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Title: Quality physical education in the early years of compulsory schooling : from praxis to axiology
Author: Weston, Carrie
ISNI:       0000 0001 3566 2520
Awarding Body: University of the West of Scotland
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 2008
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This study investigates how teachers of young children (4-7 years, traditionally the infant age range) plan and teach Physical Education (PE) in order to identify where concerns for Early Years pedagogy are evident. Teacher training has eroded the depth of knowledge concerning Early Years pedagogy. On entry to compulsory schooling, children become part of a national system of learning based on a prescribed curriculum, but Early Years educators need to understand more than disciplines. PE has an eclectic inheritance derived from diverse origins. The games and sports model has become increasingly prominent in recent years, due to a number of sports and health-related agenda. The direction in PE is now problematic for young children, offering a praxis that does not reflect Early Years pedagogy. Training currently given to student teachers in PE is scant, leading to directional teaching styles and reliance on secondary sources. The movement philosophy of Veronica Sherborne arguably epitomises many of the concerns of Early Years pedagogy. Facilitators of Sherborne Developmental Movement (SDM) are, themselves, profoundly changed in their views on movement and learning. This research focused on three groups of teachers: 'Early Years' trained, 'primary' or 'secondary' (non-Early Years) trained, and those with SDM training. All teachers were qualified and currently teaching children in the 4-7 age range. Using mixed methods of questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews, the study sought quality PE by identifying where Early Years pedagogy was evident in planning and teaching PE, and to ascertain any barriers existing. Following a pilot study, questionnaire survey data from teachers of 4-7 year olds was analysed. In-depth interviews were then conducted with teachers from the original population. Triangulation was achieved through an in-depth interview of a senior governmental policy maker as an expert witness. Results identify that (1) SDM supports Early Years pedagogy in the planning and teaching of PE, (2) both Early Years and non-Early Years trained teachers are influenced by curriculum and strategy documents and popular concerns in planning and teaching PE, (3) these influences are barriers to planning and teaching PE with concern for Early Years pedagogy, (4) Early Years trained teachers are more likely than non-Early Years trained teachers to recognise that curriculum documents and strategy do not reflect Early Years pedagogy. The findings of this research contribute towards an axiology of PE in the Early Years of compulsory schooling by identifying commensurate values.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available