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«LEARNING TO TEACH PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS: THE INFLUENCE OF DISPOSITIONS AND EXTERNAL STRUCTURES ON PRACTICE by Ian Pickup, BA (QTS) A ...»

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LEARNING TO TEACH PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN

PRIMARY SCHOOLS: THE INFLUENCE OF DISPOSITIONS

AND EXTERNAL STRUCTURES ON PRACTICE

by

Ian Pickup, BA (QTS)

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of PhD

Department of Education, University of Roehampton

University of Surrey

Abstract

This research explores the process of becoming a teacher of primary physical education (PE) within an English University based Initial Teacher Training context. Despite the introduction of a National Physical Education and school sport subject strategy in 2003, academics and professionals in the UK and elsewhere have continued to suggest that primary PE is highly problematic, echoing the views of others expressed consistently over four decades. There have been regular calls for a significant increase in the time allocated to the subject within the structure of primary ITT and some have suggested that primary PE is best taught by ‘specialists’ as many class teachers feel most comfortable delegating this task to others.

However, although some researchers have suggested that trainee primary teachers are more or less disposed towards the teaching of PE, little is known regarding the dual role of dispositional and structural factors, or the way in which they combine to result in particular primary PE practices.

Data were collected over a three year period (2004-2007). The research was conducted within a university provider of primary ITT in the South of England and focused on trainees following a three year undergraduate degree route to Qualified Teacher Status. In Stage 1, an initial quantitative scale was administered to a large cohort of trainee primary teachers at the outset of their course. This was followed by a series of semi-structured interviews with a smaller sample of trainees. Qualitative data generated through semi structured interviews were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis as an organisational framework, creating descriptive coding and the presentation of organisational themes. This analytic process led to the development of a model to represent the relationship between structures, disposition and practice in primary PEITT. The outer dial of this model represents a typology of trainees in primary PEITT, which is the outcome of combined influences of structures and disposition.

Four recommendations for practice are made, including the need to develop the structures of primary PE ITT with differentiated learning opportunities and to provide more effectively mentored practice in school settings. Whilst those trainees with a very negative disposition towards PE may be best advised toavoid teaching the subject altogether, the greatest potential for improving primary PE lies in the development of those trainees with an initially ambivalent attitude to the subject. This majority of trainees in the middle ground of the proposed typology may hold the key for long term improvements in the subject should ITT providers be able to respond to the identified learning needs. The findings of this research are particularly pertinent in light of current government plans to increase school based responsibilities within ITT.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

afPE Association for Physical Education AOTT Adults Other Than Teachers AST Advanced Skills Teacher ATL Association of Teachers and Lecturers BA Bachelor of Arts BAALPE British Association of Advisers and Lecturers in Physical Education BEd Bachelor of Education CATE Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education CCPR Central Council for Physical Recreation CPD Continuing Professional Development DCFS Department for Children, Family and Schools DCMS Department for Culture, Media and Sport DES Department of Education and Science DfE Department for Education DfEE Department for Education and Employment DfES Department for Education and Science DfES Department for Education and Skills EAL English as an Additional Language EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage GTCE General Teaching Council for England GTP Graduate Teacher Programme HEI Higher Education Institute HMI Her Majesty’s Inspectorate ICT Information and Communications Technology IPA Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis ITE Initial Teacher Education ITT Initial Teacher Training LEA Local Education Authority NAHT National Association of Headteachers NC National Curriculum NCPE National Curriculum Physical Education NLS National Literacy Strategy NNS National Numeracy Strategy NQT Newly Qualified Teacher OfSTED Office for Standards in Education PE Physical Education PEAUK Physical Education Association of United Kingdom PEITT Physical Education Initial Teacher Training PESSCL Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links PESSYP Physical Education, School Sport and Young People PGCE Post Graduate Certificate of Education PNS Primary National Strategy PPA Planning Preparation and Assessment QCA Qualifications and Curriculum Authority QTS Qualified Teacher Status SCITT School Centred Initial Teacher Training SEN Special Educational Needs TDA Training and Development Agency for Schools TTA Teacher Training Agency UCET University Council for the Education of Teachers YST Youth Sport Trust

