AN IDENTIFICATION AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF HEAD TEACHERS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Physical education provides children with numerous benefits and Head teachers have a considerable bearing on the on physical education in primary schools but it is unclear to what extent their attitudes effect the delivery, content and training. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to establish and analyse the attitudes and opinions of head teacher’s perspectives surrounding the delivery of physical education and teacher training in primary schools. Participants: 4 Head Teachers from the 4 regions across Wales agreed to participate in the study through informed consent. The size of the schools involved in the study varied from 225 pupils to 420 pupils. Head Teachers involved in the study teaching experience ranged from 16 years to 24 years. Research Design: A qualitative approach using semi-structured interview was used to gather data from participants, recorded on an application similar to that of a dictaphone. Data Collection: Interviews were arranged in advance and were conducted at each of the Head’s schools, they consisted of two sections. Question flexibility was ensured to acquire in depth responses from participants and a pilot study was undertaken to ensure study reliability. Data Analysis: The data was transcribed and interview quotations catagorised in to themes, enabling common categories to be established. Findings: Head Teachers understand the benefits PE can potentially provide; however curriculum pressures from various organisations are evident, creating time constraints on the school timetable. Participants acknowledged newly qualified teachers are unprepared to teach physical education and PE inset and teacher training provided by schools is not sufficient. A greater flexibility was evident in the school curriculum and outdoor pursuits appear to be an activity valued by Head Teach
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