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The Importance of Indirect Teaching Behavior and Its

Educational Effects in Physical Education


Jung, Hyunwoo; Choi, Euichang
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v21 n2 p121-136 2016
Background: Physical education teacher behavior has been a subject of study in physical education
including physical education teacher education for 30 years. However, the research on teacher behavior
has tended to focus on direct teaching behavior (DTB) to demonstrate the benefits of effective teaching,
centered on a technical understanding of the process of teacher behavior. A holistic approach for teaching
behavior is needed in order to give students educational experiences. Aims: Drawing on the studies of
implicit ways of teaching, the aim of this paper is to provide a new approach of researching teacher
behavior in order to understand the social and moral assumptions and to promote students' motivation to
engage in physical activities that are embedded in the act of teaching in physical education through the
identification of indirect teaching behavior (ITB). Method: An ethnographically informed case study
based on participant observation (eight months) was employed. The researcher observed students in two
8th-grade (13 years old) co-ed physical education classes in South Korea. Participant observation was
supported by participant observer field notes, audio/video recordings of classes, questionnaires, and
interviews. Findings: Through inductive analysis of the data, the multiple ITBs were identified including
tone of voice and intonation, humor, facial expressions and gestures, dress code and setting an example,
touch, encouragement, and care. ITB had a powerful influence on students' social and moral development
in terms of reflecting on themselves by the teacher's positive modeling, cooperating with other friends and
learning the intrinsic value of physical activities and sports. ITB was also found to impact the student's
perceptions of physical education and their physical education teachers, which seems to encourage them
to learn more about the lesson. Conclusions: An understanding of ITB will help broaden the perspectives
on teaching methods used and studies conducted in physical education beyond the dominant approach of
DTBs. Teachers need to reflect upon their behavior in the physical education class, even if their teaching
behaviors are regarded as trivial. Furthermore, the understanding of ITB can also play a pivotal role in
encouraging pupils to enjoy the intrinsic value of physical education centered on moral values, and
fostering a passion for physical activity that extends into participation for life. In this sense, this insight
suggests that researchers re-examine the power of ITB in relation to teachers' professional competence.
Teacher educators need to intentionally cultivate the character of teacher candidates in their professional
preparation phase in addition to ITB-related studies in physical education.