Learning and Teaching in Physical Education

Learning and Teaching in Physical Education

Learning and Teaching in Physical Education

Learning and Teaching in Physical Education

Synopsis

Designed to be a course book for courses in Physical Education, this book brings together for the first time in one volume important current thinking on physical education. Also included are case studies of best practice and pertinent, useful research findings from the U.S. and the U.K. The book is geared toward the growing pedagogical component of many PE and Sports Science courses, and will benefit students and teachers alike.

Excerpt

We write this paper at a time when teachers, teacher educators, the nature of teaching in schools and in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in England and Wales are in the public eye. While to some extent this is true ‘worldwide’, many of the phenomena to which we refer in this paper are particularly evident in New Zealand and Australia. In the UK, the ‘new Labour’ government elected in 1997 has made ‘education’ a priority manifesto commitment and is pressing forward with a number of policy initiatives aimed both at ‘increasing opportunity’ and ‘raising standards in schools’. Its Conservative predecessors viewed the latter task largely, though never solely, in terms of manipulating and defining what was to be taught to all pupils in all state funded schools in England and Wales, that is to say, as a curriculum issue. New Labour, while retaining elements of the Conservative project (for example, in its emphasis on the teaching of the three Rs in schools and ITE), seems increasingly bent, discursively and materially, on directing attention away from the content of the curriculum towards issues of how pupils and students are to be effectively taught in schools and ITE. Government appointed ‘experts’, with an apparent wanton disregard for the dangers and difficulties of cross-cultural comparison purportedly have discovered in the more didactic pedagogies of schools in south Asia, better ways of ensuring that pupils and students in the UK will learn—especially in the ‘core’ subjects of science, technology and maths. The associated implications heavily lace the mantras of the Secretary of State and his ministers: other subject areas should note that the more didactic the teaching methodology, the better the education and the more students and pupils will learn and retain. Yet the evidence to support such a claim is very difficult to discern.

If nothing else, the attention given by politicians in recent years to what, and how students are taught in schools has provided a salutary reminder to teachers and researchers wherever they may be located, and brought to the surface the ‘fact’ that teaching and learning are now, as they have been historically, socio-cultural and political as well as educational processes and are, therefore, always and inevitably contested domains. They are never arbitrary, value free, or independent of the ideologies and driving interests of those, often powerful, others, individuals, associations, interests groups (e.g. politicians, or appointed spokespersons who may operate within and outside schools) who may hold strong views relating not only to . . .

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