The interaction of teacher beliefs and classroom practice in athletic training education
Author(s)Brooks, Toby James
Contributor(s)Luft, Julie A.
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AbstractEmpirical work has demonstrated, at least to some degree, that alternatives to didacticism are useful in the classroom. However, other investigations have shown that didactic methods continue to dominate classroom instruction time. A genuine need exists for research aimed at identifying the source of the discrepancy between the methodologies lauded in current process-product educational literature and the observed teaching practice noted in classroom research. This investigation was conducted to determine how or if an instructor's belief system influences the manner in which that same instructor teaches. In order to adequately address that objective, three specific research questions were developed. First, this work examined the espoused beliefs of a small sample of practicing athletic training educators regarding the role of the teacher, the student, and the nature of instruction. This was accomplished through the use of qualitative research methods including semi-structured telephone interviews, written questionnaires, demographic data sheets, and stimulated recall sessions in which each participant viewed videotape of their own classroom instruction and discussed it with the principal investigator. Next, this investigation also analyzed classroom practice by observing those practicing athletic training educators as they taught in class. This was accomplished by videotaping each participant's classroom instruction during three hours of classroom instruction. Utilizing case studies assembled for each participant and a cross case analysis, this work also assessed the degree to which those espoused beliefs aligned with classroom practice. By utilizing these methods, this investigation indicates that beliefs do influence the manner in which individuals teach; however, other factors such as formal pedagogical training, experience, and job requirements may also influence the manifestation of demonstrated classroom practice, as well.