Examining the thoughts and feelings of PE teachers of the use of co-educational and single sex PE classes, and the impact this has on the quality of the Key Stage Three PE experience
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study explored the thoughts and feelings of Physical Education (PE) teachers of the use of co-educational and single sex PE classes, and the impact this has on the quality of the Key Stage 3 (KS3) PE experience for pupils. This study used a qualitative approach, using two semi- structured focus groups to gain a deep insight into six physical education teachers’ perceptions on the setting of their KS3 PE lessons including; thoughts on what they perceived to be high quality physical education, and how the chosen gender setting of their lesson impacts this. A thematic data analysis was applied on the focus group transcripts from which five key themes emerged; confidence, challenge, motivation, curriculum choice and organisational issues. The results of this study reflected that the teachers’ preferable setting to produce high quality physical education for the wide class population is single sex. Although they did acknowledge that a co-educational learning environment may be an excellent setting for selective gifted and talented girls to attain quality physical education. The results from this study imply that although single sex settings’ may be the dominant favoured setting to provide high quality physical education, the occasional coeducational lesson can be added to the syllabus to ensure that all students receive an overall quality KS3 PE experience. Ideas for future research include having a range of schools included in the research project and comparing students and teachers’ thoughts and feelings on what gender setting best produces high quality KS3 PE; analysing similarities and differences. Keywords: Co-educational Physical Education, Single Sex Physical Education, High Quality Physical Education, Qualitative Research.
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