Pre-service physical education teachers' beliefs about competition in physical education
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
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AbstractThe discourse of competitive sport is, and has been, a defining feature of physical education for many years. Given the privileged and dominant position competition holds in physical education curricula, it is concerning that competitive physical education remains steeped in traditional pedagogies and that these pedagogies are constrained by teachers’ everyday philosophies rather than any explicit understanding of pedagogy or the needs of pupils. This in turn affects pupils’ experiences of physical education and specifically the type and form of activities that are offered to pupils. Physical education teachers’ biographies generally show a profound attachment to sport, and in particular competitive sport, and the value of competitive sport is significant in the lives and identities of physical education recruits. However, there is a paucity of research specifically in relation to in-service and pre-service physical education teacher's beliefs about competition and its place in physical education. It is well documented that the implicit theories that pre-service, beginning and experienced teachers hold influence their reactions to teacher education and their teaching practice, with their beliefs acting as a filter through which a host of instructional judgements and decisions are made. Thus, it is important to understand pre-service physical education teachers’ (PSTs’) beliefs about competition. Thirty five (16 men, 15 women, 4 unknown) PSTs completed a reflective journal alongside their participation in a University-based module focused on models-based practice. The data generated were analysed using the procedures and techniques of grounded theory which revealed five major themes grouped in the discussion under the sub-categories of: (1) defining competition; (2) learning through competition; (3) competitive physical education and the sporting pathway; (4) competition needs to be got out of children; and (5) a little competition. The discussion challenges how we transform traditional views of competition and the competitive practices that alienate some young people from physical education.
CitationHarvey, S. and O'Donovan, T.M. (2011) 'Pre-service physical education teachers' beliefs about competition in physical education', Sport, Education and Society
JournalSport, Education and Society