Views about knowledge acquisition for coaching practice
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Background: The constructivist epistemology highlights how optimal learning comes from active involvement with the society and the surroundings by gaining experience. To learn to coach can occur through an individual, relational and content knowledge level by using formal, informal and non-formal educational sources. The coaches’ own subjective view on their knowledge acquisition and learning have been investigated in this research to understand their opinion on how they have gained the knowledge they use in their coaching practice. Method: A Q method of 45 opinions has been presented to 45 coaches from different sports. The coaches considered and rank-ordered the statements through a set Q sorting procedure. Three factors were extracted from the centroid factor analysis, and those were further analysed through VariMax rotation. Results: The three factors represent different viewpoints on the subject matter. Factor A emphasised informal educational sources as experience, reflection and communication as important for personal and content knowledge learning. Factor B emphasised informal knowledge sources as experience and communication and formal knowledge sources as important for personal and content knowledge learning. Factor C highlighted formal studies as important for learning at a personal, relational and content knowledge learning. Conclusion: Even though there were many different options to choose from, most of the coaches thought that the informal educational source experience was the preferred method to gain knowledge from about their coaching job. This was a very interesting found, and since the Q method cannot make clear cause and effect conclusions this finding should be investigated further in future research with the use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Masterstudium i idrettsvitenskap Høgskulen i Sogn og Fjordane Juni 2016