The Effect of Non-Specialist Physical Education Primary School Teachers’ Experiences of Physical Education During Their School Centred Initial Teacher Training Course on Their Confidence, Knowledge and Ability to Teach Physical Education
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The importance of primary physical education (PE) is increasing due to the rising level of childhood obesity. PE at primary school has been identified as the optimal window for development for children to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviours, and therefore partake in lifelong physical activity. It has been reported in the literature that PE is currently in a state of neglect and one of the many reasons for this being, the lack of input from teacher training courses to have an effect on teachers’ confidence, knowledge and understanding needed to teach PE. School centred initial teacher training (SCITT) is increasingly becoming a desired choice for teacher training, however there is limited research into the PE experiences gained on SCITT. Therefore, the aim of the study was, ‘to understand the effect of non-specialist PE primary school teachers’ experiences of PE during their SCITT course on their confidence, knowledge and ability to teach PE’. A qualitative methodology was selected with the use of semi-structured interviews to question five female primary school teachers, newly qualified via the SCITT programme. The interviews were then transcribed and a thorough thematic analysis process was undertaken. The researcher found that all the participants reported a negative experience of PE on SCITT, as the received PE training was inadequate, specifically drawing upon the relevancy the training had in relation to primary education. One of the suggested improvements of the course was the opportunity to observe a primary teacher teach a quality lesson of PE. Therefore, future research should study a more comprehensive cohort of SCITT courses to investigate other suggested improvements and implement these suggestions in order to improve the PE training received on SCITT. This may then increase the likelihood of primary teachers entering the profession with confidence, knowledge and the understanding of how to teach PE. Thus, contributing to a child’s positive primary PE experience.
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