If I had only known about the STEP model back in 1996, when studying to become a PE teacher, life would have been so much easier. Or would it?
Back in Loughborough Uni in 1996 on my Post Graduate Certificate in Education course, I was learning all about learning theories, learning styles, classroom management, differentiation and just understanding how to break down skills into ‘bite sized chunks’ to teach the kids. The reality, when faced with a class of 30 year 9 girls on a Thursday afternoon, on the hockey pitch, it was purely survival (for me!) I was focussing on! We had many scholarly articles to read and reflect on, when writing the essays, but I wish I had fallen upon the STEP model a lot sooner.
Now in 2021, as a coach educator, tutor and content developer, I spend a lot of my time, energetically introducing the model of STEP, as a ‘game changer’ for those that teach/coach sport and more importantly, for those who are learning activity from the teachers/coaches.
So what is it, and why is it so important to the way I coach.
STEP is a framework to assist organisation and differentiation, adapting to meet the needs of all the participants. Using STEP you can change the different elements of Space, Task, Equipment and People to ensure everyone is active and engaged, by making an activity harder or easier. I love it, as it complements the Person-Centred approach, putting the needs of the participant in the heart of the coaching/teaching.
If you want to create a fully inclusive environment, one that is progressive and caters for all, then go ahead, add this to your toolbox for your coaching. It has certainly made it easier for me when facing a class of children on the sports pitch.
For further reading on the STEP model, please go to:
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