Knowing in primary physical education in the UK: negotiating movement culture
AbstractThis paper aims to understand how pupils and teachers actions-in-context constitute being-a-pupil and being-a-teacher within a primary school physical education (PE) movement culture. Dewey and Bentley's theory of transaction, which views organism-in-environment-as-a-whole, enables the researcher to explore how actions-in-ongoing activities constitute and negotiate PE movement culture. Video footage from seven primary school PE lessons from a school in the West Midlands in the UK was analysed by focusing upon the ends-in-view of actions as they appeared through the educational content (what) and pedagogy (how) of the recorded PE experiences. Findings indicated that the movement culture within the school was a monoculture of looks-like-sport characterised by the privileging of the functional coordination of cooperative action. Three themes of pupils' and teachers' negotiation of the movement culture emerged U-turning, Knowing the game and Moving into and out of games. This movement culture required teachers to ensure pupils looked busy and reproduced cooperative looks-like-sport actions. In fulfilling this role, they struggled to negotiate between their knowledge of sport-for-real and directing pupils towards educational ends-in-view within games activities. Simply being good at sports was not a prerequisite for pupils' success in this movement culture. In order to re-actualise their knowledge of sport, pupils were required to negotiate the teacher's ‘how’ and ‘what’ by exploring what constituted cooperative actions within the spatial and social dimensions of the activities they were set. These findings suggest that if PE is to be more than just the reproduction of codified sport, careful adjustment and consideration of ends-in-view is of great importance. Without regard for the latter there is potential to create significant complexity for both teachers and pupils beyond that required by learning and performing sport.
CitationWard, G., Quennerstedt, M. (2015) 'Knowing in primary physical education in the UK: negotiating movement culture', Sport, Education and Society, 20 (5) pp. 588-603. doi: 10.1080/13573322.2014.975114
JournalSport, Education and Society