Physical Education: Picking Up the Baton

Physical Education: Picking Up the Baton

Physical Education: Picking Up the Baton

Physical Education: Picking Up the Baton


In Scottish schools, physical education is now a key component of school objectives. Physical education presents both opportunities and challenges, especially as views on the role of physical education are often polarized and contested, with politicians, the media, parents, teachers, and students having varied and contrasting views. This book will help readers comprehend some of the complexities involved in understanding physical education in its modern context. Accordingly, the book reviews many of the contested arguments about the nature and purposes of physical education and the pedagogical and professional challenges which lie ahead. It discusses the associated issues of health, well-being, and youth sport to ensure that readers can gain a rounded and more complete understanding of physical education. With its discussion of the pedagogical and professional challenges facing those engaged in teaching physical education, the book will be of particular interest to students intending to become physical education teachers, at both primary and secondary levels. As well, it provides valuable insight to educators and administrators with an interest in the physical well-being and development of those attending schools.


This volume in the Policy and Practice in Education series charts developments in the area of physical education. The subject has evolved in recent years to occupy a central place in secondary education and its importance is similarly evident in primary schools with the rapid expansion of specialist teaching in physical education. The thrust of policy in the areas of education, health and sport pose significant challenges. In their critique of these policy imperatives, Malcolm Thorburn and Shirley Gray illustrate how these tensions can impact on teachers involved in designing and teaching physical education programmes. Teachers are faced with competing demands; for example, the nurturing of elite sporting talent and at the same time the fostering of habits of active lifestyles in all. There is a danger that in the struggle to deal with these tensions the core concern on the quality of learning is lost. Here the authors establish the importance of meaningful learning experiences for pupils.

The authors provide a clear analysis of pedagogic practices and assessment processes in physical education, demonstrating that a concern for pupilcentred approaches not only enriches pupilsí experiences of the subject but brings with it benefits for wider achievement and personal well being. These high expectations of physical education demand much of teachers in terms of their skills and understanding. In the final sections of this book, the focus turns to the question of the role and development of physical education teachers. Here the authors draw from their experiences as teacher educators to provide a thought-provoking review of the implications of these changes for the preparation and continuing development of teachers working in the different school sectors.

Dr Jim O’Brien Professor of Leadership & Professional Learning, Dean and Director, Moray House School of Education, The University of Edinburgh

Christine Forde Professor of Leadership & Professional Learning, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, The University of Glasgow

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