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Effect of Constructivist Approaches on Student Self-efficacy Levels, Behaviour and Productivity Within the Lesson

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T&L Assignment

“A main challenge we face as teachers is that children learn in a variety of ways and some are deemed to be more successful as learners than others. With reference to appropriate literature critically analyse a case from your personal experience that demonstrates your understanding of an aspect of why children vary in terms of their success.”

Introduction

Case Study

The student’s name within this case study has been replaced with a pseudonym to protect the identity of the student. The case study that this assignment will look to focus upon is about a year 8 male student called Jack. Jack is well known around school for his poor behaviour in a variety of lessons. He often disrupts lessons by acting like the class clown, wanting attention from the class teacher and his peers, and always wanting his voice to be heard. This often disrupts his own learning and the learning of those around him. It was thought that he would often behave this way when he believed that he was not able to do a task that was provided despite in many cases being more than capable of completing the task. This has led to Jack having a teaching assistant with him in the majority of his lessons and is often taken out of lessons for a behavioural intervention to stop him interrupting other pupil’s learning.

I taught Jack in P.E which was one of his better subjects and was one of the few lessons where he did not require a teaching assistant to be with him. However, despite P.E being one of his favoured subjects he still acted the same and still wanted that attention by being the class clown and not taking tasks seriously despite being capable of completing them. Within my lessons I took a more constructivist approach to teaching by using the Sport Education Model (SEM) (Siedentop, 1994). The SEM is a student led approach that involves putting students into teams; providing students with different roles and responsibilities, and then providing them with limited instructions before setting them off on a task (Perlman and Karp, 2010).  Whilst using this model, I provided Jack with the role and responsibility of team captain. This gave Jack responsibilities such as organising his team, setting up and conducting drills. This role provided Jack with a way of having the attention he wanted and getting his voice heard but in a productive way. Jack went on to thrive in this role and became less disruptive in lessons and started completing tasks at a high level.

From my experiences with Jack, I became increasingly interested in the effects that the constructivist approach had on his behaviour and productivity within my lessons. This made me question why this approach was so effective. Therefore the question that this study will look to answer is:

“Why does constructivist approaches work so well in PE and has the effects it does on student’s self-efficacy levels, behaviour and productivity within the lesson?”

Topic Areas

The two chosen topic areas for this case study are self efficacy and constructivism. Self efficacy can be defined by Bandura (1997) as being one’s belief in one’s abilities to master a situation or complete a given task. Self efficacy was chosen as it is believed that Jack had a low self efficacy level and this could have been one of the reasons why he was misbehaving and disrupting his own and others learning. Therefore, it is important that this assignment looks into the effects of having low self efficacy and how we can improve a person’s self efficacy levels.

Constructivism was chosen due to the use of the SEM within my lessons. Constructivism is an approach to teaching that suggests that a students learning occurs when they are actively involved in a process that promotes knowledge construction, instead of a teacher led approach where they are spoon fed the information (Pelech, 2005). Constructivist approaches often require students to be involved in cooperative activities that promote socialisations as well as provide students with control and responsibility of their own learning by solving problems, deriving multiple solutions and analysing situations (Johnson and Johnson, 1984; Wells, 1986). The SEM was successful in managing Jack’s behaviour and engaging him with the learning. Therefore it is important to understand how it was able to do this in order to apply this in other lessons.

What makes a successful learner?

There are many ways that a person may interpret the phrase ‘successful learner’ and because of this there is no precise or fixed definition (Millar and Gillies, 2013). This is mainly because the word ‘success’ is subjective to each individual. A study conducted by Pardoe (2009) found that children believed in order for them to be successful they must be the best at something and then be rewarded or recognised for that. Pardoe (2009) continues to state that within education there is a potential danger that students will only see success in a competitive way and therefore can not be seen as an outcome for all. Success however, should be seen as something that is measured differently for each individual. For example, being successful in a P.E lesson for one person might be ending the lesson with the most goals, however for someone else it may be successfully using the correct technique whilst shooting. Therefore, it is important that each individual student understands that there are different ways to be successful within the lesson and what they can do in order to be successful.

A document produced by Scottish Executive (2004) provides a criteria of what a successful learner should possess. This criteria included enthusiasm and motivation for learning; determination to reach high standards of achievement; and openness to new thinking and ideas. Although Millar and Gillies (2013) viewed this criteria as problematic given the difficulty of assessing these areas, it could be argued that the criteria identified is a good place to start and is relatable to the case study provided. Therefore, in relation to this case study, we can define that a successful learner is someone who shows enthusiasm and motivation towards learning in order to be successful when looking to meet their individual set goals.

