Appreciative inquiry for physical education and sport pedagogy research: a methodological illustration through teachers’ uses of digital technology.

Sargent, Julia and Casey, Ashley (2020). Appreciative inquiry for physical education and sport pedagogy research: a methodological illustration through teachers’ uses of digital technology. Sport, Education and Society (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2019.1689942

Abstract

With the increasing drive towards exploring strengths based and positive discourses in PESP it is important to explore approaches that can help researchers and practitioners. This has particular relevance for areas such as digital technology where there is a need to appreciate not only the technologies themselves, but also the pedagogical practices that surround their use. Without such discussions, it is difficult to unpick ‘what works’ for practitioners and ‘why’. Furthermore, in our efforts to be critical researchers we continue to recycle deficit accounts of technology and repeatedly tell stories of failure, barriers and constraints (Orlando, 2015; Perrotta, 2013). In short, we learn most about the ‘do nots’ and, in the process, struggle to advance change (Enright et al., 2014). Running as a counter narrative to the tales of ‘do nots’ is the burgeoning literature appreciative inquiry. This approach prompted us to ask if it could be used, methodologically to investigate digital technology and practices with digital devices. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to suggest and illustrate a way in which appreciative inquiry can be used to provide insights into teachers’ ongoing use of digital technology. This is achieved by discussing the use of appreciative inquiry before presenting examples from a research study that explored PE teachers’ use of digital technology. Through the use of a methodological illustration (Goodyear et al., 2018), we suggest that appreciative inquiry is capable of providing a reflective space for practitioners and researchers regarding practices with digital technology. We conclude by arguing that appreciative inquiry is useful in our continued negotiation of digital practices in PESP.

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