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Coaches Across Continents: Success through Self-Directed Learning


Coaches Across Continents: Success through Self-Directed Learning

Sophie Legros from CAC explains a key component of the organisation's methodology, used in 26 developing countries worldwide.

Coaches Across Continents (CAC), a global leader in ‘Sport for Social Impact’, partners with more than 1,000 local organisations, spanning 26 developing countries worldwide.

CAC’s key to success is a unique Self-Directed Learning (SDL) model, based on the ‘Chance to Choice’ curriculum, which enables local leaders to develop the skills and confidence to adapt, create, and ultimately implement their own Sport for Social Impact initiatives.

SDL is based on a model of education that places the individual at the centre of their own learning experience. The role of the teacher or coach is that of a facilitator. To become a ‘Self-Directed Learner’, individuals must develop specific skills and attitudes, such as confidence, communication, collaboration, goal-setting, and critical thinking, which allows them to drive their own learning content.

CAC has applied the concept of SDL in education to the realm of ‘Sport for Social Impact’. Through games, the coach facilitates players’ progression towards SDL by helping them develop these skills and attitudes and by enabling them to question and challenge cultural, religious, or traditional practices or beliefs that might lead to social problems.

Sport is a powerful tool to promote SDL because of the active learning it encourages. Combined with CAC’s innovative approach of integrating messages related to social issues directly through football games, the sports ground becomes the ideal platform to foster SDL because knowledge and development of skills mutually reinforce each other.

As opposed to the traditional football setting, where the coach is in control and dictates what to do, the SDL coach operates as a problem poser, confronting players with problematic situations where they must solve their own problems. Players learn that for one problem there can be many different solutions, as well as the skill set necessary to solve future issues.

As a result, players become local agents of change, who think critically about complex social problems, identify their causes, consider alternatives, and choose practical measures to tackle them.

A ‘Self-Directed Learner’ can, after reflection on the causes and solutions of social problems, create football games to address these issues, and adopt a facilitator role to enable more players to exhibit SDL skills on the sports field and in their lives.

This creates a proactive generation of problem solvers capable of driving change and educating their entire community. Empowering both youth and adult leaders yields tangible results that carry over to future generations and bring about long-term behavioural changes and community developments.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


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Sophie Legros


Sunday, March 22, 2015 - 23:00