Self Efficacy

Bandura Social Cognitive Theory

Bandura (1994) defines self-efficacy as the extent of an individual’s belief in one’s abilities to master a task or succeed in certain conditions. This is supported by Schwarzer & Luszczynska (2005), as they state that a person’s sense of self-efficacy can determine how one approaches goals, tasks and challenges.

Self-efficacy is at the centre of Bandura’s social cognitive theory, which is now fundamental in positive psychology and continues to shape the field today (Haggbloom et al., 2002). Bandura’s social cognitive theory puts an emphasis on the role of observational learning and social experience when investigating the development of a person’s personality (Bandura, 1977). The main concept that the social cognitive theory is built on is that a person’s social behaviours and cognitive processes are influenced by the actions that the individual has observed from others (Bandura, 1988). Therefore, with the development of self-efficacy occurring from experiences and self-perception, it is detrimental in determining the outcome of a given task. This justifies why Bandura views self-efficacy as an important aspect of the social cognitive theory (Mischel & Shoda, 1995).

Self-efficacy has been found to underpin all motivated behaviour because the theory suggests the core belief is that one has the power to affect changes by one’s actions (Bandura, 1989). Therefore, Bandura (2004) stated that individuals with high self-efficacy are more motivated and more likely to be confident in their own abilities when faced with challenging problems and can quickly recover from setbacks and disappointments. Whereas, individuals who are found to have low self-efficacy tend to have very little motivation and have little confidence in their own abilities, which leads to them believing that they cannot perform well and avoiding challenging tasks.

Marzillier and Eastman (1984) are one of the few theorists to contend Bandura’s theory. Their study looked at the continuing problems with Bandura’s self efficacy theory. In this research paper they claim that despite Bandura’s response to their previous criticisms there still remain issues at the theoretical and methodological level with the self-efficacy theory.

Marzillier and Eastman (1984) stated that their major point of disagreement with Bandura was around the theoretical status in which Bandura defined self-efficacy. Bandura’s definition of self-efficacy expectations independently focuses on outcome an expectation which in turn has led to us putting an emphasis on outcome when assessing self efficacy.  Martzillier and Eastman (1984) continue to state that an equal emphasis should be put on outcome and personal self-efficacy as both are important in determining change.

The second line of criticism that they outlined was with the methodology used to assess self-efficacy. The issues that they had with the Bandura’s methodology were with the rating scale that he used to show the relationship between self-efficacy and later behaviour changes.  Martzillier and Eastman (1984) stated that the scale used makes the strength of the relationship look more impressive than it actually is, as well as it not actually measuring self-efficacy in the way that Bandura defines it. They go on to state that other theorists such as Kirsch (1980) and Kirsch and Wickless (1983) found similar flaws in Bandura’s methodology.

Despite the concerns raised with Bandura’s work his theory of self-efficacy explains a lot when it comes to my case study. When examining my case, it was believed that Jack was suffering from low self-efficacy and that was leading to his lack of productivity and effort in lessons as well as leading him to misbehave. This is supported by Bandura (2004) with him stating that people with low self-efficacy have less confidence in their own ability and there for leads to them being less motivated to complete tasks. Bandura (1977) also explains that a person’s social behaviour is  influenced by a person’s perceived self-efficacy and therefore explains why Jack would act like a class clown and disrupt the learning of everyone when he wasn’t prepared to complete the task provided.

How to Increase Self-Efficacy?

Chase (2001) conducted a study that looked at the children’s self-efficacy, motivational intentions and attributions in physical education and sport. The purpose of this study was to examine how the differences in children’s self-efficacy, age and gender had an impact on their future self-efficacy and attributions following perceptions of failure. 289 students (143 girls and 146 boys) aged between 8-14years old were selected to take part in this study. The students were then assigned to either a low self-efficacy group or a high self-efficacy group. When in their groups each individual was asked which sport or skill they had low or high self-efficacy in. The specific skill they had named would be their task for the study.

When they had their task, participants would be given a scenario where they faced failure and would be measured on intended effort, persistence, choice, future self-efficacy and attributions for failure. Results indicated that the children in the high efficacy group chose to participate and had higher levels of future self-efficacy than the children in the lower self-efficacy group. The study also revealed that the children with high self-efficacy blamed their failure on their lack of effort, whereas those with low self-efficacy blamed their failure on their lack of ability. The findings showed that there was a age-related difference with the study finding as the children increased with age the strength of their self-efficacy decreased.

