Criticisms and perspectives of heuristic learning in physical education

Keywords: ecological-dynamic approach, teaching method, soft skills, life skills, didactics exercise


Background and study aim. The ecological-dynamic approach promotes motor learning through task variability, modification of environmental constraints and appropriate use of feedback, original and creative motor solutions. This study wants to open a critical perspective on the didactics of physical activity selecting a methodological perspective adherent to ecological-dynamic approach. The aim is to highlight the significant aspects and the uniqueness and unrepeatability of heuristic learning, starting from theoretical lines. Material and Methods. For this purpose, an accurate survey of the scientific literature has been analyzed, highlighting the points of contact and contrast of cognitive and ecological-dynamic approach. Results. In the context of physical education, the most used pedagogical approach is the linear one. Teaching is influenced by spatial and temporal constraints, spaces and equipment, with reproduction styles and with predefined tasks and motor responses. This modality promotes awareness of motor skills and not transferability to other subject areas, as indicated by ministerial documents. Non-linear pedagogy, while promoting motor learning as a consequence of the interaction between the subject and the context, shows some limits. The first concerns the learning of transversal skills and, the second concerns the use of prescriptive teaching, absent in the ecological-dynamic approach, through heuristic learning. It is necessary to overcome the areas of prescriptiveness that still resist in the paradigm most recognized by the scientific community, the Constraints Led Approach, closely related to nonlinear pedagogy. They do not favor completely a heuristic learning as the anthropometric constraints suffer from the limitation of biomechanics. Also, goal constraints are prescriptively determined by the physical education teacher, which is not compatible with heuristic learning. Conclusions. This analysis highlights the need, usefulness and usability of heuristic learning in different professional fields. The study aims to offer a new perspective on physical education objectives in the National Indications, projecting them towards a social and transversal purpose.


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Author Biographies

Tiziana D'Isanto, University of Salerno
PhD student;; Department of Human, Philosophical and Education Sciences, University of Salerno; Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.  
Felice Di Domenico, University of Salerno
PhD student;; Department of Political and Social Studies, University of Salerno; Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.
Sara Aliberti, University of Salerno
PhD student;; Department of Political and Social Studies, University of Salerno; Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.  
Francesca D'Elia, University of Salerno
Associate Professor;; Department of Human, Philosophical and Education Sciences, University of Salerno; Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.
Gaetano Raiola, University of Salerno
Associate Professor;; Department of Political and Social Studies, University of Salerno; Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.  


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How to Cite
D’Isanto T, Di Domenico F, Aliberti S, D’Elia F, Raiola G. Criticisms and perspectives of heuristic learning in physical education. Pedagogy of Physical Culture and Sports. 2022;26(2):93-00.

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