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ERIC Number: EJ950048
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 81
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
A Lost Opportunity? Vocational Education in Physical Education
Brown, Seth Earl; Macdonald, Doune
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v16 n4 p351-367 2011
Background: Vocational education in Australia and elsewhere has a history of being gendered and classed, thereby limiting the post-school options of students undertaking this form of study. Drawing on Foucauldian theory, the authors used Gore's eight techniques of power to examine the micro-functioning of power relations at two case sites. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine learning outcomes of Physical Recreation (PR), motivation of students selecting PR, and the implications of training in this vocationally-oriented subject in terms of their learning and post-school options. More specifically, we explored the following research questions: what motivated students to select PR; what were the learning outcomes for PR students and what did PR students perceive as their post-school options. Participants, setting and research design: Two schools (Seinfeld and Bedrock), each with different socio-economic and PR strand composition, were purposefully selected for the study. The PR Year 11 and 12 students, aged 15-19 years, at both schools were invited to complete an introductory survey. From the survey data 12 key informant students, two teachers and two teacher aides became central to the ongoing qualitative data collection for this study. Data collection: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informant students (one to four interviews), teachers (two to three) and teachers' aides (one to two). During the class visits, field notes were recorded using a hand-held tape recorder focusing upon key informants' reactions to course content, their learning experiences, and the social interactions between key informants and teachers. Documents were also collected to contextualize PR. Data analysis: First, the authors analyzed the data following the method of constant comparison using NVivo, a software package that assists researchers in the analysis of qualitative or text-based data. The authors analyzed the units emerging from the data and the placement of those units into key themes. After the data were clustered into key themes, the authors examined the discourses within the themes that positioned both teachers and students in particular power relationships using Gore's eight techniques of power. Findings: Results indicated that the students selected PR based on the expectation of minimal academic requirements. The students' learning focused on technical skills using logbooks to monitor their completion of modules for certification rather than more complex and engaging tasks. The binary system of vocational and academic streams of learning impacted the career pathway options available to students undertaking PR and teacher expectations of the students' post-school options. There was a lack of interest (or willingness of teachers to take action) and resources invested in post-school options for PR students, contributing to limited life pathway options. Conclusions: The authors concluded that a curriculum model of physical education that has a vocational orientation could be beneficial to the schooling of senior secondary students. In order for students to receive favourable outcomes, it must employ educational content and pedagogies that offer alternatives to competency-based training and provides students with a range of post-school options. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia