TGfU in Portugal
Constructivist theories and praxis are not well known in Portugal, meaning that informed coaches and applied researchers don´t represent a relevant professional lobby. This is true for PE and sport and the causes of this situation are similar, and are related to the training process of coaches and PE teachers.
In sport, the performance paradigm is dominant and national coaches, who usually are the teachers in the coaches’ courses, are concerned with specialized performers, not with happy, smart athletes. The intellectual and theoretical gap between coaches and scholars is still too big, although many PE teachers are also coaches in clubs.
In these conditions, the impact of TGfU on teaching and coaching is very small. The scholars interested in the study and dissemination of TGfU approaches are very few, resulting in a very conservative environment among practitioners, especially and surprisingly among the younger ones.
To those engaged in contemporary trends in sport Pedagogy, namely TGfU, it´s crucial to promote the knowledge about the theme and the practical advantages of challenging the status quo. The main targets of this promotional effort are PE pre-service teachers that, in many cases, will be also school or club coaches. Conferences, workshops, etc., explaining the practical advantages of the TGfU approach are a necessary first step. From this point of view, the IAB video project appears as an important tool to reach a significant impact among the young practitioners.
Clinics for coaches are also a possibility but it’s strongly dependent of the good will of national associations or of coaches’ unions. The best opportunities can be found at local level, where sport sciences schools are able to organize events – mainly practical sessions - for coaches in cooperation with regional associations.