logo logo European Journal of Educational Research

EU-JER is is a, peer reviewed, online academic research journal.

Subscribe to

Receive Email Alerts

for special events, calls for papers, and professional development opportunities.


Publisher (HQ)

Eurasian Society of Educational Research
Eurasian Society of Educational Research
Christiaan Huygensstraat 44, Zipcode:7533XB, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS
Eurasian Society of Educational Research
Christiaan Huygensstraat 44, Zipcode:7533XB, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS
physical education sport appreciative inquiry

Researching Sport Education Appreciatively

Shane Pill , Peter Hastie

In order to plan and enact appropriate learning environments in physical education (PE) teachers are increasingly directed to models based practice. T.


In order to plan and enact appropriate learning environments in physical education (PE) teachers are increasingly directed to models based practice. The Sport Education model is one of these models for PE curriculum and teaching design that informs the content and pedagogical direction of sport teaching in PE. Despite Sport Education being well researched internationally, there are few examples of research consideration of this model in Australian PE in the last ten years. In this paper the aim is to appreciatively examine two secondary school PE teachers use of the Sport Education model in the context of their familiarisation of the new Australian Curriculum for Health and Physical Education. At the same time, exploring the use of Appreciative Inquiry to examine models based practice in PE was also an aim of the study. Data were collected from pre and post interviews with the teachers and an end of unit survey of the Year 9 students undertaking the Sport Education unit. The Sport Education model was found to be most suitable to teaching for student evidence of the personal and social skills elements of the Achievement Standard. Appreciative Inquiry was found to be suitable for foregrounding existing examples of teacher use of models based practice, highlighting what it is about the teachers that led them to stay with the model when the literature particular to Australian PE suggests mostly a continuation of the “traditional” physical education method.

Keywords: Physical, education, sport, appreciative, inquiry

cloud_download PDF
Article Metrics


Alexander, K., Taggart, A., Medland, A., & Thorpe, S. (1995). SEPEP: Sport Education in Physical Education Program. Belconnen, ACT: Australian Sports Commission.

Alexander, K., Taggart, A., & Thorpe, S. (1997). Teacher renewal through curriculum            innovation: changing teachers’ pedagogies and programs. Issues in Educational Research, 7 (1), 1-18.

Alexander, K., Taggart, A., & Luckman, J. (1998). Pilgrims progress: the sport education crusade down under. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 64(4), 21-23.

Alexander, K., & Luckman, J. (2001). Australian teachers’ perceptions and uses of the sport education model. European Physical Education Review, 7(3), 243-267.

Araujo, R., Mesquita, I., & Hastie, P. (2014). Review of the status of learning in research on Sport Education: Future research and practice. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 13, 846-858.

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (ACARA). (2016). Sequence of achievement. Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/_resources/Health_and_Physical_Education_Sequence_of_achievement.pdf

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (ACARA). (2016b). Health and physical education: Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/health-and-physical-education/curriculum/f-10?layout=1

Bishop, A. (1992) International perspectives on research in mathematics education In D. Grouws (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning (pp.710 – 723). New York, NY: MacMillan Publishing.

Brogden, R., & Knopp Bilken, S. (2007). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theories and methods. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Brooker, R., Kirk, D., Braiuka, S., & Brangrove, A. (2000). Implementing a game sense approach to teaching junior high school basketball in a  naturalistic setting. European Physical Education Review, 6(1), 7-26.

Bushe, G. (2011). Appreciative inquiry: theory and critique. In D. Boje, B. Burnes & J.            Hassard (Eds.), The Routledge companion to organisational change (pp. 87-103). Oxford, UK: Routledge.

Casey, A., & Hastie, P. A. (2011). Students and teacher responses to a unit of student-           designed games. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy16(3), 295-312.

Cooperrider, D.L. (1990). Positive image, positive action: the affirmative basis of organizing.     In S. Srivastva & D.L. Cooperrider  (Eds.), Appreciative management and leadership (pp. 91‐125). San Francisco, CA: Jossey‐Bass.

Cooperrider, D. & Srivastva, S. (1987). Appreciative inquiry in organizational life. In R. Woodman & W. Pasmore (Eds.), Research in organizational change and development: Volume 1. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Cooperrider, D. L., Whitney, D., & Stavros, J. M. (2003). Appreciative inquiry handbook. Bedford Heights, OH: Lakeshore Publishers.

Curtner-Smith, M. D., Hastie, P. A., & Kinchin, G. D. (2008). Influence of occupational socialization on beginning teachers’ interpretation and delivery of sport education. Sport, Education and Society13(1), 97-117.