This study showed just how important self-efficacy is when teaching students in physical education. This study supports my case study, with Jack being at both ends of the spectrum. When he had low self-efficacy he would rarely put the effort in and claim he wasn’t able to complete the task provided to him. However, when he was involved with the SEM he was more motivated and demonstrated higher levels of self-efficacy as he was more willing to participate in activities and was more engaged with the tasks. However, this study by Chase (2001) doesn’t add anything to what we already know, instead it continues to support and confirm what previous literature has found. What we need to know is what we can do as educators to improve a person’s self-efficacy?

Bandura (2008) states that self-efficacy is not a trait that some have and others don’t. Instead he states that anyone has the ability to strengthen their self-efficacy regardless of their past or current environment. Bandura (1977) came up with 4 interventions of efficacy expectations which are:

  • Performance Accomplishments – This process involves helping individuals achieve simple tasks and then build them up to more complex objectives. By achieving simpler tasks and slowly build them up to more complex objectives can help increase confidence in their own ability.
  • Vicarious Experience – This involves choosing a role model with high self-efficacy for the individual to observe.  By observing those who have shown self-efficacy to reach their goal despite adversity can provide motivation.
  • Emotional Arousal – This process involves ensuring that the individual is relaxed and rested when attempting to complete a task. Being tense or anxious before attempting a task can lead to negative effects on their self-efficacy levels.
  • Verbal Persuasion – This involves providing forms of encouragement for a person to complete the task provided to them. This also involves providing them with opportunities for mastery experiences in a safe and purposeful manner.

These 4 sources can aid in the improvement of a person’s self efficacy if used correctly (McAlister, Perry & Parcel, 2008). Despite Bandura (1977) providing us with ways of increasing self-efficacy there is no certainty that this would definitely work in a sporting or educational environment. In future work, Bandura (1993) suggests that teachers need to provide feedback and ensure students have the knowledge and strategies they need to complete tasks provided and to understand their level of proficiency. Despite this, it is still not clear which of the 4 interventions would be most beneficial to increase self-efficacy in P.E or an educational environment in general.

Research conducted by Ashford, Edmunds and French (2010) is one of the few papers out there that has specifically looked into which of Bandura’s interventions of increasing self-efficacy is the best when looking to promote physical activity. This study aimed to systematically gather, and meta-analyse intervention studies with the aim of increasing self-efficacy for physical activity. It also aimed to estimate the association between intervention techniques used, and any changes in self-efficacy achieved.

The study conducted a systematic database search where they identified 27 studies that focused on physical activity interventions. A total of 5,501 participants were used in the study with all of them being adults. The study found that there was a small yet significant relationship between the interventions and the changes in the participant’s self-efficacy levels. The main findings of the study found that the interventions that included feedback on their past performances and also vicarious experience produced the highest levels of self-efficacy. Whereas, persuasion, graded mastery and barrier identification was associated with low levels of self-efficacy.

This research has provided us with which interventions are most beneficial when looking to increase self-efficacy in physical activity. That being said, when reflecting on my case study, this research conducted by Ashford, Edmunds and French (2010)  has a lot of limitations and can only provide a vague interpretation of which interventions would work best to in relation to my case study. This is mainly down to the lack of research in this specific field. That being said, physical activity is of course directly linked to physical education and therefore this research does have some relevance. But with it using an adult only sample the reliability of the results would be questioned if I were to use its findings to try and improve Jack’s low self efficacy levels.

Constructivism

Piaget Cognitive Constructivism

Jean Piaget was arguably the most dominant voice in child psychology throughout the twentieth century (Schaffer, 2000). Whilst other authors of his time believed that learning is either intrinsic (coming from the child) or extrinsic (coming from the environment or taught by the teachers), Piaget was the first theorist to believe that neither intrinsic or extrinsic motivation fully explained learning and that it was the child’s interactions with their environment that creates learning (Mooney, 2000). He went on to claim that children are constructors of their own knowledge by giving meaning to the people, places and objects in their world (Hendrick, 1992). This means that children learn best when they are in control of their learning and creating their own understanding of what’s going on instead of being given information and explanations from teachers (Mooney, 2013).

