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ERIC Number: EJ881191
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
"It's Been a Bit of a Rocky Start": Attitudes toward Physical Education following Transition
Dismore, Harriet; Bailey, Richard
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v15 n2 p175-191 Apr 2010
Background: Previous research has identified a number of factors that appear to influence attitudes toward physical education, but little research has focused upon the transition between Key Stages (KS) 2 and 3, when many children transfer from primary to secondary schools. Nevertheless, there are clues that this transition can be a significant event in children's school careers. Aims: The aim of this paper is to present data related to the attitudes of children and young people toward physical education, and specifically to their transition from KS2 (7-11 year olds) to KS3 (11-14 year olds). The research was informed by the critical realist stance that seeks to show causal explanations in a social world where structures and processes are constantly changing. Method: Participants were selected from schools in one borough in the south-east of England that represented a range of school types: two from a boys' grammar school, two attending a girls' grammar school, three from a large comprehensive school and three from a middle school. Individuals were also selected according to gender (five boys and five girls) and data collected on their feelings towards and beliefs about physical education. Data were collected using individual interviews with 10 children after they had been tracked from KS2 to KS3. The first interviews were carried out immediately following the transition to Year 7 and were repeated at the end of Year 7. Drawing upon the methodological theory of Layder, segments of data were categorised with an awareness of established theoretical concepts and ideas using "provisional" code labels before classifying the data using more formal categories. Results: The findings showed that many of these children expressed positive attitudes toward physical education. On the whole, their attitudes remained consistent across the transition from KS2 to KS3 and there were few differences between the attitudes of those attending primary/secondary schools and middle schools. However, certain patterns emerged in relation to how other structures and processes influenced children. Attitudes toward physical education were generally described in terms of their regard for fun and enjoyment, social relations and the physical education facilities. For example, many of the children discussed progressing from having fun in physical education to experiencing a more serious skills-based curriculum. For some, the social changes that took place after moving to secondary school were compounded by an increase in social stereotyping and concerns about bullying. Conclusion: The study illustrates the complexities of children's attitudes following the transition to KS3 and the extent to which structures and practices at different levels of social reality interrelate. It also highlights the barriers and catalysts for pupils' engagement in physical education. Two issues, in particular, are discussed: first, the consequences of pupils adopting the values of a "performative culture" within physical education; second, the important role physical education plays within the curriculum, particularly as a setting for social development. (Contains 1 figure, 4 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Primary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)