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Nonlinear learning underpinning pedagogy: Evidence, challenges, and implications
Nonlinear learning
Design principles
Nonlinear pedagogy
Skill acquisition
Issue Date: 
Chow, J. Y. (2013). Nonlinear learning underpinning pedagogy: Evidence, challenges, and implications. Quest, 65(4), 469-484.
This paper provides a brief overview of the framework of Nonlinear Pedagogy and evidence emanating from motor learning literature that underpins a nonlinear pedagogical approach. In addition, challenges for Nonlinear Pedagogy and a discussion on how Nonlinear Pedagogy support the work of Physical Education (PE) teachers will be shared. Evidence from the increasing volume of work on nonlinear learning from motor learning literature is used to suggest how acquisition of movement skills is supported by nonlinearity. The emergence of goal-directed behaviors is a consequence of the performer, environmental and task constraints. With a nonlinear pedagogy approach, the focus is on the individual learner where opportunities for meaningful actions can be learnt. Design principles based on representativeness, focus of attention, functional variability, manipulation of constraints and ensuring relevant information-movement couplings can be delivered via pedagogical channels of instructions, practices and feedback to the learners. Importantly, this focus on the individual sets the foundation for a developing nonlinear pedagogy framework to enhance teaching in PE although the challenges are non-trivial.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Quest. The published version is available online at
1543-2750 (online)
0033-6297 (print)
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