Nirvana or Never-Never Land: Does heutagogy have a place in coach development?

Stoszkowski, J., orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1968-5770 and Collins, D. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7601-0454 (2017) Nirvana or Never-Never Land: Does heutagogy have a place in coach development? International Sport Coaching Journal, 4 (3). pp. 353-358. ISSN 2328-918X

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Heutagogic learning is characterized by the notion of human agency. Power and autonomy are placed firmly in the hands of the learner, who takes responsibility for, and control of, what they will learn, when it will be learnt and how it will be learnt. As a result, if sufficiently reflexive, heutagogic learners are said to acquire both competencies (knowledge and skills) and capabilities (the capacity to appropriately and effectively apply one’s competence in novel and unanticipated situations). The complex and dynamic environment of sports coaching, coupled with coaches’ apparent preference for informal self-directed learning methods (as opposed to more formalised educational settings), would therefore seem perfect for its application. In this insights paper, we aim to stimulate debate by providing a critical overview of the heutagogic method and consider it against the nature of coaching skill. In tandem, we identify some essential preconditions that coaches might need to develop before heutagogic approaches might be deployed effectively in coach education.

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