Piaget built on the work of Montessori, who believed that meaningful work is important to children’s cognitive development (Mooney, 2013). He focused on three areas: how children acquire knowledge, how their thinking differs from adults and how cognitive development can be split into stages (Jarvis and Chandler, 2001). Piaget (1973) developed four stages of cognitive development for different age brackets. These stages are Sensorimotor (birth to age 2), Preoperational (2-7 years), Concrete Operational (7-11 or 12 years) and Formal Operational (11 or 12 years and older). Students that are in secondary education should be in the formal operational stage where they should be thinking conceptually and hypothetically (Piaget, 1973). Therefore teachers should put an emphasis on activities which involve abstract reasoning and allow pupils to demonstrate their concrete thinking (Aubrey and Riley, 2015).

Despite Piaget’s theory being a great success and globally accepted, it still had some limitations. This was even accepted by Piaget himself, with him stating that his theory supports the idea of sharp stages instead of a continuous development (Singer-Freeman, 2006). The issue with having these set stages with set age ranges is that people learn at different rates and is not always as linear as the theory may suggest. Therefore these timelines will not be accurate for each individual person and therefore this theory can only be used as an approximation of development (Singer-Freeman, 2006).

Another limitation in Piaget’s work is the lack of consideration that culture has on a person’s cognitive development (Kail, 2007). Within Piaget’s theory, he demonstrates that a child goes through several stages of cognitive development and comes to conclusions and learns on their own. This neglects the importance a child’s sociocultural environment has on their cognitive development (Assan & Sarfo, 2015). This limitation in his work led to other theorists like Vygotsky focusing on the importance of a child’s social experience on their cognitive development.

Vygotsky Social Constructivism

It is thought that Vygotsky changed the way that educators view children’s interactions with others (Mooney, 2013). Vygotsky’s ideas fall within social constructivism as he believes that social and cognitive development work together and build on each other (MacBlain, 2014). Piaget stated that children’s knowledge was constructed by personal experiences, and although Vygotsky supported this, he stated that personal and social experiences cannot be separated as he believed that a child’s social and cultural background were important in shaping their cognitive development and allowed them to adjust and grow (Aubrey and Riley, 2015). According to Keenan (2002) Vygotsky had three aspects that he believed were important to cognitive development. These aspects are that it is a historical process, it is social in nature, and that it is enabled by employing the tools of language, number and symbols.

Vygotsky’s primary contribution to the understanding of children’s development is the importance of interaction with teachers and peers when looking to advance a child’s knowledge (Mooney, 2013). This interaction with teachers and peers allows children to develop language skills and grasp new concepts as they speak to and listen to each other (Bartlett, Burton and Peim, 2001). This led to the development of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) theory, which involves providing a child with a task that they cannot accomplish alone and therefore must ask for help from a more skilled person e.g. teacher or peer in order to complete the task. The help provided is often referred to as scaffolding (Moll, 1994). Therefore, according to the work of Vygotsky secondary school teachers should provide activities that involve social interaction among students to solve problems rather than just provide them with the information as this has been found to improve learning among students (MacBlain, 2014).

When reflecting upon my case study, both theories by Piaget and Vygotsky have significant relevance. However, due to criticisms surrounding Piaget’s work, my case study mainly supports the findings of Vygotsky. This is down to Vygotsky taking into account how social experiences are just as important as personal experiences when looking at cognitive development. The SEM that Jack took part in provided plenty of opportunities to engage with peers and teachers to solve problems and achieve tasks that were provided to them. For example when creating a skill related activity that linked to the lesson objectives Jack would discuss with his team what type of activity they could create in order to meet the lesson objectives. Jack then had opportunities to discuss with the teacher when looking to progress the activity to further increase their knowledge and learning on the subject area.

Constructivism in PE

PE is a unique lesson which provides a number of different benefits for students such as the development of physical, social and emotional skills that not only aids them in PE but has a significant influence on their overall educational development (Fairclough, 2003; Hassandra, Goudas & Chroni, 2003; Morgan & Bourke, 2008). The theories proposed by Piaget and Vygotsky created the building blocks for many of the constructivist approaches that are used by teachers today that focus on and target these benefits of physical education.

A couple of constructivist approaches that are most commonly used within PE are the SEM (Siedentop, 1994) and Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) (Bunker and Thorpe, 1982). The aims of these approaches are very similar with both of them aiming to get students to become more competent and literate sportspeople through the use of implementing specific skills and tactics in competitive game situations (Hastie, 1998; Gabbett, Jenkins and Abernethy, 2009; Kapp, 2012). Students often find these approaches more enjoyable than traditional approaches and lead to students gaining a higher order of thinking and better understanding of the game (Light, 2004). Other benefits include increased participation, socialisation, positive social behaviour, motivation and engagement (Forrest, Webb & Pearson, 2006; Darst and Pangrazi, 2009).

