The term pedagogical leadership sounds a mouthful for what is essentially teachers optimizing our kids’ learning. While the concept may not be new, it is guiding how our kids are taught in the 21st century.
What is pedagogy & leadership?
Merriam-Webster defines pedagogy as the “art, science, or profession of teaching” – applicable to teaching styles, feedback, and assessment, and what is the most effective based on the student’s needs.
Pedagogical leaders, in turn, are everyone involved in a child’s learning. We may naturally assume these to be school teachers, but in reality, it extends to school principals, us parents, and yes, sport coaches.
Why is pedagogy important?
In applying the concept, sport coaches can bring about the following benefits:
- Improving the quality of teaching. While every coach has his or her own style of training, subject to personal experience and personality, more attention can be paid to how the training takes place, and also with whom.
- Enhancing the way children learn. Our kids can sense when their coach has them at the heart of how the training is conducted. Reciprocally, they will be motivated to work harder and better.
- Cultivating better relationship between the coach and child. With better mutual understanding, it paves the way to open communication, closer partnership and better teamwork between the coach and our children.
How can coaches (and parents) apply it to our kids?
When applied to sport, pedagogy covers physical activity, physical education, wellness and sport development for our kids. Coaches can design their training programmes driven by data, and create the optimal experience for our kids.
With these in mind, parents can absolutely lend a helping hand to the coaches. From something as simple as having short, regular conversations with them, sharing (relevantly) what goes on at home or on the school front, and even what our kids tell us about the sport training. These are constructive information that can give the coaches another perspective of our children.
It also helps to always maintain a friendly relationship with our children’s coaches.
Becoming a global movement
Pedagogy has become a practical approach to teaching, as can be seen from the iCoachKids initiative. Originally a three-year project in Europe, the programme aims to support the development of their coaching population and effective environments for children in sport.
The initiative has since moved around the globe to garner participation of almost 20 countries, including Singapore. Singapore’s National Youth Sport Institute (NYSI) has partnered iCoachKids to raise our nation’s standards of youth coaching, through coach education and provision of coaching resources.