This study used cognitive developmental theory to analyze how teachers learn to teach sport education. Two groups of undergraduate pre-service teachers were studied, one group during their secondary methods and corresponding field-teaching courses, the other during an independent teaching course. Data were collected through ethnographic observations and interviews, and analyzed using constant comparison. Findings revealed that the teachers encountered three pitfalls in learning to teach sport education. First, group one teachers struggled with the tactical instruc- tion in sport education and, in response, retreated to the safety of decontextualized skill drills or non-instructional games. Second, group one teachers, in their descrip- tions of future pedagogical intentions, expressed resistance, for a number of reasons, to incorporating most of the unique characteristics of sport education into their future secondary classrooms. Third, group two teachers misunderstood the role of skill development in sport education. The discussion centers on mechanisms of knowledge acquisition related to learning sport education, and recommendations for teacher educators and future research.
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