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ERIC Number: EJ1088154
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Authentic Inquiry-Based Learning in Health and Physical Education: A Case Study of "R/Evolutionary" Practice
O'Connor, Justen; Jeanes, Ruth; Alfrey, Laura
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v21 n2 p201-216 2016
Background: Greater understandings about how progressive pedagogies are interpreted and practiced within schools will be required if international calls to enhance relevance and meaning in Health and Physical Education (HPE) are to be realised. Little is understood about how inquiry-based units of work connected to real-life issues are enacted, engaged with, and generate deeper knowledge within a HPE context. Purpose: This study explores learner outcomes and perceptions of engagement with an inquiry-based unit of work, "Take Action," that aimed to provide young people with an opportunity to critically reflect on movement, investigate an issue important to them, and enhance their capacity to enact positive change for themselves and others. Participants and setting: Forty-four students and three teachers from two secondary school settings participated in the research. Both schools were located in relatively low socio-economic status areas in southern metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Data collection and analysis: An exploratory and evaluative study design that employed naturalistic inquiry, using qualitative semi-structured interview data, observational data, and analysis of learner-produced artefacts were used. Analysis drew upon authentic learning frames to explore elements of knowledge construction through disciplined inquiry and real-life application. Findings: "Take Action" provided a unique experience of HPE for the students and teachers who engaged with it. It was a collaborative, learner-centred inquiry-based experience that most learners found to be engaging and authentic. Both teachers and learners lacked the foundational knowledge of the discipline and a sound understanding of a critical-inquiry process that would have allowed them to deconstruct and reconstruct new ideas in deep interconnected ways. Conclusions: More support for teachers and students is needed to legitimate these types of approaches within broader curriculum contexts to support student learning. Specifically, foundational understandings of: socially critical approaches to critical inquiry that serve to enhance knowledge relating to learner-identified topics; learning intentions and authentic assessment and how these might align with inquiry-based learning; forming connections with external experts to support learners early in an inquiry process; and how to extend explorations and elaborations within the constraints of a congested and contested curriculum.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A