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Chow, Jia Yi
Tan, Clara Wee Keat
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Nonlinear Pedagogy has been proposed to provide a theoretical impetus for practitioners to incorporate “representativeness, manipulation of constraints, attentional focus, functional variability, and the maintenance of pertinent information-movement couplings” to effectively design motor learning interventions (Chow, 2013). However, there is currently no comprehensive empirical evidence to support the learning effectiveness of a Nonlinear Pedagogy approach among primary school children. Therefore, the main purpose of this PhD programme of study was to investigate the impact of Nonlinear Pedagogy (NP), in relation to Linear Pedagogy (LP), at various levels of the human movement system: 1) learning a sports skill (tennis forehand stroke) (chapter 3); 2) learning a game skill (modified tennis game) (chapter 4); and 3) teaching and learning a unit of modified tennis in a physical education (PE) context (chapter 5 & 6).

Chapter 3 showed that while the NP group performed just as well as the LP group in terms of accuracy scores, there were more movement clusters present in the NP group (7 clusters) than in the LP group (3 clusters) following the 4-week intervention. This verifies the presence of degeneracy in the NP group and provides evidence that there is more than one optimal way to achieve a task successfully. In chapter 4, both groups also improved just as well in terms of ability to hold a cooperative rally. However, investigations on movement behaviour showed that only the NP group improved in terms of ability to return back to the mid-base position and make opponents move away from the base position on court during the competitive phase of the game. In chapter 5, the NP group showed evidence of holding a longer cooperative rally, as compared to the LP group, in a PE setting. In particular, improvements were observed earlier in learning process, contrary to the common belief that exploration is time consuming. The interviews revealed the underlying learning processes and strategies, such as focusing on the outcome and problem solving, utilised by the NP group to play a cooperative and competitive game. Based on the interviews in chapter 6, it was suggested that the NP approach created a learning environment that facilitated perceived competence, autonomy and relatedness, thus potentially enhancing intrinsic motivation and enjoyment during practice. Interviews with the teachers in chapter 6 also offers support that the NP approach is applicable in a PE setting.

The findings from all three phases of work provide new insights on the efficacy and underlying processes of a NP approach in learning and teaching sports and game skills to primary school children. The findings are promising and lend support to how such a pedagogical approach may be incorporated in the teaching of movement and game skills in a PE context.
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GV452 Lee
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Appears in Collections:Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

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