Not Everybody Likes PE! A Qualitative Analysis
University of Wales
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This study explored the experiences of four participants, over a range of ages, in physical education, all of whom experienced physical education negatively. Furthermore it investigated the effects of these experiences on their participation in physical activity post school. The effects of gender, activity choice, relationship with physical education teacher, and experiences in physical education were examined through interviews. Using an 'inductive' approach to data analysis allowed themes to emerge from the transcripts. The emerging themes were different to that initially sought after, however allowing the research to unfold meant new themes could materialize. The results found reasons behind the participants negative experiences; the embarrassment of the changing rooms, the 'unwritten rules' of the physical education habitus, being ignored in lessons and the coping strategies used by the participants. In addition, the 'value' (or lack of) of physical education, the physical education habitus, and the embarrassment of physical education were discussed in detail. It was concluded that in order for all to enjoy physical education, more emphasis should be placed on installing the 'value' of physical education, and its relation to physical activity, on pupils whilst they are in school. Moreover, effort should be made to include pupils of all ability in lessons, also the issue of the changing rooms should be addressed.
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