An investigation into the performance of the genders in both the theoretical and practical components of GCSE physical education.
Morgan, Lee David
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the attitudes, differences and performance of the genders at GCSE Physical Education (PE). Particular reference was paid to the performãnce of boys and girls in the theoretical and practical components of such courses, to establish whether boys performed best practically and girls theoretically. To ascertain if any correlation occurred between the results of the study and Gardner's (1984) theory of Multiple Intelligences. The author hoped to achieve 'triangulation' with the research methods used, therefore both quantitative and qualitative data was acquired. This was achieved through a combìnation of the following: examination data from Edexcel and the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC), questionnaires issued to GCSE students from two schools and interviews with five teachers of GCSE Physical Education. The results proved most revealing and reflected some of the stereotypical views often associated with GCSE Physical Education. For instance, the sampled examination results indicated that girls generally outperformed boys with the theoretical components, whilst overall boys were slightly ahead with praciical modules. In addition the questionnaire and interview data highlighted the disparity of performance and attitudes often displayed by the genders towards GCSE. Subsequently, the major findings of the three research methods helped to answer the aims and hypotheses of the study, along with offering some tentative conclusions and recommendations. For instance, teachers should display high expectations for both genders in all modules. Also mixed classes where boys and girls actively learn from each other are arguably more beneficial in PE opposed to traditional setting procedures. But ultimaiely, educationalists should strive to adopt a form of sex - blindness, where pupils are seen as students of GCSE PE and preconceived notions of gender performance are absent.
MA Education Thesis
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