18 SES 05, Using Technology to Empower Learning in Physical Education Settings
The phrase ‘inspire a generation’ has been an enduring claim of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (Griffiths and Armour 2013, Kohe and Bowen-Jones 2016, Parnell, Cope et al. 2016). In England it has connected primary physical education and initial teacher education through a number of national policies influencing the subject’s funding and teaching workforce. Although it is widely considered that high quality teaching is the most important factor for influencing student achievement in schools (Hattie 2003, Caena 2014), with the development of new teachers entering the profession playing a critical role (BERA 2014), initial teacher education remains a site of political debate and struggle (Murray and Passy 2014). In many countries, generalist teachers remain the core deliverers of physical education in primary schools despite many lacking sufficient professional knowledge to teach the subject competently (Harris, Cale et al. 2012). Whilst previous studies have examined the confidence of teachers in primary physical education and the challenges they face (Pickup 2012), little is known about where knowledge is sourced and how beliefs influence the development of professional knowledge during the initial stages of becoming a teacher (Tsangaridou 2012).
The aims of this research were to identify how beginning teachers perceive their confidence to teach primary physical education and locate the sources of professional knowledge available to them. This paper will:
- articulate a professional knowledge-base for primary PE;
- share methodological design that allows space for beginning teachers to reflect and discuss their current professional knowledge;
- critically analyse the ways in which beginning teachers acquire professional knowledge;
- offer recommendations to support the development of knowledge within initial teacher education programmes
The research within this paper specifically focuses on assessing the breadth of knowledge acquired during the initial phase of teacher preparation and the most and least influential sources for achieving subject confidence. Habermas’ Theories of Knowing, Transformative Learning, Ideology Critique and Communicative Action and Rationality (Habermas 1972, 1984) offer a Critical Theoretical lens in which to examine these issues. With little commentary existing on how Habermas’ thinking can be applied to the field of education, and in particular initial teacher education, this paper offers a unique framework to help understand how the situation for primary physical education has come to be. Habermas presents a practical-political social philosophy and a thinking around knowledge, society and communicative rationality that brings a transformative agenda for new teachers entering the profession.
BERA (2014). The Role of Research in Teacher Education: reviewing the evidence. London BERA/RSA. Caena, F. (2014). Intial teacher education in Europe: an overview of policy issues. ET2020 Working Group on Schools Policy. Brussels, European Commission: Directorate-General for Education and Culture School policy/Erasmus+. Collins, M. (2003). Critical approaches to research in practice. Educational Research in Practice J. Swann and J. Pratt. London, Continuum. Griffiths, M. and K. Armour (2013). "Physical education and youth sport in England: conceptual and practical foundations for an Olympic legacy?" International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 5(2): 213-227. Guba, E., G. and Y. S. Lincoln (2005). Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions and emerging confluences. The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research N. Denzin and Y. S. Lincoln. Thousand Oakes, CA, Sage. Habermas, J. (1972). Knowledge and Human Interests. London, Heinemann. Habermas, J. (1984). The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and Rationalization of Society. Cambridge, Polity Press. Harris, J., L. Cale and H. Musson (2012). "The predicament of primary education a consequence of insufficient and ineffective CPD." Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy 14(4): 367-381. Hattie, J. (2003). Teachers make a difference: What is the research evidence? . Australian Council for Educational Research Annual Conference on Building Teacher Quality. Melbourne, ACER. Kelly, G. (1955). The Psychology of Personal Constructs. London, Routledge. Kohe, G. Z. and W. Bowen-Jones (2016). "Rhetoric and realities of London 2012 Olympic education and participation ‘legacies’: voices from the core and periphery." Sport, Education and Society 21(8): 1213-1229. Murray, J. and R. Passy (2014). "Primary teacher education in England: 40 years on." Journal of Education for Teaching 40(5): 492-506. Ongstad, S. (2010). The concept of lifeworld and education in post-modernity: A critical appraisal of Habermas' theory of communicative action. Habermas, Critical Theory and Education M. Murphy and T. Flemming. Routledge, Oxon. Pickup, I. (2012). Learning to teach physical education in primary schools: the influence of dispositions and external structures on practice. Department of Education, University of Roehampton, University of Surrey. PhD: 357. Pope, M. and P. Denicolo (2001). Transformative Education Personal Construct to Approaches to Practice and Research. London, Whurr Publishers Randall, V. (2015). "Professional Knowledge: Challenge or opportunity for primary physical education?" PE Matters 10(1). Tsangaridou, N. (2012). "Educating primary teachers to teach physical education." European Physical Education Review 18(3): 275-286.
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