Greg Spencer Profile picture
Guiding, Coaching, Mentoring - Coach Education, Leadership Training - Tripping & River Canoes - Photography, Video, Website Development - Experiential Learning
Mar 21 5 tweets 3 min read
In time, I suspect historians will come to view the UKCC Coaching Scheme (launched 2006) as the most damaging single initiative in the history of British sport & physical activity… but to this unholy nadir, we may now add UKCC Mk.2… which is no better!… Tragically, the PE Research Review (aka UKCC Mk.2) appears at a time when @Sport_England has finally moved on from the dysfunctional nonsense of the UKCC Mk.1 era… but it's sociologically illiterate & effectively perpetuates Blair/Cameron-era nonsense 👇…
Dec 29, 2021 6 tweets 5 min read
"As a woman from another culture you are double-timing your transformation, adopting, conditioning & submitting yourself to the codes of Thai masculine performance [beside western men] adopting & adhering to the signatures of the Thai masculine, as men…… "Because of who @_ittu is & just how far outside of the established path of what is possible in Thailand - fighting prolifically, & documentedly like no other in history - because she is a woman, she ventures far off the social map to reach for the impossibility of herself" (2/6)
Dec 19, 2021 6 tweets 4 min read
This afternoon, I listened intently to two podcasts. This one 👇 resonated powerfully. I was struck, once again, by how @CarlWoods25 has come to embody an exceptionally ethical "leading out into the world" approach to life both within & beyond coaching 🙏… A second comes from a very different place… & exudes a remarkable commitment to building ethical talent pathways based on intimate (perhaps lifelong) familiarity with high performance contexts… & could be seen as "modelling" evidence-based practice……
Sep 8, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
Q. "What do you think is the next big thing in education and training?"
A. "The next big thing will be performance guidance systems (think GPS for everything) which are really about eliminating the need for education or learning in the way that we have with, say, taxi driving" 🤔 Great question: too often ‘... Dystopian version: we end up with automata in "heads-up" mode… attuned to maps rather than to the territory in ways which amplify the impact of screwy datasets - locking in practices which just amplify historical norms, conventions, & stereotypes 🙄… Image
Jun 7, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
Do we *really* want institutions enforcing boundaries & celebrating "strategies of deference" so that young people can navigate a mapped reality that's given to them as their lot in life? Is it *really* showing "character" to learn to "know your place"?… Are middle-class parents *really* just "grade-obsessed" when encouraging their children to "advocate for themselves"? Is it wrong to lead our young people out into the world (aka: educate them) by helping them find ways to navigate fluid boundaries?…
May 15, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
“How could we get to a point in a child’s life, at the age of 14, where he hadn’t been asked about his preferences for movement?” 👇 That's @ImSporticus on a key topic… but how do we achieve this without reinforcing notions that we can "know" one-another?… This 👆 links to the danger Andy @CIACIC1 noted, that "by defining people in terms of their experience, we continue to reinforce a damaging Us-and-Them dichotomy. You have ‘lived experience’ (i.e. you’re broken). I am a professional (i.e. I can fix you)"👀…
Mar 28, 2021 13 tweets 4 min read
I've long been uncomfortable with getting pressured to face up to "problems" in the world around us… but I've tended to assume something about someone's "solution" has been putting me off - as if I'm just waiting for one that isn't worse than the thing it's supposed to cure… Over the last year, I've realised it's the pressure to frame reality in terms of "problems" that's the issue… because soon as we do that, we're giving up on the messiness of the real world & on the aspiration to do something which could end up with us seeing things differently!
Feb 19, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
"Like a musical instrument that has been crafted through the experiences of several generations, the events of our lives find expression through the articulation that our bodies, minds, hearts, & language can find. Prior experience informs future expression" - a @NoraBateson gem! "What does it sound like, taste like, to be in discovery of the world with kids? Not *for* them, but *with* them [...] in these sessions, the knee-jerk repetition of parental instruction that is so submerged lost their invisibility because we started from another landscape" The programming of children’s relationship to authority, i
Jan 25, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
Again, idealistic gurus coalesce around a narrative in which the role of professionals is to "save" children & families from real-world entanglements. Why work *with* parents & families when we can do things FOR children & engineer a brave new world 🤯… Yes, we should "grasp the current crisis’s upending of accepted wisdom" - because as @Jendaffin notes elsewhere, well intentioned staff are "paralysed in that system [&] overwhelmed by the shame associated with being stuck & contributing" - @NewSystemAlly…
Jan 23, 2021 10 tweets 8 min read
1/n How come we still have academics sustaining narratives of #obesity rather than of how real people find value & meaning in everyday lives? Revisit @whatsthepont on @tobyjlowe / @snowded & accept criticising "neoliberal" does not make things progressive!… New out 🤯 A review which says lots about the academic context in which it was written - with its embedded behaviorist fixations on just implementing *better* - with complete disregard for the unintended consequences of treating "agency" as a dirty word 👇…
Jan 18, 2021 18 tweets 9 min read
What does it take to sustain screwiness in the way the world works? Mostly, it's just good people, trying their best to get us to a better place... within constraints which pretty much preclude us actually getting anywhere! A case in point with @JamesRRudd… These authors come across as hugely committed to something we might all agree upon: improving young people's experiences of physical education through better school-based-interventions. Sounds great? Agreed, & pretty much everything about their study models best practice 🥳 Article: "Effect of Linear and Nonlinear Pedagogy Physi
Jan 15, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
"Riding bikes give you a way of seeing & acting in our environment in creative ways. Always looking to progress and push skills & boundaries. Skateboarders will know this feeling too. You never see a city the same again" - perception @michaelthaber blog 👇
"In BMX there is a ever moving boundary of things that have been done. Not only by you, but by anyone. Once you know something has been done it opens possibilities [...] Just knowing someone has done something similar changes what you think can be done 👇
Jan 4, 2021 17 tweets 8 min read
"What follows [is] a protest against psychologistic approaches to ‘grounded cognition’ [that] effectively put the ground inside the brain, leaving individuals stranded in an unspecified ‘environment’ which is invoked
merely for the purposes of [the body]"… It has been conventional in... "What distinguishes the expert from the novice, then, is not that the mind of the former is more richly furnished with content [but] a greater sensitivity to cues in the environment & a greater capacity to respond to these cues with judgement and precision" - not representatons! Image
Dec 31, 2020 4 tweets 3 min read
This matters 👇 It starts with worries about talk of pre-pubescent children "using the quasi-mythopoetic terms" ‘elite’ and ‘international’ & addresses growing tendencies to view youth athletes as "commodities" - well done @andykirkland71 & @markstkhlm 👀… The authors may well be studying phenomena within an environ Argument: "There Is No Such Thing as an International Elite Under-9 Soccer Player" 💪

