I have recently been involved in ongoing dialogue about the concept of cooperation in PE. This conversation was initiated by Dr. Ashley Casey, a senior PE lecturer at University of Bedfordshire in the UK (he can be found at www.peprn.com). Is simply being on a team promoting cooperation? Obviously, there are many other factors that need to be considered when trying to teach the concept of cooperation in our PE lessons. Clayton Wilson, a physical education consultant from Bookham, UK posted, on Twitter, a great article about cooperation entitled 'The 5 Basic Elements of Cooperation' written by Kathy Green (http://cooperativelearning.nuvvo.com/lesson/216-5-basic-elements-of-cooperative-learning) that really delves into the idea of promoting cooperative skills in young people.
PE presents loads of opportunities to embed the skill of cooperation within the learning experiences we have our students engage in, both in small and larger groups. The Learner Profile and PYP Attitudes are an excellent place to start when creating an environment of genuine cooperation in our classes. (http://www.pyppewithandy.com/2/post/2012/01/the-pyp-attitudes-in-pe.html) Also critical is the idea of creating a risk tolerant environment which allows kids to feel that making mistakes is a part of the learning cycle. It is through these mistakes that we grow and learn (http://grow.mindsetworks.com/cms/how-to-create-a-risk-tolerant-culture).
Is it possible to further break down cooperation in an attempt to identify essential components that can be taught and assessed in our PE classes? Developing authentic and enduring concepts such as this is an ongoing professional goal of mine, but is certainly no easy task! I would love to hear what you think. Please visit the PE teacher forum that I have set up on this website to contribute your valuable thoughts and ideas on the subject. Thanks!