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Transitioning to Developmental Stage 2

This is an excerpt from Using Physical Activity and Sport to Teach Personal and Social Responsibility by Doris Watson & Brian Clocksin.

Developmental Stage 2

Once students are consistently demonstrating Level I and II behaviors, you should transition to the second developmental stage. This means providing opportunities for students to work collaboratively with their peers with little teacher guidance (Level III, self-direction). During the second stage you begin to call upon students to take a role in the learning process. As you will see in this section, you begin to relinquish some of the control of the class to students during awareness talks and group meetings. As this occurs, some students may begin to demonstrate a desire to take leadership roles (Level IV), but most will continue to need some guidance in keeping self-directed without individual supervision.

Relationship Time

Juggler's Carry (Model in Action 8.1) gives students the opportunity to continue to demonstrate respect (Level I) and participate with effort (Level II) while working collaboratively with their classmates without direct supervision from the teacher (Level III). Following the same format (“What?”, “So what?”, “Now what?”) but now inviting more student leadership during the process, we can begin to navigate TPSR Level III and to transition to Level IV concepts.

Awareness Talk

During the second developmental stage, the teacher begins to share the responsibility for the awareness talks. He identifies the theme, asks one or more students to guide the questioning, and draws the connection to the lesson focus. Commonly used themes during developmental stage 2 include self-control, self-direction, goal setting, and problem solving.

Using students to help guide the awareness talk is key in the development of youth leaders (Level IV). Following the activity, you can use student leaders to “debrief” so as to draw the attention of the learners to the cognitive and affective attributes of an activity. These are examples of questions you might provide the student leader following Juggler's Carry:

“What?” Questions

  • “What helped you when talking with your group members to be successful at the activity?”
  • “What were your feelings when you failed to keep balls from hitting the ground? How did you feel when you were successful in keeping balls from hitting the ground?”

“So What?” Questions

  • “How might your feelings when you failed and succeeded help as you work in groups?”
  • “How might you do things differently in this activity to find more success individually and as a member of the group?”

“Now What?” Questions

  • “Thinking about the activity and how you felt as you succeeded or failed, how can those feelings help you as you engage in other activities during basketball?”
  • “What might you do to help regain focus when you are not succeeding at something?”

By providing the students with a selection of questions, you maintain the direction of the conversation while giving students a chance to comfortably explore what it is like to take a leadership role in class.

Lesson Focus

The opportunities for self-direction take center stage during developmental stage 2. Again, activities should transition from individuals performing within the context of the group to individuals positively interacting with partners and small groups in self-guided learning experiences.

Table 8.2 presents considerations for teaching the Pass and Shoot activity (Model in Action 8.3) through two teaching styles and shows how they connect to the TPSR model. You can alter both styles so as to create challenge and, most importantly, provide students with the opportunity to work individually and in groups as well as pace themselves.

Being mindful of the activities used during this stage provides you with opportunities to alter the teaching style and encourage greater student responsibility. This allows for students to begin leading the group meeting segment of the lesson and speaking as to how the lesson activities address the theme or themes identified during the awareness talk.

Inclusion Style

To use the inclusion style, you demonstrate the cues for Pass and Shoot and present task sheets that provide a diagram and performance cues. Identify the options available for students in deciding how and where to enter the drill. For example, students can vary distances to the basket and use different types of balls to make the task more difficult. Students can also count missed or made shots, or they can time themselves and see how many shots they can make. These options, chosen by the students for themselves, create additional challenges. Students are placed in pairs and dispersed throughout the teaching area. Allow time for the learners to assess their level though trial and error and begin the drill. After each drill, the learners reassess and set new challenges based on the levels available and the achievement of performance criteria.

Your role is to circulate throughout the learning space and provide feedback only on the decisions of the students. You can ask, for example, “How are you doing at the level you have selected?” On the basis of the students' response, inquire about the decisions made and how successful the students feel they are. With this style it is important not to start out by overtly challenging the decision made initially but to help students in their self-assessments.

Reciprocal Style

To use the reciprocal style for this activity, arrange students in groups of three; the third person becomes the observer. Provide task sheets that briefly describe the activity, the cues, and the participants' roles. We also suggest including a list of possible motivation-type feedback for students to use. Clear role expectations for students on the task sheet will help them keep focus. For example, spell out what the observer ought to be observing (performance cues) and what the doers are doing (practicing). Provide a time or a number of passes for each facet of the activity. Once they are finished, the students rotate their roles. This process is repeated for each drill variation.

Your role is to move about the space and assist the observers in accurately observing the doer. You must step in to provide feedback if there is a safety issue. Otherwise, you encourage or suggest feedback to the observer only if feedback is not occurring.

Group Meeting

The group meeting during the second developmental stage should continue to provide students with an opportunity to have a voice in the learning process but facilitate their leading more of the discussion. Because you have modeled leading the discussion in developmental stage 1, you can help students assume more responsibility by asking questions such as “What sorts of questions did I ask you about the lesson?” and “What questions do you have of your peers from the lesson?” Another strategy is to have students write their questions or comments on a slip of paper and then exchange with partners and engage in small-group discussions. You can then bring them back to the large group and ask for culminating thoughts from the day's lesson. Don't be disappointed if it takes a bit more effort during this developmental stage to get things going. Be consistent, be caring, and be a good model, and your students will begin to assume more responsibility.


Key to this stage is that students begin to lead more of the discussion. Students can be cued on questions that address the particular levels they are working at during this stage (Level III) and begin to scaffold to goals for the next levels (IV and V). These are examples of helpful questions:

  • “How did you feel you and your partner worked independent of teacher direction?”
  • “What might you improve on?”
  • “As we move toward more independence, what goals can you set to show more leadership in class?”

Students can begin to generate these types of questions once you have modeled them. We encourage you to note the many examples in Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility Through Physical Activity, Third Edition, of different ways to engage students in reflection time. Methods such as exit slips, journaling, and tapping in (students tap on a poster listing the levels to indicate where they are) can be quite effective and keep this part of the lesson fresh.

Learn more about Using Physical Activity and Sport to Teach Personal and Social Responsibility.

More Excerpts From Using Physical Activity and Sport to Teach Personal and Social Responsibility