bouffard, J.-F. Robin (2012) (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Data processing techniques.

Table 1. Characteristics of the samples.

3. Results

Our methodological approach presented contributes to realizing the effects of the specialty/expertise on the teachers’ interventions. It allows us to move forward by means of data collection in the understanding of our object of study, from which our analyses are based.

In this part of the research, it is important to point out the complementarily of qualitative and quantitative analyses. Qualitative analysis is linked to the description and understanding of verbal didactic regulation interventions (VDRI). It seems to be the most suitable for a didactic case study, to follow the path, the modifications and the transformation of teaching contents which highlight the logic of intervention of the teaching subjects.

Indeed, didactic interventions are difficult to quantify. The observation of the situations in which they are produced aims to give an account of their causes and their effects, in view of their interpretation by the researcher. “These situations are too variable and complex to make an inventory of, but their vitality prevents their reproduction ... These constraints make it possible to understand in a context a socially objectified situation” (Van Der Maren, 1996).

However, the use of quantitative data is necessary to assess the frequency of occurrence of these interventions. The statistical processing used in the analyses is applied to the analysis of the different interactive phases and to the different practice indicators which are: nature of didactic interactions, communication register, and the teaching subject’s ostension. The quantitative data collected related to the causes that generate them are treated from a qualitative point of view. The quantitative processing is thus complementary to the qualitative processing and weighs it.

Result of the “Kais” case

Kais intervenes frequently (1.02 objects/min on average). There are often moments of strong regulation, sixty-nine separate IRD objects are brought into play during the four sessions.

IRDTs represent 89% of IRDs. A striking result concerns the predominance of objects in relation to motor skills specific to BV (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Percentage of knowledge transmitted by Kais.

➢ He tries to pass on to his students’ expert knowledge which he has to simplify.

KAIS adopts a verbal language approach ((VLA) with 76% against 24% for a gestural language approach (GLA), Its federal-style teaching concept is at odds with its teaching project, which shows that the teacher is divided between his conception of the activity and that of his teaching. The absence of an experiential teaching experience pushes him to use his expert knowledge by trying to simplify it (Figure 3).

In his teaching practice, Kais combines verbal explanation and physical demonstration to explain and correct. Analysis of the test shows that recourse to verbal explanation is around 87.22% then that the demonstration through the teacher’s body is around 12.88%. In fact, these analyses confirm the hypothesis which postulates that through the speciality, Kais who is an expert in volleyball seeks to preserve the status of the “subject supposed to know” through a heavy verbal commitment, and by addressing at the same time the technical, tactical, strategic and regulatory concepts.

Result of the “Ramzi” Case

Ramzi intervenes frequently (0.84 objects/min on average), we often observe moments of less regulation, generally periods of observation in retreat. Fifty-six separate IRD objects are involved in the four sessions and IRDTs represent 82% of IRDs.

The didactic contract established by Ramzi focuses on knowledge resulting from his academic training, his communication revolves around technical knowledge, his knowledge represents 95% of the knowledge transmitted to students.

During the test, the teacher only aims to reproduce what he knows about volleyball, He said “I remember a few notions from my training at ISSEP du kef in volleyball ... I was not too interested at that time in volleyball”.

Throughout the event, “Ramzi” most often uses a verbal language approach (VLA) with 65% against 31% for (GLA) and 4% for (CLA) (Figure 4).

Figure 3. Percentages of language approaches adopted by KAIS.

Figure 4. Percentages of language approaches adopted by Ramzi.

Each time the teacher intervenes, he does not deal with the problem in question but rather he begins to explain how to execute certain technical elements. The interview reveals that despite the teacher’s awareness of certain difficulties that arise during the game, he did not make a decision and for lack of expertise, Ramzi tries to transmit personal knowledge from his academic training, which knowledge goes beyond the formal institutional framework of the activity of volleyball, it reports only a technical knowledge which seems to rub off on the teaching contents planned in volleyball.

This allows us to confirm the hypothesis that for the teaching of volleyball.

Ramzi non specialist offers in his sessions knowledge common to many disciplines and only reserves a short part of the session to the transmission of knowledge specific to the activity of volleyball.

To explain and correct, the teacher uses direct verbal intervention (92.38%), Gestural demonstrations (7.62%) are used only during the warm-up.

Ramzi said “There is no reason to make an effort to achieve something that I cannot control”. He seeks to preserve his status as a “subject supposed to know”, he cannot bear to be ridiculed by his pupils. It is striking to see how certain beginning teachers seek to implant in their pupils the status of “subject supposed to know” possessing absolute power and that he can do everything.

This can confirm our initial statements, by postulating that non-specialist teachers avoid using the body in an activity they do not master.

4. Conclusion

The scientific orientation of our research which falls within the field of didactics has made it possible to revisit at a functional level the question of the “effects” of expertise on teaching practices. Thus, EPS teachers develop knowledge to be transmitted in the classroom, based on an identifiable logic. Our case studies reflect the effects of the expertise that structures professional skills in relation to the test and knowledge. The analysis reveals to us the importance of the influence of the intervention context (didactic spaces, varied and heterogeneous school audience, class atmosphere) on decisions. Through the teachers’ speeches, we identified local and contextual particularities and singularities in the environments of the two teachers.

The quantitative and qualitative study shows that the decision-making process of teachers, before, during and after interaction, has an effect on the organization of teaching content. The changes that are taking place are linked to the teacher’s reading of the interactive context and orient his interventions which continue to evolve over time under the effect of the circumstances of the didactic situation.

At given moments in the test, this assessment determines for the teacher a degree of predictability and anticipation of events likely to affect the content to be taught in the sense of adaptive modifications granted in favor of an optimization of the language.

The interactive phase corresponds to the test, moment of truth and emergency location of the teacher’s didactic interventions. Its singularity gives it the motives necessary for decision-making. Despite its social nature, the test constitutes a singular adventure understood and lives in a personal way by the teacher during which he is led to urgently manage the unpredictability of events. The test is also a space where two potential sources of uncertainty meet, internal linked to the teaching subject and external relating to the intervention context. This evolutionary phenomenon constantly feeds the professional experience of each teacher. And the test is the place of transmission of knowledge and where the changes to the teaching content operated by the two teachers actually appear, which take the form of a didactic decision.

Cite this paper: Ouessleti, N. , Ouesslati, H. , Abidi, A. , Zghibi, M. and Bouaassida, A. (2020) Practices of Didactic Interventions in Physical and Sport Education and Place of Expertise: Effective Teacher Designs and Achievements. Creative Education, 11, 2846-2854. doi: 10.4236/ce.2020.1112210.

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