The time we live in is characterised by social and cultural changes, but teaching in physical education (PE) does not necessary match these changes. Consequently, the present project explored how second-order reflection (SoR) as a tradition-challenging and developing form of reflection can be stimulated by an inquiry-based learning (IBL) approach in physical education teacher education to transform current pedagogy to align with social and cultural changes. SoR fosters development and learning by inter-professional collaboration and inter-professional dialogue and is an extended form of higher-order thinking (HoT) including critical thinking and problem-solving. The project explored how an IBL approach stimulated a group of pre-service teachers (n = 32) developing their professional practice by using SoR. Data were generated through video observations and audio recordings of the pre-service teachers’ discussions, reflections and actions during the IBL unit. Furthermore, written reflections regarding the challenges were collected. All data were inductively analysed in order to identify and extract common themes and patterns in relation to SoR. The analyses of the data revealed that during the IBL approach the pre-service teachers used both reflection at first and second-order level. Reflections in the form of technical and practical considerations were common, while examples of SoR were seen especially in the phases of IBL where the pre-service teachers used new theoretical knowledge and experiences from other contexts than PE. Consequently, the findings supported that IBL enhanced the second-order reflective skills of some of the pre-service teachers. However, with further use of guiding and facilitation of the IBL process or keeping the pre-service teachers to their challenges, hypotheses and plans, the methodology has even more potential to enhance the second-order critical reflection of the participants; thereby developing their coming practice to be more reflective, engaging and probably motivational.
- higher order thinking skills
- physical education teacher education
- Qualitative research
- reflective skills
- transformative education