UNDERSTANDING TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF MIXED GENDER SECONDARY SCHOOL PHYSICAL EDUCATION THROUGH THE THEORETICAL LENS OF THE SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The question ‘should physical education be single or mixed gender?’ has recently been issue of pedagogical debate within Physical Education (PE). Although there has been a great depth to research into student’s perceptions of mixed gender physical education, there had been minimal researcher concerning teachers’ perceptions of mixed gender physical education, those who have the power to implement of disregard mixed gendered practice. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to explore teachers’ perceptions of mixed gender physical education through The Social Learning Theory, with the aim to understand teachers’ current perception of mixed gender physical education, where these perceptions have developed from and how these perceptions may affect current practice. The study adopted a qualitative methodology in which a semi-structured interview method implemented on eight physical education teachers with the hope to gain a greater understanding to teachers’ perceptions of mixed gender physical education which previous quantitative studies failed to do. A thematic data analysis was conducted on the final transcripts from the eight interviews from which four key themes emerged; benefits of mixed gender physical education, body conscious students within mixed gender physical education, health and safety of mixed gender physical education and student reinforcement. The results of this study indicated that although teachers demonstrated they were aware of the benefits of mixed gender physical education, there was some underlying perception that affected the implementation of mixed gendered practice as all ‘traditional’ games lessons and all year nine lessons were still segregated by gender across most schools within the study. When looking at these perceptions through Bandura’s social learning theory the researcher concluded behavioural factors have the most substantial impact on the develop of these perceptions and current practice as many of the participant teachers repeatedly referred back to their biographical experiences.
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