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Rethinking sport teaching in physical education

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Pill, SA (2012) Rethinking sport teaching in physical education. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to describe and examine sport literacy in the context of secondary physical education and to investigate the limits, constraints and possibilities that physical education pre-service teachers' face when they attempt to take a progressive pedagogical approach to sport teaching on professional teaching practice. The literature informing the research suggested that evidence of learning is often absent from the physical education curriculum and discourses of physical education are marginalised. One of the results of this research was to view sport literacy as an outcome of well thought out design, philosophy and practice that lead to progressive sport teaching in secondary school physical education. A curriculum that supports sport literacy is one that combines concepts from Teaching Games for Understanding (Bunker &Thorpe, 1982,1983) with Sport Education (Siedentop, 1994; Siedentop, Hastie & van der Mars, 2011). Such a curriculum delivers education through sport itself and through ideas and practices associated with sport. Pre-service teachers were taught about the design and practice of sport literacy when they undertook a physical education topic before doing their final professional teaching practice placement. The pre-service teachers participated in the study over a six month period. The data collection occurred in four stages: 1. Investigation of a final year cohort of PETE-PS teachers observation and understanding of the important elements when teaching sport in physical education; 2. Investigation of the cohort of PETE-PS teachers responses to sport literacy from their perspective as learners of a sport and for its possibilities as a model that would support their sport teaching in physical education; 3a. Investigation of the cohort of pre-service teachers' experiences attempting to design and enact sport teaching in physical education while on professional teaching practice placement; 3b. Investigation of mentor teacher experiences with TGfU and Sport Education; and, 4. Interviews with pre-service teachers about the limits, constraints and possibilities of sport literacy. The data suggested that Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) and Sport Education are unlikely to feature in the observation and understanding of physical education pre-service teachers in schools in South Australia. PETE is the site where pre-service teachers are most likely to be exposed to TGfU and Sport Education approaches. The data revealed preservice teachers were receptive to learning about sport literacy as a framework for teaching but working against the possibilities for sport literacy to inform sport teaching was the absence of examples of TGfU and Sport Education in practice in school settings. Mentor teachers mostly adhered to traditional behaviourist orientated textbook teachings aimed for little more than 'busy, happy, active' time (Placek, 1983). This prevented pre-service teachers from introducing different ideas during their professional teaching practice. Schools differ widely in terms of social context and complexity; however, sport teaching in physical education is delivered in similar fashion in South Australian secondary schools. Pre-service teachers are encouraged to conform to this community of practice when they undertake professional teaching practice placements. Teacher education programs might encourage graduates to be ambitious and develop expectations of being able to do things differently but these expectations are generally thwarted in the field where there appears to exist a process of hegemonic cultural reproduction which informs and shapes the pedagogical basis of sport curriculum content, and counters anything that confronts or attempts to re-shape the status quo. Sparkes (2003) proposed that there are two types of learning communities; one where teachers work together to introduce innovations that will improve their teaching practices, and another where teachers agree to conform to traditional teaching practices. The evidence from this research suggests that the second is more likely to occur in South Australian secondary schools. The data indicated pre-service teachers encountered difficulties translating the vision of sport teaching they were taught at university into the actual school curriculum. The analysis of the data created awareness of the pervasiveness of a normative discourse that mentor teachers communicated either covertly or overtly to pre-service teachers. There are personal and institutional implications for PETE and the PETE educator to become agents of change. A new model for PETE (especially course work preparation and the teaching -professional teaching practice placement link) is necessary if PETE is to renew the curriculum and change the way sport teaching is undertaken.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: physical education, sport, teaching, secondary school
Additional Information: Copyright 2012 the Author
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2012 23:28
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:42
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/15016
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