Developing cognitive apprenticeships: Making thinking visible in applied sport psychology decision-making.

Michelle Smith, Hayley McEwan, David Tod, Amanda Martindale

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Objectives: We examined the use of scenario-based learning in UK trainee sport psychologists’ training experiences during their 2-year training qualification. Design: Qualitative, assorted analysis. Methods: Secondary data analysis was applied to a longitudinal data set examining trainee sport psychologists’ development. Evidence of scenario-based learning (e.g., being able to recognise relevant cues during observation) was examined in trainees’ experiences. Participants were 7 UK trainee sport psychologists (female, n = 1; and male, n = 6), enrolled on the BPS Qualification in Sport & Exercise Psychology. Participants were interviewed 3 times over the initial 2 year training period with follow-up interviews conducted post-training. A deductive thematic analysis was applied to the dataset based on the existing expertise literature. Results: Participants emphasised the role of scenario-based learning in developing their professional judgement and decision-making (PJDM) skills. For example, listening to scenarios in the form of stories from other practitioners acted as a prompt for participants to explore practitioner’s decision-making. Participants adapted information gleaned from examining other’s decision-making into their repertoire for applied practice. Although, scenario-based learning was identified as a helpful experience, participants reported that it could also be unhelpful. For example, when the critical cues or decision-making pertaining to a scenario were not clear. Conclusion: Findings suggest that training opportunities exist to accelerate the development of trainee’s PJDM skills by maximising scenario-based learning. For example, developing a cognitive apprenticeship approach between supervisor and trainee may provide an opportunity to expose trainees to expert decision-making knowledge (i.e., when supervisor’s make their thinking visible).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2017
EventBPS Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology Conference - Glasgow
Duration: 11 Dec 201712 Dec 2017


ConferenceBPS Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology Conference


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