Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education New Zealand

Effective Teaching, Quality Physical Education and the New Zealand Curriculum

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education New Zealand

Effective Teaching, Quality Physical Education and the New Zealand Curriculum

Article excerpt

Abstract

The nature, scope and purposes of physical education in schools change over time, since in any particular era they reflect and are defined by what is regarded as important in society. In contemporary New Zealand, for example, physical education is combined with health in an attempt to address the increasing social problems that young people face today (Salter, 1999). The HPE curriculum, Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 1999), acknowledges the unique bicultural nature of New Zealand, and clearly identifies the development of constructive attitudes and values as essential for personal well-being, and the well-being of others and society in general. What is regarded as 'effective' teaching of `quality physical education' in achieving the aims of physical education has changed too, requiring teachers to engage in ongoing reflection of their pedagogical practices in order to meet curriculum requirements. In this article we explore both `effective teaching' and `quality physical education' in relation to the requirements of the 'new' health and physical education.

Introduction

The New Zealand Curriculum Framework (Ministry of Education, 1993) is the defining document that prescribes the direction and outcomes of education in New Zealand schools, and from which all subsequent curriculum statements have evolved. It states that, through a variety of both individual and team activities, all students should be able to `achieve their potential in physical growth and development, improve their health and fitness, develop a range of motor skills, and learn the importance of disciplined training, competition, and team work' (p.16). The HPE curriculum (Ministry of Education, 1999) advocates achievement of these aims through a holistic approach, and supported by the underlying concepts of hauora (total well-being), health promotion, attitudes and values, and a socioecological perspective, all of which are interwoven with the intention of `contributing to [students'] personal well-being, the well-being of others, and that of society as a whole' (p.6).

Changes in the nature, scope and purposes of physical education are evident between the 1987 Physical Education Syllabus (Department of Education, 1987) and the 1999 Health and Physical Education curriculum statement, for example, in the shift from physical education that promotes learning through movement to physical education that promotes learning in movement (for example, physical skills), through movement (for example, attitudes and values), and about movement (for example, scientific aspects) (p. 42). Such shifts in the way physical education is conceptualised raise many questions about how `effective teaching' and `quality physical education' might now be regarded. Salter (1999) argues that, as educators, we have a professional responsibility for on-going critique of our curricular and pedagogical practices, in line with Richard Tinning's (1987) question, `What are the implications of what I teach, and the way that I teach?' (p.61). Ongoing reflection of our practices is necessary if we are to meet the requirements of the current curriculum, since not only is `the process of looking in the mirror and reflecting on our practice as teachers ... most important to our continual growth as professionals' (Cooper, Lang and Schon, 1994; p. 269), but such reflection is essential if our goal is to be effective teachers.

Effective teaching

Effective teaching of physical education aims at enhancing student development of life-long positive attitudes and well-being, while promoting individual and team skills (Siedentop, 1991). Many characteristics underpin the notion of `effective teaching', among them `paying particular attention to management strategies, instructional techniques and teacher-student interaction' (Salter, 1995; p. 211). Techniques of effective management require more than simply blowing a whistle or giving out orders (Bellinger, 1993). …

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