Scholarship of Leadership in Education
SOTL is undertaking systematic evaluation and action research on one’s own teaching to improve both teaching practices and learning outcomes and making these findings public. SOLE, Scholarship of Leadership in Education, connects with SOTL since many teaching and learning initiatives rely on the often unsung and un-noticed leadership of those administering and facilitating the programs and the preparation of practitioners who instruct in those programs. The signature pedagogies that we have developed in our S.N.A.P programs are the Embedded Curriculum, which allows necessary yet frequently avoided fundamental movement patterns to be ‘embedded’ or hidden within preferred activities such that participants can engage in high repetition of needed fundamental movement patterns while simultaneously engaging in activities that they enjoy and that also provide for practice of other more complex skills.
Station-Based Pedagogy (S.B.P) is our other signature pedagogy. S.B.P is an approach to learning and teaching based in task breakdown and distributed practice. A basic skill that can be more easily learned in its entirety can be practiced at a station designed specifically for that skill. A more complex skill that presents challenges can be “broken down” into smaller elements or components and each element or component can be practiced at its own station, allowing for greater overall practice of a skill that would be more elusive if practiced in entirety only. A basic or more complex skill that requires more elaboration of difficulty can be practiced at stations devoted to increased challenge and/or variation on the skill.
These underlying concepts of task breakdown and distributed practice are the foundations of developing scaffolding and progressions for learning. Many teachers are already familiar and comfortable with these concepts and processes. However, then teachers engage with learners who have more complicated learning needs or who require accommodations for meaningful, safe and dignified learning, it is more difficult to develop progressions and “ even more basic” task breakdown elements and to connect these, in some authentic way, to learning goals and their baseline “ I can” individual lesson goals.
Our approach is based in activity contexts and uses a spectrum of dimensions of movement, all of which can relate to each other in scaffolded, progressive, and/or sequential ways.
These dimensions are: game skills, fitness and conditioning, gross motor skills, body management skills, fine motor skills, sensorimotor development.
Station-Based Pedagogy is an approach to learning and teaching based in task breakdown and distributed practice.
- A basic skill that can be more easily learned in its entirety can be practiced at a station designed specifically for that skill.
- A more complex skill that presents challenges can be “broken down” into smaller elements or components and each component can be practiced at its own station, allowing for greater overall practice of a skill that would be more elusive if practiced in entirety only.
- A basic or more complex skill that requires more elaboration of difficulty can be practiced at stations devoted to increased challenge and/or variation on the skill.
These underlying concepts of task breakdown and distributed practice are the foundations of developing scaffolding and progressions for learning.
Station-based pedagogy can:
- address some of the disconnects mentioned above
- contribute to more focused and relevant practice and progressions
- provide evidence for assessable, achievable, trackable, and reportable learning outcomes/goals
- offer opportunities for instructors to develop their capabilities for designing and implementing stations where learning for a broad spectrum of abilities is possible.
At S.N.A.P, our embedded curriculum is based in habits of how diverse bodies interact with their environment. This curriculum responds to the idiosyncrasies of each person participating in the various movement programs. For example, one of the tendencies that has been noted as prevalent, is the relative absence of midline crossing (limbs crossing the middle of the body) in this population of children and youth. Typically, children begin midline crossing as infants (e.g., two hands grabbing one foot) and continue on with thousands of repetitions over the years. Developmentally, our curriculum cannot expect to make up for the loss of these repetitions; however, we can set an environment where midline crossing happens regardless of the activity that is scheduled. Likewise, we cannot expect children to engage in high repetition of midline crossing on demand or command. Instead, we must make it inevitable and unavoidable within the activity they are doing. Such as: pulling with two hands on a rope, pushing with two hands on a stick, deliberate cross body reaching for objects. In this way, midline crossing is embedded and does not have to be requested. These observations of body are the findings of years of research and analysis based in Laban movement principles and employing a process of movement profiling for each participant involved in a movement program. The profiles are based in the movement education template (used by our facilitators) which considers a variety of subcategories within the existential movement themes of body, space, effort/quality and relation.