CONTENTS





Abstract…………………………………………………………………………….……. p. 2 Glossary of terms………………………………………………………………………… p. 3 Table of contents………………………………………………………………………… p. 5 Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………… p. 10

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

Introduction to the research……………………………………………………….......... p.11 The research context……………………………………………………………………. p.15 Research themes………………………………………………………………………… p.23 Aims of the research……………………………………………………………………. p.25 Research questions……………………………………………………………………… p.26 Research design…………………………………………………………………………. p.27 Overview of content…………………………………………………………………….. p.30

CHAPTER 2 EDUCATION POLICY AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR

PRIMARY PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………. p.32 Before New Labour………………………………………………………………………. p.34 The 1988 Education Reform Act………………………………………………………… p.37 The National Curriculum………………………………………………………….............p.39 PE and the curriculum……………………………………………………………………. p.42 PE and School Sport strategies…………………………………………………………... p.43 Recurring concerns………………………………………………………………………. p.47 The conflation of PE and sport…………………………………………………………… p.51 Gender and the PE curriculum…………………………………………………………….p.54 Remodelling the primary workforce………………………………………………………p.56 The reform of Initial Teacher Training……………………………………………………p.63 Social policy and future curriculum developments………………………………………. p.75 The resultant context and implications for trainees……………………………………….p.77 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………. p.80

CHAPTER 3 TEACHER DEVELOPMENT, IDENTITY AND LEARNING

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………. p.82 Beginning teachers……………………………………………………………………….. p.84 Teacher development…………………………………………………………………….. p.85 Teacher identity………………………………………………………………………….. p.89 Locating physical within notions of self…………………………………………………. p.91 Teacher identity change………………………………………………………………….. p.94 The impact of ITT…………………………………………………………………........... p.99 Prior experiences ………………………………………………………………………… p.104 Teacher knowledge ……………………………………………………………………… p.107 Knowledge construction and today’s policy context …………………………………..... p.110 The influence of others…………………………………………………………………… p.113 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………. p.119

CHAPTER 4 METHODOLOGY

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………. p.121 Individuals and social structures………………………………………………………… p.122 Disposition, structure and practice in social theory……………………………………….p.125 Theory of practice……………………………………………………………………….. p.127 Application to research design…………………………………………………………… p.132 A flexible research design……………………………………………………………….. p.135 Selecting the case(s)……………………………………………………………………… p.136 Incorporating biographical approaches………………………………………………… p.142 Validity and reliability…………………………………………………………………… p.143 Ethical issues……………………………………………………………………………... p.149 Data collection……………………………………………………………………………. p.152 Selection of participants and their context………………………………………. p.152 Physical self-perception and perceived importance profiles…………………….. p.153 Semi structured interviews……………………………………………………….. p.157 Interview schedules………………………………………………………………. p.158 Planning the interviews………………………………………………………… p.160 Group interviews………………………………………………………………… p.161 Transcription of interviews………………………………………………………. p.162 Documents and field notes…………………………………………

Data analysis………………………………………………………………………………p.165 Developing a typology…………………………………………………………………... p.168 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………. p.170

CHAPTER 5 TRAINEE PRIMARY TEACHER DISPOSITIONS TOWARDS

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………. p.171 Dispositions towards PE and sport………………………………………………………. p.172 Gender differences……………………………………………………………………….. p.175 Articulating the physical self …………………………………………………………….. p.177 Sport: competence and perceived importance……………………………………………. p.179 Influences on dispositions……………………………………………………………….. p.182 Experiences in school PE and sport……………………………………………… p.183 Wider life experiences……………………………………………………………. p.186 The influence of others…………………………………………………………… p.188 Disposition and trainee primary teacher practice during ITT……………………………. p.189 Trainees’ general progress………………………………………………………………...p.192 Disposition and identity………………………………………………………………….. p.196 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………..p.198

CHAPTER 6 STRUCTURAL INFLUENCES ON TRAINEE TEACHER

EXPERIENCES IN PRIMARY PEITT



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