The physical education curriculum choices of Western Australian primary school teachers

Emily Lockhart

    Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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    There has been some debate in recent years surrounding the importance of physical activity for young people and the appointment of specialist PE teachers in WA primary schools. As primary teachers are generalists they are trained to teach all eight of the learning areas, however specialists can be employed in any of these learning areas at the discretion of the Principal. This study compared the philosophical curricular choices of WA generalist primary school teachers and primary school PE specialists. A composite questionnaire containing the Revised Value Orientation Inventory (Ennis & Chen, 1995) and an Attitude Scale (Kulinna & Silverman, 1999) was answered by 120 primary school teachers. The project determined: What do they feel is important to teach in PE? What do they expect students to learn during PE? Do specialist and generalist teachers agree or disagree? and; Does years of experience and gender impact on the teachers' choices? Data were analysed using an ANOVA for the comparison of the means of the Likert scale responses for each construct and Kruskal Wallis ANOVA for the ranked data. Following the quantitative data collection, including both specialist (n=59) and generalists (n=68), individual interviews were conducted with primary teachers (n=15), selected due to their value orientation matching the norm. Questions were asked about why they have a teaching philosophy, what influences their philosophy and any barriers they encounter in the field. Significant differences were found between the philosophical viewpoints of specialists and generalists. Specialist PE teachers ranked Discipline Mastery first and Social Responsibility second. Generalist teachers reversed this rank order.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2009


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