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Title: Effective teaching in physical education : a client perspective
Author: O'Neill, Jean
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1995
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This study arose from my concern that, although Athletics featured as a major physical activity area in the majority of British secondary schools, the indications were such that this status appeared to be far more tenuous than secure, for it seemed to be disliked by the majority of pupils, particularly girls. By focusing on pupil perspectives in an illuminative, ethnographic enquiry, I sought to verify the accuracy of my supposition in pursuit of more effective teaching. The research commenced two years before the introduction of the Physical Education National Curriculum (Autumn 1992) and by structuring it as a collaborative action research initiative with teachers, I sought to maximise its contribution to curriculum reform. The study was located in two secondary schools, Fleyne and Burntmill. The year 7 cohorts in each school (Autumn 1990) each generated a representative sample of pupils whom I interviewed at key points during their first two years of secondary education. As part of an eclectic data gathering approach, I was also a participant observer during their Athletics lessons in the Summer terms of 1991 and 1992. The inclusion of a quasi-experimental structure during Summer 1992 was intended to reveal the effects of contrasting teaching approaches. The results of the first year of fieldwork confirmed the accuracy of the initial `problem': that the content of athletics lessons in combination with a predominance of didactic teaching was unsuitable for secondary age pupils (Key Stage 3). Consequently an intervention idea was agreed for each school in which a progressive (pupil-centred) approach would be introduced to year 8 Experimental classes whilst other year 8 Control classes continued to experience the traditional approach to Athletics teaching. Although the intervention programme was only partially introduced at Burntmill school, the results in both settings confirmed my professional theoretical belief that a pupil-centred approach was a more effective pedagogy than the traditional approach, particularly so for girls and lesser ability pupils. The data also showed that the pupils expected Athletics (and P. E. ) lessons to be `fun' and `active', and that `good' P. E. teachers should possess certain qualities: a sense of humour and the ability to keep control, yet not be too `serious'. However, this research also revealed differences between boys' and girls' identification with and expectations of Athletics lessons. These were such that mixed sex Athletics lessons perpetuated perceived existing social inequalities which discriminated against girls.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available