The benefits of these constructivist approaches are evident in my case study as Jack’s behaviour within PE lessons improved when he was involved in the sports education model and was provided with a leadership role. The reasons for Jack’s behaviour improving is unknown, however it could be accredited to some of the other benefits that the SEM provides.

Hastie and Sharpe (1999) conducted a study to examine the changes in the positive social behaviours of a group of students that participated in a PE unit that used the principles of the SEM. The study used 20 7th and 8th grade male students who participated in a 20 lesson unit of a modified football game called Kangaroo Ball which used the principles of the SEM. Data was collected by video recording each lesson and getting students to fill out a positive social behaviour questionnaire after each lesson that contained six items in a 4-option Likert format, ranging from never to always. Upon analysing the video recordings, frequencies and percentages of all students’ positive social or conflict behaviour were calculated and demonstrated to show the daily behaviour changes in each student.

The results from this study indicates that exposure to the SEM increased in compliant behaviours and positive peer interactions, as well as a decrease in negative behaviour. Hastie and Sharpe (1999) imply that their research supports the findings of Gibbins, Ebbeck, and Weiss (1995) and Hellison (1995), who’s research found the reason for the improved behaviour is down to deliberate practice (or behavioural training) of fair play and positive social behavior that is involved in the SEM. However, there is no concrete evidence within this study that suggests this assumption is true and even Hastie and Sharpe (1999) suggest that changes in student behavior may have been the result of the character of the specific teacher and having more structure to the lesson. Therefore despite their research supporting the benefits of the SEM implied by Darst and Pangrazi (2009), it does not provide a guarantee reason why behaviour improves and suggests that it could be down to a number of different reasons.

Upon reflecting on my case study, I can conclude that my case study supports the findings suggested by Hastie and Sharpe (1999). I found that the lessons that used the sports education model provided more structure than previous lessons and Jack responded positively to that as he knew what he would be doing each lesson and knew what was expected of him. That being said, the SEM provided external rewards (bonus points) for positive behaviour such as good sportsmanship, organisation and respect. This links back to the research of Gibbins, Ebbeck, and Weiss (1995), and Hellison (1995) who suggested that the improvement in behaviour is down to behaviour training. So I believe it was a combination of the two theories that aided in the improvement of Jack’s behaviour.

Constructivism effects on Self-Efficacy

It has been well documented that self-efficacy and motivation go hand in hand (Pajares, 1996; Schunk & Pajares, 2009). When a student’s self-efficacy levels are high then their motivation increases and vice versa when their self-efficacy level are low (Bandura, 2004). In P.E, teachers are always looking at increasing student’s intrinsic motivation as it has been found that students who are highly intrinsically motivated show a more positive attitude towards P.E (Portman, 2003) and has many benefits such as increased enjoyment, fun, persistence, interest and psychological well being (Ryan and Deci, 2000). This in turn has shown to aid in increasing participation rates in P.E (Ntoumanis, 2005).

With P.E teachers looking to increase student’s intrinsic motivation this has led to a huge emphasis being put on constructivist approaches to teaching. As previously stated constructivist approaches have been positively correlated with increasing motivation levels (Forrest, Webb & Pearson, 2006; Darst and Pangrazi, 2009). Therefore from the evidence provided we can imply that as constructivist approaches look to increase intrinsic motivation and with intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy going hand in hand, constructivist approaches must have an effect on self-efficacy level through their effect on intrinsic motivation.

Two similar studies conducted by Spittle and Byrne (2009) and Wallhead and Ntoumanis (2004) investigated the influence of the SEM on a student’s motivation in secondary physical education. Both sets of research looked at different areas of motivation these being, intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, goal orientations, and perceived motivational climate. For the purpose of this case study we will focus on the findings for intrinsic motivation.

Both sets of research are practically identical with how they carried out their research, collected and analysed their data. Both sets of research had a set of students taking part in sport education lessons and another set of students taking part in traditional condition lessons. Students would complete a set number of lessons and would take pre test measures in the first 10 minutes of the first lesson and post test measures in the last 10 minutes of the last lesson. These tests were carried out through the use of three motivational questionnaires, one for each motivational category.

The results from the two studies mainly supported each other and that of previous research with them both finding there was a significant difference between the sport education and traditional conditions in the areas: perceived competence, task orientation and mastery climate. However, Wallhead and Ntoumanis (2004) found that the sport education lessons led to significant increases in intrinsic motivation, increased enjoyment and perceived effort. Whereas the results from Spittle and Byrne (2009) found that the SEM was successful in maintaining high levels of intrinsic motivation and there was no significant difference in enjoyment or perceived effort.

