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Title: Constructive expertise : a critical ecological and micro-developmental perspective on developing talent
Author: Ollis, Stewart
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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Study 1 utilised ethnographic enquiry over an eighteen month period whilst working in collaboration with the Rugby Football Union Elite Referee Unit. The study found shifts in existing perspectives of expertise and talent development including a) the movement from a descriptive and phase-staged approach to one which is dynamic and non-linear; b) non-normative as well as normative influences; c) recognition of an ‘expert self’ as intrapersonal, interpersonal, group and social; d) expertise development existing at micro-, meso- and macro-development levels; and e) an integrative, contextualised and multiplicative nature of expertise. Study 1 encountered an approach to expertise which embraced complexity and paradox, was equally psycho-social dynamic as interpersonal and fostered the necessity for a creation of contexts from which elite performance can morph. From these findings a period of reflection occurred where models of ‘non-linear and dynamical systems’, ‘talent development environments’, ‘adaptive expertise’, ‘fractal models’ and the promotion of adaptive expertise, self-regulation and meta-cognitive skills required to negotiate the complex pathway associated with eminent performance was explored before a final sense-making notion of ‘expertise as constructivism’ was embraced. The remainder of the work embraced this constructivist approach of expertise and talent-development which was then researched in collaboration with the Scottish Small-Bore Shooting team over a two year period. Study 2 utilised an ‘ecological task analysis’ of the Scottish Small Bore Shooting team and its members to identify constraints and affordances of excellence. Study 3 served as the primary research study and assessed the overall efficacy of the constructivist development approach inclusive of major transition processes over the two year period as served by the constructivist design. The program was deemed successful in relation to performance outcomes at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Study 4 focused on the importance of creating constructivist ‘talent development environments’ in comparison to an existing work of literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available