University of Limerick
MacPhail_2020_Between.pdf (1.49 MB)

Between hope and happening: problematizing the M and the P in models-based practice

Download (1.49 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2020-07-23, 07:51 authored by Ashley Casey, Ann Mac PhailAnn Mac Phail, Håkan Larsson, Mikael Quennerstedt
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 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



Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy;


Taylor & Francis





Usage metrics

    University of Limerick


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager