Expertise and Personal Differences: #coachlearninginsport

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I had two excellent reading opportunities today.

Although neither was about sport specifically both sent me off thinking about the learning environments we create in sport.

David Ireland, in The Conversation, wrote about machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). He observed:

Game-playing AI still cannot foresee every possible game play and, just like us, has to consider the options and make a decision on what move to make.

His article compared computers to humans. I enjoyed his references to eye movements of expert chess players as they select a move and research into novice and expert chess players who were asked to reproduce the board from memory. Expert players were able to reconstruct the board much more accurately than novice players.

David concludes his discussion with a consideration of the role AI will play in our cultures. He asks:

if true artificial intelligence is established, will it begin with an explosion of intelligence or something smaller and imperceptible?

His article left me thinking about tacit knowledge and how coaches might create learning environments to support dynamic understanding.

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This is where my second reading connected. Doug Belshaw was writing about Open Badges. In his post he mentioned differential ontology. The Encyclopaedia of Philosophy notes:

Differential ontology, understands the identity of any given thing as constituted on the basis of the ever-changing nexus of relations in which it is found, and thus, identity is a secondary determination, while difference, or the constitutive relations that make up identities, is primary.

It is going to take me some time to work through the philosophical underpinnings of differential ontology but my take home is that by embracing an approach that sees difference as a starting point rather than the outcome of coaching we start to explore some of the tacit understanding that artificial intelligence is seeking to include.

In such an environment, we work to connect learners and appreciate that such work is co-creative and fallible. It is profoundly potent too as a dynamic space.

Photo Credits

Starlings (S3aPhotography, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Starling (Dave Gunn, CC BY-NC 2.0)

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