Physical Education Teacher-Coaches’ Epistemological Beliefs about the Source and Simplicity of Knowledge


  • James Foley Brock University
  • Ken Lodewyk Brock University


Epistemological beliefs, or beliefs about knowledge and learning, help to inform teaching and coaching practices, and may have significant learning and developmental outcomes for students. The aim of this study was to better understand the epistemological beliefs of high school physical education teacher-coaches as it relates to the sources and simplicity of games knowledge and how those beliefs inform their instructional practices when teaching games or coaching extracurricular sports in schools. A qualitative grounded-theory method was used in this study in the form of in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with six secondary school physical education teacher-coaches from south-central Canada. Teacher-coaches believed that games knowledge in both physical education and extracurricular sports originate from a variety of internal and external sources, portray games knowledge as both simple and complex, associate physical education and extracurricular sports with different knowledge or learning processes, and differentiate their instructional strategies more in physical education compared to their coaching practices. These results have theoretical and practical implications for enhanced teaching and coaching practices, as well as teacher education and coach-training programs, with the ultimate aim of enriching students’ learning experiences in physical education and interscholastic sport.

Author Biography

James Foley, Brock University

James Foley is a certified Health and Physical Education teacher who recently graduated with his Master of Arts in Health and Physical Education degree at Brock University. 

Ken Lodewyk is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and a former school-based physical and health educator.  





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