Pedagogical approaches to promote meaningful participation in Primary physical education
Griffin, Ciara Ann
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This research was undertaken (1) to identify pedagogies that support children’s meaningful participation in primary physical education (PE) and (2) to investigate one teacher’s experience of implementing the meaningful approach through self-study. Given the dearth of research focused on meaningful experiences in primary PE to date this study will augment the limited body of research on the topic of pedagogies that facilitate meaningful participation. The study was conducted in two Limerick primary schools and involved 60 participants (aged 9-10) from fourth class. Across a nine week period the children participated in a tag rugby unit. Data collection involved both pupil generated data and researcher generated data. The children took part in individual interviews (n=3) and focus group interviews (n=6) of four children, both during and post activity. Both focus group and individual interviews took place after lessons in weeks three, six and nine. The groups also took part in written reflections (n=345) after each tag rugby lesson apart from in week three. Researcher generated data involved engaging in weekly critical friend reflections (n=18) where planning and reflection documents were completed for each lesson. These documents were then shared with a critical friend who challenged and/or questioned my assumptions. Researcher data was also collected through the use of an independent lesson observer in week seven and a research journal (n=7,500 words) that documented my thoughts and feelings throughout the research process. Overall a thematic approach to data analysis was employed using Braun and Clarke’s (2013) thematic analysis guidelines while multiple methods were used to inform the research to ensure for the element of trustworthiness. Seven pedagogies to support children’s meaningful participation were identified: personal goal setting; Learning with the head, the heart and hands; the spirit points score sheet; reflections; the play-teach-play pedagogy; teaching by invitation; and making learning personally relevant. The facilitation of meaningful experiences were supported when a combination of the identified pedagogies were used in lessons. This research also indicates the value for newly qualified teachers (NQT) of engaging in self-study research and the benefits it holds for supporting innovation in teaching practices. Sharing the actions of this study and the resulting findings can also inform future teachers by offering support for educators when engaging in self-study research. Identifying specific pedagogies associated with meaningful PE and sharing these pedagogies will enable other teachers to plan for and implement strategies to enhance the quality of children’s physical activity experiences through meaningful engagement.
Phyiscal education -- pedagogical approaches
Physical education -- meaningful participation