Understanding Primary School Teachers’ Perceptions and Ideologies Around The Value of Physical Education
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study aimed to further understanding of non-specialist primary school PE teachers’ perceptions and ideologies through identity development and also by using Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus. The understanding of the formation of these perceptions and ideologies required an understanding of the individual’s teaching dispositions, which had therefore helped construct their teaching identity and later on, teaching habitus through previous PE and ITT experiences. It is important to understand the perceptions and ideologies of primary school teachers’ around the value and their own understanding of PE, as it has previously suggested that non-specialists’ are under-qualified and lacked knowledge when it come to the teaching of PE. This study allows for an in-depth understanding of teachers’ ideologies and perceptions of PE and how these potentially shaped their practice. Therefore by understanding how and why individual teachers’ practice the way in which they do, this potentially allows for inconsistencies within teaching practice to become apparent and therefore addressed. Understanding these potential inconsistencies is key to establishing standards of teaching, and therefore ensuring that all pupils have access to the same physical education experiences. The study employed a qualitative methodology and life history design in order draw upon the recollections of three primary school teachers’ of their previous and pre-professional experiences; both as a pupil and within their ITT. The use of semi-structured interviews in which open-ended questions were asked allowed participants to be given an element of flexibility and greater control to express responses and recollections. As a result of the thematic data analysis, in which it was indicated that two out of the three teachers’ interviewed had recalled negative or vague recollections of physical education as a pupil, whilst also recalling poor ITT and CPD experiences. As a consequence of this they felt that their training pathways had not prepared them for the teaching of PE within primary education. A key finding of this current study was the relationship between primary school teachers’ pre-professional experiences as a pupil and ITT and therefore creation of their teaching dispositions, alongside the impact upon their pedagogic discourse and practice of PE, together which facilitated the formation of the individuals’ habitus. Keywords; Physical Education, Teaching Identity, Habitus, Disposition, Primary Education
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