Constructive Alignment

Constructive alignments meaning is split over the two words. The ‘constructive’ aspect of the term, looks at what the learner is doing in the relevant activities. The ‘alignment’ term considers what the teacher or authority figure does in order to set up a work environment for that learner, by giving them activities that are relevant to learning outcomes (Biggs,2003).

As a coach or teacher, we all have our own epistemological beliefs which help to match up how you would nurture an athlete. The decision-making and proposes that construct of an epistemological chain, helps to support this process in this particular environment (Grecic & Collins, 2013).When comparing my own beliefs to how I was going about my own practice, was where I started to wonder if I was aligned myself. For example using the diagram below, I personally feel that a learners knowledge is created by themselves, more than it is from an authority figure. However, I found myself not doing this, I was in fact instructing them on what I believed was the best way to complete a task. For example, using football, if the team were trapped in their own half and the only way out of that scenario, was to hit the ball long but risk losing possession, then that should be done. The players were told to that by me, rather than them learning to do it in another way, that could have retained possession.

I then found myself contradicting my own views and coaching styles, as I felt the learner gains more knowledge doing something themselves, but I was actually coaching them exactly what I wanted to happen in certain scenarios. A piece of research from (Yeom, Miller & Delp, 2018) stated that to construct a liable teaching philosophy, it is important to consider a persons beliefs about the process of teaching and learning and then to become aware of the nuances of key phrases that could change its meaning.

When considering my epistemology, I should be using the the bottom six teaching styles in this diagram (Mosston & Ashworth,1990) However, I found myself using the top three when coaching the athletes to get out of a ‘tight situation’ on a football pitch, which again forced questions on whether I am aligned or not. This then made be consider some limitations to constructive alignment. I felt that is was difficult to align my epistemology and theory at all times, as different age ranges and ability can vary in needs. A study suggested that the use of constructive alignment alongside literature may limit the extent of learning, as it is not always in sync with each other (Croy, 2018).

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Mosston & Ashworth, 1990

When considering alignment, it is important to look at whether it will be a small ‘micro’ or big ‘macro’ task. These terms are used to categorise which type of constructive alignment are going to be used. The term macro looks at the bigger picture and considers the general overview on how a particular task will be completed (Pridham et al.,2015). For example, this may be asking a player how they think they can improve using their weaker foot when passing or shooting. When looking into the ‘micro’ aspect, the process involves planning how this will actually be achieved, whether that involves; tasks, activities or sessions to develop that skill.

With regards to applying this to analysis, I feel like it can be an appropriate concept to align with a coaches epistemological beliefs. As an analyst, you may have your own beliefs, but when working for a team the managers philosophy has to be bought into by everyone around the club, in order for everyone to be aligned. When analysing a player using this alignment strategy, it is vital that you want to be identifying the information that the coaches and manager want to know, for example with a striker, the management staff and analysts will have come up with certain codes that are essential for strikers to achieve in a game. When delivering the feedback, it is important to be aligned with the coaching staff and deliver the same messages as they do to a player.

Reference List

Biggs, J., 2003. Aligning teaching for constructing learning. Higher Education Academy1(4).

Grecic, D. and Collins, D., 2013. The epistemological chain: Practical applications in sports. Quest65(2), pp.151-168.

Mosston, M. and Ashworth, S., 1990. The Spectrum of Teaching Styles. From Command to Discovery. Longman, Inc., 95 Church St., White Plains, NY 10601-1505.

Pridham, B., Martin, D., Walker, K., Rosengren, R. and Wadley, D., 2015. Culturally inclusive curriculum in higher education. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education44(1), pp.94-105.

Yeom, Y., Miller, M.A. and Delp, R., 2018. Constructing a teaching philosophy: Aligning beliefs, theories, and practice. Teaching and Learning in Nursing13(3), pp.131-134.

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