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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Great Books on Sport and Education

I will be introducing a new feature to this blog in the New Year: expert book lists.  Some seriously top-notch people have already agreed to contribute their lists.  So look forward to those!

Meanwhile, I thought I'd kick things off with some recommendations of books that belong at the cusp of Education and Sport.  PLEASE let me now your own ideas to add to this list.  Assuming I agree with you, I'll start to prepare a sequel to this list, which can be published later.

You'll notice that some of these books  are, in one way or another, connected to me.  What can I say?  It's my list!!

In fact, to prove the point, I will start with a couple of my own books!

The first book is a recent guide to teaching Physical Education.  With contributions from many of the world's leading authorities on the subject, Physical Education for Learning focuses on the ways by which teachers can promote student learning in and through sporting activities.  There are quite good books on PE teaching out there, and a few really bad ones, but none matches this book as a 'state of the art'.

The Routledge Physical Education Reader is a more theoretical book.  It was designed to bring together the most important articles and chapter, dating back to the 1970s.  I think David Kirk and I put together a really strong collection.  It's for teachers, obviously, but also sports coaches and general education people.

My next book is about learning.  Learning is the fundamental concern of teachers and coaches, yet there is a very low level of understanding about how it actually happens.  In my experience, many people stick to a naive, simplistic notion in which learning resembles filling an empty bucket!  Many practices are ineffective precisely because their designers are ignorant of recent research into learning.  This book - How People Learn - is just the best book I have found on the subject.

The next book is the update of the classic book Coaching Children in Sport.  In fact, it is really a completely new product, reflecting the great advances in coaching and sports science in recently years.  Ian Stafford book is a great collection of contributions from some impressive writers and practitioners, and strikes a really nice balance between theory and practice.

The fifth and final book on this list is not really a sport or education book at all.  It is a memoir of a childhood.  Julie Myerson is a great writer, and her story of her battle with all things sportive is very entertaining.  Also, it offer a valuable insight into what it is like to be a child who is Not A Games Person, strange as that seems!

Of course, these are just my ideas.  Please let me know your thoughts.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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