Case studies

Table of Contents

Let´s recall the basics first… "Teachable Moments"

We have already seen, that learning in ETS happens around so called “Teachable Moments”

A teachable moment can take many different forms. It can be an emotion, a problem, a social interaction, a specific behavior, a piece of information etc.

A teachable moment can occur adhoc, from a situation-based interaction > Case Studies A - C

Or it can be intentionally planned and triggered by the coach >Case Studies D and E

Try the following for each of the Case studies:

Does the case study describe a planned or incidental learning opportunity?

At what point would you intervene and discuss what happened with the participants?

In your opinion, what could the participants learn from this situation?

What questions would you ask when discussing this situation with your participants?

Try to follow the proposed order:

  1. Describe
  2. Explain
  3. Generalize
  4. Learn

Case Study A – A victory with a bad aftertaste

Imagine: You are participating in a soccer tournament in your community with your team. Your team makes you a proud coach because they make it to the final. There, one of the girls unintentionally pushes the ball into the goal with her hand. Unlike the referee, you and two of your players see the situation very clearly. The other team complains loudly, but the referee already points to the middle. Neither you nor any of your players says anything and you win the game 1:0 . Your team takes their first trophy home.

As always, before the next training session, you start by discussing the game of the previous weekend. A few of the girls start singing “we are the champions…” but Anna, the girl who scored in the final, is very quiet and seems to be in a bad mood.


Case Study B - Ouch, that hurts

Imagine: You introduce touch rugby as a new game in your physical education class. One of the students twists her ankle during a simple exercise. One of the other students is quick-thinking and runs straight to the school’ s caretaker to get a bag of ice while you administer first aid.  To be on the safe side, you ask a colleague to take the student to the doctor for an X-ray.

After the student is on her way to the doctor, you want to continue the lesson, but the mood is depressed, and some students don’t want to participate anymore because they think rugby is too dangerous.


Case Study C - I'll finish you off you loser

Imagine: You are coaching some boys from the neighborhood in football. Kim and Juri are actually cheerful and friendly children, but lately you have noticed that they behave aggressively on the pitch and call each other names.

In the beginning you didn’t bother too much about it and you just kept an eye on them, but gradually, the other children are starting to imitate this behavior.


Case Study D – Have a plan before you start…

Imagine: You are a teacher in a vocational school and in mechanics lessons you observe time and again that your students are motivated to do the tasks you give them, but that they always start immediately and usually proceed without a plan. Often, they run out of material at the end or have to dismantle some parts because they can’t reach some of the screws anymore.

You work on this topic with the group during their next PE class. To do this, you use ropes to make a spider’s web in the handball goal that the entire group has to pass,  without using any of the holes twice. At the end of the game, the group only has a small hole at the top and has to help Tomas, the biggest and heaviest classmate, to overcome the obstacle. Game over?


Case Study E - A new challenge to change the group dynamics

Imagine you are a teacher of a high school class. The hierarchies in the group are clearly pronounced. There are some leaders who are very self-confident and usually have the big say in the group. On the other hand, there are students who are kind and talented but also quiet and reserved, so that they rarely get the big stage in your class.

As part of the annual school trip, you want to challenge these structures a bit. You visit a high rope climbing course with your class. This means that you deliberately put the students in a new situation where they can no longer rely on existing experiences but have to face a new challenge. Some of the usual leaders are overwhelmed by the task, some of the students who are otherwise less confident manage the tasks easily.