Attitudes of Primary Teachers to Physical Education and School Sport
University of Wales
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The primary phase of a child’s life represents a period of steady growth and development and places those in their care in an excellent position to help them in their physical skill acquisition and development (Pickup and Price, 2007). The purpose of this study was to gain an insight into the attitudes held by practicing teachers towards physical education. Research has identified the many aspects which contribute to a teacher forming their attitudes (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1997; Silverman and Subramaniam, 1999). This study looks further into understanding how these attitudes are formed and how teachers approach the subject of physical education in primary education. Six participants were interviewed, all currently teaching in key stage 2 at the same primary school. Data was analysed using 'analytic induction' and 'constant comparison' (Curtner-Smith 1999). Similarities and comparisons were discussed and areas of concern were highlighted in the participants answers. Key findings indicated that all participants were inspired and influenced by a teacher during their own primary education. Furthermore, results revealed that all participants experienced a poor standard of training in physical education during their higher education. Contrary to research, participants explained how the use of coaches to deliver physical education was a beneficial and worthwhile exercise. Finally, all participants agreed that the employment of a specialist primary physical education teacher would be disappointing personally for themselves, but extremely beneficial in raising standards and ensuring progression in primary physical education. More research is needed into physical education training at higher education, and how standards can be improved. Additionally further investigation and experimental trials need to be made into the proposition of a specialist physical education teacher in primary education.
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