Enright, E., Hill, J., Sandford, R., & Gard, M. (2014). Looking beyond what’s broken: towards an appreciative research agenda for physical education and sport pedagogy.  Sport, Education and Society, published online 22 April 2014. DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2013.854764

Farias, C. F., Hastie, P. A., & Mesquita, I. M. (2015). Towards a more equitable and inclusive learning environment in sport education: Results of an action research based intervention. Sport, Education and Society. doi:10.1080/13573322.2015.1040752

Fiorentino, L. H. (2012). Positive perspectives on the profession: reframing through            appreciative inquiry. Quest, 64(4), 209-228.

Giles, D., & Alderson, S. (2008). An appreciative inquiry into the transformative learning experiences of students in a family literacy project. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 48, 465–478.

Giles, D., & Kung, S. (2010). Using appreciative inquiry to explore the professional practice of a lecturer in higher education: Moving towards life-centric practice. Australian      Journal of Adult Learning, 50, 308–322.

Gribich, C. (2007). Qualitative data analysis: An introduction. London: Sage.

Hammond, S. A. (1998). The thin book of appreciative inquiry, 2nd edition. Plano, Texas: Thin Book Publishing Company.

Hastie, P. (2012). The nature and purpose of sport education as an educational experience. In P. Hastie (Ed.), Sport education: International perspectives (pp. 1-12). New York, NY: Routledge.

Hastie, P., & Curtner – Smith, M. (2006). Influence of a hybrid sport education-teaching games for understanding unit on one teacher and his students. Physical Education and   Sport Pedagogy, 11(1), 1-27.

Hastie, P., Calderón, A., Palao, J., and Ortega, E. (2011a). Quantity and quality of practice: Interrelationships between task organization and student skill level in physical education. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82, 784-787.

Hastie, P., de Ojeda, M., & Luquin, A. C. (2011b). A review of research on sport education: 2004 to the present. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 16(2), 103-132.

Kinchin, G. (2006). Sport education: A view of the research. In D. Kirk, D. Macdonald & M. O’Sullivan (Eds.), The handbook of physical education (pp.596-626). Lon: Sage.

MacPhail, A., Kirk, D., & Kinchin, G. (2004). Sport education: promoting team affiliation through physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 23, 106–122.

Metzler, M. (2001). Instructional models for physical education, 3rd edition. Scottsdale, Arizona: Holocomb Hathway.

Penney, D., Clarke, G., & Quill, M. (2005). Researching sport education: partnerships in action. In D. Penney, G. Clarke, M. Quill, & G. D. Kinchin (Eds.), Sport Education in Physical Education: Research based practice (pp. 41-54). New York: NY: Routledge.

Pill, S. (2008). A teachers’ perceptions of the sport education model as an alternative for upper primary school physical education. Healthy Lifestyles Journal, 55(1), 23-29.

Pill, S. (2010). Student reflections of Sport Education in one urban Australian primary school, Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 1(3-4), 29-36,

Pill, S. (2013). Using appreciative inquiry to explore Australian football coaches’ experience     with game sense coaching. Sport, Education and Society, published online 09 September 2013.  DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2013.831343

Pill, S. (2014). An appreciative inquiry exploring game sense teaching in physical education. Sport, Education and Society, published online 30 April 2014.  DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2014.912624

Pill, S. (2015). Valuing Learning in, through, and about sport - physical education and the development of sport literacy. In H. Askell-Williams (Ed.), Transforming the Future of Learning with Educational Research (pp. 20-35). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Raymond, E. M., & Hall, M. (2008). The potential for appreciative inquiry in tourism  research. Current Issues in Tourism, 11, 281–292.

Rovegno, I., Nevett, M., & Babiarz, M. (2001). Learning and teaching invasion-game tactics in 4th grade: Introduction and theoretical perspective. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education20(4), 341-351.

Siedentop, D. (1994). Sport education: Quality PE through positive sport experiences. Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics.

Siedentop, D., Hastie, P., & van der Mars, H. (2004). Complete guide to sport education. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Spittle, M., & Bryne, K. (2009). The influence of sport education on student motivation in physical education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 14(3), 253-266.

Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. London: Sage.

Wallhead, K., & O’Sullivan, M. (2005). Sport education: Physical education for the new millennium. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 10(2), 181-210.

Whitney, D. (2004) Appreciative inquiry and the elevation of organizational consciousness. Advances in Appreciative Inquiry. 1, 125–145.