Their reference to "commodification" links to the biggest of all for me: talk of "producing" athletes / players 😡

Language matters.

We never (ever) "make" (anything) out of young people! How Elite Athletes Are Made
Dec 31, 2020 6 tweets 3 min read
"Where old-school conspiracists amassed what looked a lot like evidence; the new school’s calling cards are repetition and weaponized equivocation [...] if you don’t even pretend to have evidence, there’s nothing for your opponent to debunk" @rachelefraser… "Michael Gove’s infamous remark that ‘the British people have had enough of experts’ [...] has been a boon for reactionary technocrats eager to pathologise an ignorant public and impose elite gatekeeping on social media.

C.f. "the spectre of rule by experts" - a serious concern?             The new conspiraicism’s attitude to expertise
Dec 28, 2020 15 tweets 11 min read
How do we connect sense-makers around:

1. A common respect for the voices of young people;

2. The diverse experiences of those who have spent their lives helping others find meaning in movement?

As @ImSporticus notes, this CSJ paper is not the answer!… Does school-based sport have a place? Of course! For some, school sport will be a way of becoming entangled in the lives of others in ways which will lead to a pastime becoming a valued, stabilising influence throughout life. That's awesome! #becausehuman
Dec 18, 2020 6 tweets 4 min read
OK - I don't doubt this is well-intentioned & in good faith... but fundamentally, it embeds talent-pathway / elite sport "exceptionalism" in ways which justify sustaining norms of elite-athlete-transfer & reliance on lots of "-ologies" (declarative professional knowledge). Keith Davids is cited... but aside from a token reference to non-linearity, the report reads as if his lifetime's work (& the contributions of his colleagues around the world) has no relevance & poses no major challenges to a "business-as-usual" approach.…
Dec 6, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
"A proliferation of competing narratives is characteristic of the phase Thomas Kuhn calls ‘proto-science’ [...] This is where learning/training/education is today: proto-science. A mixed bag of popular stories about how people learn" - @shackletonjones 👀… "I write this having recently read a number of comments/posts to the effect that learning ‘is just too complicated’ that there are always ‘many right answers’ or ‘everything depends on context’. This is the pre-evolutionary position: it’s all too complicated for a simple answer.
Dec 4, 2020 34 tweets 10 min read
"Please, don't make systems work for people, because this is [...] everything that's wrong with the sector. Making stuff work for others. Help people discover & steer and own their own pathways for a change" 😍

Well said, @ChristianSeelos & @NewSystemAlly What's brought me here? "the realisation that the disadvantage, the injustice, the unfairness we see around us is actually in part caused by the systems that we have seeking to address those issues" - @BethWatts494 - respecting that people sustain systems with good intentions!
Nov 10, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
@snowded blog of the year & 3 keys 👇🏽

1. "any map needs to be subject to continuous feedback [...]

"imagine a sort of war room with attitudinal & constraint maps visible and shifting to allow complexity to be navigated rather than contained or avoided"… We have to shift from the engineering-driven concept of defi 2. Key 2 may be familiar -

"Soil fertility is heavily impacted by a type of fungus known as mycorrhizae which has a symbiotic relationship with the plant [...]

"The equivalent in an organisation and the informal networks and associations that keep the formal systems working.
Nov 1, 2020 12 tweets 8 min read
Do our expectations of sport in schools reflect "folk wisdom" where we think "students will eventually engage with something they like, hopefully sufficiently to pursue it now or in their future"? 

If so, shouldn't we working to get sport OUT of schools?… [...] to help girls [...] fall in love with our game at a yo[...] 90% of schools (primary/secondary) in England to be pa[...] 90% of schools (primary/secondary) in England to be pa Backing up: some on the outside of schools & education might still anticipate finding engagement with a "Multi Activity Curriculum" that gives pupils a "bit-of-this" & a "bit-of-that"... perhaps because that's what so many of us genuinely experienced ourselves so very long ago! Multi-activity curriculum model (Image from Alexander, K. (2