The difference in results could have been down to the questionable decisions on the methodology used by Spittle and Byrne (2009) that could have led to some validity and reliability concerns. To start with despite them using a larger sample size (115 participants) to that of Wallhead and Ntoumanis (2004) (51 participants), they split them unevenly with 41 taking part in the sports education lesson and 74 taking part in the traditional condition lessons. The procedure used was also questionable with students taking part in the sport education lessons having 2 double lessons a week for 10 weeks, whereas the students taking part in the traditional condition lessons would have 2 double lessons a week for only 5 weeks. The final limitation with the study is that the sample they had chosen were already highly intrinsically motivated and therefore it would have been difficult to try and increase their motivation further with the use of a different teaching approach.

On the other hand, Wallhead and Ntoumanis (2004) had evenly separated their participants with 25 doing the sport education lessons and 26 doing the traditional condition lesson. Each set of students completed the same amount of lessons over the course of 8 weeks. Finally, they had selected participants who weren’t already highly intrinsically motivated. By ensuring these parts of their methodology were fair, the results from Wallhead and Ntoumanis (2004) are more valid and reliable than those of Spittle and Byrne (2009).

In relation to my case study, I can conclude that my case study supports the findings of Wallhead and Ntoumanis (2004). It was found that Jack’s intrinsic motivation had significantly increased through the use of the SEM. This I believe could have been down to being provided the role of team captain and having a responsibility not only for himself but for the rest of the students on his team. Therefore, if we are connecting intrinsic motivation to self-efficacy then I believe that through the use of a constructivist approach and the increase of intrinsic motivation aided in the improvement of Jack’s self-efficacy levels and therefore an increase in his effort levels and a decrease in his negative behaviour.

Conclusion

Self-Efficacy

Bandura’s social cognitive theory (1977) was found to have the greatest influence on this case study, with it stating that self-efficacy influences a person’s social behaviour and cognitive processes which they have observed from others (Bandura, 1988). It also stated that individuals with low self-efficacy tend to have very little motivation and confidence in their own abilities which often leads to them avoiding challenging task (Bandura, 2004).

This assignment revealed that there are four interventions (performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, emotional arousal and verbal persuasion) that can be implemented by the teacher to improve self-efficacy levels (Bandura 1977). However, despite discovering these four interventions there is very little research available to indicate which intervention is more successful. Therefore, future research within this area could look at which intervention strategies are best when looking to improve self-efficacy in an educational environment.

Constructivism

Within constructivism, it was found that both Piaget and Vygotsky had influences on the current case study. However, Vygotsky had the biggest influence as it built on the work of Piaget and suggested that it was not just a person’s personal experiences that shaped their cognitive development but the combination of personal and social experiences (Aubrey and Riley, 2015).

This assignment revealed that constructivist approaches such as TGfU and SEM were created using the blocks formed by Piaget and Vygotsky and teachers tend to put a significant emphasis on it now when delivering PE. This is down to the many benefits that constructivist approaches offer; some of which include increased participating, socialisation, cognitive learning, engagement, motivation and behaviour (Forrest, Webb & Pearson, 2006; Darst and Pangrazi, 2009).

When specifically looking into how the SEM affected a person’s behaviour positively we could not pinpoint it down to one definite reason. Hastie and Sharpe (1999) stated that it the positive behaviour could have been the result of behaviour training, more structured lessons or the character of the teacher. Therefore future research could look more in depth into the benefits of the SEM and other constructivist approaches in order to identify why these approaches are so successful. Other future research could look to find a direct link between constructivist approaches in PE and self-efficacy levels as we could only link the two together through the use of motivation.

Case Study

In conclusion, the current case study supplied significant evidence to support the assumptions that one of the reasons Jack was misbehaving in lessons was due to him having a low self-efficacy level. This assignment also provided evidence in support of using a constructivist approach in order to increase Jack’s self-efficacy levels and lead to him being a more successful learner. I believe that this experience will influence my teaching practice significantly as I will look to continue and use constructivist approaches more often in my lessons as I have found them to benefit the learning of the students in my class. Future research that can be implied from this case study is if implementing the use of constructivist approaches can help improve Jack’s behaviour and self-efficacy levels in more academic and classroom based subjects. This in turn would help him become a more successful learner in all of his lessons.

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