NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1005059
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 67
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
"A Clear and Obvious "Ability" to "Perform Physical Activity"": Revisiting Physical Education Teachers' Perceptions of Talent in PE and Sport
Croston, Amanda
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v18 n1 p60-74 2013
Background: This paper examines physical education (PE) teachers' perceptions of talent in PE and sport within the context of English policy, where the process of identifying talent has been formalised and supported through specific resources (YST 2009). English policy has merged educational and sporting targets, which has resulted in a shift in foci away from educational objectives towards supporting elite development. Combining the aims of PE and sport contributes to longstanding debates over the nature and purpose of PE. Despite specific initiatives, there remains limited understanding of talent identification (ID) and as such, a danger for talent in PE and sport to be considered synonymous, resulting in a lack of clarity over the methods, purpose and focus of talent ID, and consequently notions of ability in PE. Purpose: In order to gain insight into the processes involved in talent ID in PE an electronic survey was conducted on PE departments' practices and perceptions within London boroughs. The survey aimed to establish a regional picture of respective practices as well as determining how PE teachers define talent in PE and sport. It also attempted to supplement related findings of the national survey on talent in PE (Bailey, Morley, and Dismore 2009). Method: Where an email address was available, an electronic survey link was sent to 400 state secondary schools across all London boroughs during the latter part of the summer term, 2008. A total of 84 (21%) responses were received. Data were collected using an electronic survey consisting of both quantitative and qualitative questions. Questions related to: Gifted and Talented (G&T) Policy; talent ID processes; staff training; and PE teachers' definitions of talent in PE and sport. Analyses of quantitative data were conducted using SPSS (version 15.0) and descriptive frequencies were obtained and reported. Open-ended responses were entered into N-Vivo ([C]Sage, version 7) and responses were coded into categories in order for themes to be identified. Results and discussion: Talent ID practices are compared to those reported in the national survey on talent development in PE. They reflect limited development in PE specific policy, training, awareness and use of available resources. PE teachers continue to predominantly utilise physical ability as a key indicator of talent; however, there is some indication that perceptions of talent are widening. The findings reveal inconsistencies in PE teachers' definitions of talent in PE and sport, where some are able to distinguish between the two whilst others are not. This is a concern for stakeholders and raises questions on the conceptual clarity of talent in PE. Conclusion: Defining talent in PE remains a contentious issue. The apparent merging of PE and sport, in policy and practice, reinforces the association of talent with physical performance which has re-catalysed debates on whether this is an appropriate way to conceptualise talent within PE. In working towards educational objectives, the PE profession should reflect on the purpose of current practice and consider who may benefit. (Contains 4 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London)