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ERIC Number: EJ816011
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Teachers' Views on the Construction, Management and Delivery of an Externally Prescribed Physical Education Curriculum: Higher Grade Physical Education
MacPhail, Ann
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v12 n1 p43-60 Feb 2007
Background: The level of influence teachers have over changing developments in curricula to suit their individual schools is not matched by the influence they possess in the development of such curricula outside of the school context. Bernstein's model of the social construction of pedagogic discourse allows examination of the development, mediation and reproduction of curricula using three fields of knowledge production that he terms "primary", "recontextualising" and "secondary". Particular tensions emerge when teachers (secondary level) are expected to deliver a curriculum constructed by agents and agencies external to the school context (recontextualising level). Purpose: To examine teachers' view towards the process of a particular curriculum innovation in Scottish secondary school physical education (Higher Grade Physical Education, HGPE), the consequent subject content and the management of the subject in schools, in an attempt to identify factors that aided or hindered teachers from supporting and delivering HGPE. Participants and setting: Physical education teachers teaching in schools belonging to the largest local regional authority (at the time) in Scotland. Research design: A descriptive study aiming to examine physical education teachers' view towards the process of a particular curriculum innovation in school physical education. Data collection: A questionnaire for the attention of the physical education staff was sent to all 170 secondary schools in the chosen regional authority. The questionnaire set out to investigate teacher curriculum decision making, particularly in relation to how teachers read and interpreted issues related to HGPE. Data analysis: Analysis was completed by manually sorting, organising and indexing the data. Comparing, developing and describing the comments resulted in the analysis of comments under three headings: (1) the process of construction and the agents and agencies involved; (2) subject content and the level of prescription; and (3) management and delivery. Findings: It was evident that teachers wanted to receive considerably more specific central guidance related to the delivery of HGPE with less of an appreciation that the lack of central prescription offers teachers more professional freedom to develop courses that are more appropriate to their own specific contexts. There was also a lack of understanding as to the expected roles between the recontextualising agents and those operating in the secondary field. This lead to tensions in the level of support and provision provided to teachers on what was likely to produce an effective discourse and a lack of assistance and feedback concerning assessment. Conclusions: While it is evident that teachers were not central to curriculum planning and development in this instance, it could be interpreted that many teachers did not necessarily wish to be involved in the curriculum development process but were more concerned with receiving appropriate training and resources from central agencies. However, this does not excuse the need to involve teachers in curriculum planning and development, accepting that it is ultimately teachers who decide whether or not to implement an innovation. Teachers' insights into what aided or hindered supporting and delivering HGPE are valuable in determining what should be changed, and what should be preserved, in order to encourage teacher investment in curriculum developments. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)