The evaluation of the physical education initial teacher training programme at Qatar University
This study aimed to provide an evaluation of the Physical Education initial Teacher Training Programme (PEITTP) in the Department of Physical Education at Qatar University in the State of Qatar. The purpose of the study, therefore, was to explore the effectiveness of the programme with a view to improving the way in which the Department prepares physical education teachers. Hence, the type of evaluation adopted in this study was of a formative nature because the objective was to examine a) any possible weaknesses, and see how they could be remedied, and b) possible strengths and focus on how they could be enhanced. To attain the objectives referred to above, the study used two main research instruments: questionnaires and interviews. The reason for this was so that the research data could be cross-checked and triangulated. Therefore, four questionnaire samples were distributed to the following male and female population: 14 lecturers, 14 inspectors, 134 teachers and 31 students in the final year. In addition, questionnaires were also administered to a sample of 2,457 male and female school pupils from elementary, preparatory and secondary levels. Interviews were also utilised with the four groups of lecturers, inspectors, teachers and students. The findings drawn from the study were as follows:1. The results revealed that there was, in general, satisfaction with the University, Faculty and Professional Requirements, which were viewed in the main as effective and important. Regarding University and Faculty Requirements, the lecturers and inspectors were more satisfied with these courses than were the teachers and students. In general, the participants were more satisfied with Professional Requirements which the majority felt should be increased, than with University and Faculty Requirements, which the students believed should be decreased.2. The Professional Courses perceived by the respondents as the most important were: Teaching Practice, Sports Training, Football, and Methods of Teaching PE. The courses viewed as the least important were: Boxing ; Wrestling, Fencing, Introduction to Sociology, and the Principles of Statistics. Also, the participants felt that the Professional Courses contributed appropriately to the preparation of students for the teaching profession. However, the majority of the teachers and inspectors indicated that these courses often dealt with topics that were not relevant to the teaching process. It was also found that there was little diversification in the use of teaching methods and that lecturing was the most widely used method. Moreover, the majority of the teachers and students maintained that they were not given a chance to evaluate any of the Professional Courses and that there were no systematic procedures to evaluate these courses.3. There was general satisfaction with Teaching Skills but respondents called for more emphasis on Teaching Skills by the Physical Education Department (FED).Respondents generally perceived Teaching Practice as effective. However, they requested that more time be devoted to it.4. Respondents generally perceived Teaching Practice as effective. However, they suggested that more time be devoted to it. The respondents, especially the teachers and the students, pointed out that there was a clash between the timing of the Teaching Practice and the university courses and student-teachers were not treated professionally by the school administration during Teaching Practice. Moreover, the respondents pointed out that there was no communication between the PED and schools where the student teachers practised their teaching.5. Overall, the respondents displayed general satisfaction with the available Resources, Staffing & Access, and Structure of the Course. The respondents, especially males, requested that an indoor hall be built in their premises, whereas females requested that a swimming pool be constricted in their section. Also, the lecturers pointed out that there is no induction for the new lecturers to familiarize them with the registration system at Qatar University. In addition, some teachers and students were dissatisfied with the office hours and regarded the time of day allocated to the Practical Professional Courses as unsuitable.6. With regard to the Goals and Objectives of the PE Department, the lecturers seemed very satisfied with the achievement of the objective pertaining to the 'Preparation of PE teachers to work in the various educational levels in Qatar’. However, they were dissatisfied with the achievement of other objectives, such as 'Educational qualification, continuous training and supervision of all those concerned in the education profession in relation to sport and physical education' and 'Preparation of PE specialists scientifically and practically to undertake duties of supervision, administration and training in the sports field in institutions of education and youth'. 7. In general, students and teachers were less satisfied than lecturers and inspectors in their responses to the programme evaluation.8. The teachers and students' interview responses were in the main more positive than the answers they provided in the questionnaires, which is attributed to their culture. 9. Male pupils had generally more favorable attitudes towards the teachers and the PE courses than their female counterparts. Female pupils at preparatory level were the least satisfied group with regard to the teachers and the PE courses.10. With respect to the activities provided for pupils, it was deemed that there was no balance in the number of sessions which each gender received in certain activities. The findings of the study lead to the following primary recommendations: a) more collaborative work between the PED and the Administration of PE in the Ministry of Education is highly recommended in order to facilitate more cohesion between the curricula enforced by government policy in schools and that provided in the university curricula to train teachers. b) the PED must revise and update its curriculum in conjunction with the Ministry of Education. More collaborative work between the PED at Qatar University and the Administration of PE in the Ministry of Education will help facilitate more cohesion between the curricula demands enforced by government policy in schools and that provided in the curricula to train teachers. c) the PED facilities and resources should be improved. d) Regarding Qatari culture, it is recommended that people in charge of PE at Qatar University and the Ministry of Education should make others fully aware of the importance of sports in general and PE in particular by trying to find out ways to breakdown the cultural barriers by which more participation of females in sport and PE would be possible.