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Are we over intellectualising core PE?

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by sblinkh1, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. This is something I have been thinking about for sometime now and I am yet to find my final answer.
    My initial feeling is that we are over thinking our subject in order to keep up with a grades driven education system.
    I have talked this through with colleagues and friends and each has a different opinion, I would like to open the debate up to anyone else with any thoughts.
  2. This is something I have been thinking about for sometime now and I am yet to find my final answer.
    My initial feeling is that we are over thinking our subject in order to keep up with a grades driven education system.
    I have talked this through with colleagues and friends and each has a different opinion, I would like to open the debate up to anyone else with any thoughts.
  3. We are over intellectualising PE full stop. If I had my time again, I wouldn't go near GCSE/A level/BTech etc, it's only used as a stick to beat you over the head with.
  4. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    I cannot begin to explain how the current PE set up infuriates me!
    Lets get down to basics - the aim of PE is for students to learn about physical fitness and try activities in order to achieve this.
    In recent years there has been a drive to consider it a 'real subject'. PE teachers will speak up for it because it pays them a good wage.
    I am still on the firm belief that secondary PE teachers should be removed. Replace them with specialist sports coaches who double up as higher level teaching assistants. Qualified physical education teachers should be in primary schools where they are movement specialists - that is they have gone to a decent University and have a vast understanding of movement and associated problems (such as dyspraxia). They get the kids into sport and fitness for the specialist coaches to build on at secondary. GCSE / BTEC PE is scrapped. Young Leaders is chucked as well.
    PE teachers are coaches and they can't argue against that. How many run clubs/ teams for even the weakest kids? How many run special sessions for children with movement difficulties? They are coaches and instead of paying 25K for a teacher dressed as a coach lets just pay for a coach.
    But what about the children I hear you cry, how dare you blah blah....... the system currently is a farce. Stop the stupid assessment levels and elitism that haunts secondary schools. Have your A team yes but also have your B, C and D team. Get the kids moving. Because that assessment level tosh just puts them off even more. Can they peer evaluate a basketball pass - who cares? Go down to a club and ask if they do any peer evaluation - the coach tells the kids what to do and the kids do it. Low and behold in the clubs this works.
  5. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    How do we stop it?
    Some schools won't offer GCSE PE now because they know the top Uni's don't recognise it.
    Do we start a campaign highlighting what a waste of time it is? I have no problem 16+ if someone wants to do a BTEC, but before 16 the students need to be PLAYING sport and learnign academic subjects.
  6. lol...sad but true!
  7. The more i think about ow sprt in schools is delevered the more i want nothing to do with it.....BTECS, SPorts leaders, GCSE, its all a waste of time. I know some schools that teach ALL their BTEC in classrooms so they get the best results....so you get a load of kids whove chosen sport..sitting in classrooms doing pointless project work.
    The thing with improving sports preformnce is that it isnt actually rocket scince...you need time and you need to really get to grips with the basics...but how many PE teacher do this, or are allowed to do this.

  8. Can I ask what YOU teach?
    PE Teachers do more than stand there and dress like a coach, where I work we are inspirational, believe all pupils' should achieve in sport, work in difficult environments, not one classroom and planning seating plans, having to differentiate tasks, equipment at all costs (not just a piece of paper and an outcome), we enforce good behaviour and I believe PE teachers have a big input within the school for that (in the school I work it does). We are trying to educate children about fitness and activities etc but a coach appreciates perfect technique and skills, a teacher does so too BUT appreciates the small efforts and improvements that coaches will miss and not appreciate!

    And for your "peer evaluation" aspect of things...coaches do! WELL quality coaches use equipment called DartFish, video analyses, so do football teams. We are trying to adjust the ways we teach to the outside world and make it relevant to children and peer/ self assessment complements this sport analyses that all coaches use.
    I personally think peer assessment works, it engages pupils and I find that they enjoy watching themselves perform and forward roll, and the joys on their faces when they see the improvements through using video analyses makes me LOVE my job!!

    Although us "25k PE teachers dressed as Sport coaches" may not have hundreds of essays to mark, we stay behind after school till 5,6,7pm and give up a whole lot of time outside school hours, so when you pick up your bag and go off home when that bell goes, think of the PE teacher, outside in the rain, inspiring those children!
  9. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Do you cater for pupils with dyspraxia? Is there a club they can join?
    Do you have A, B and C teams?
    Do you play a proper season of fixtures or do what most schools do now and arrange 6 fixtures on one day and play them all in 2 hours (12 minute games). Talk about a season in a day.
    Can't you inspire them in Year 3 instead of Year 7? The need for differentiation in Year 7+ is because of the massive scope in quality of PE in primary schools. Provide the fundamentals at primary then use specialist coaches (A,B, C teams) in secondary schools.
    The 'inspirational' PE teacher needs to be in Junior School. Sports coaches need to be in secondary schools.
    Lets compare the two - take badminton as an example. How different is a badminton coach from a PE teacher teaching badminton? The difference is that one takes the fun out of badminton by making the pupils sit down in front of a whiteboard and listen to level descriptions for each stage of a badminton serve. The pupils have to get into pairs to do peer evaluation and walk around with sheets of paper the teacher photocopied 10 minutes previously. The badminton coach gets on with it, demonstrates on court and get the students active quickly. They don't normally have to manage behaviour because the pupils want to be there. If there is bad behaviour in a PE department then it is normally because the kids don't like what they are doing or the teaching they are receiving is of poor quality / basic standard.
    My point about peer evaluation is that feedback comes from the teacher, that is what they are employed to do. Dartfish video feedback is cool to watch, but it is the teacher who needs to give the feedback. What is the point of little Johnny giving feedback on a badminton serve and deciding if it is a level 5 serve or not, when Johnny himself can't even hit it over the net!

  10. It's really interesting reading these comments. I get the feeling that we would quite readily go to no examination PE until 16 plus.
  11. That made me laugh!
    I teach A Level PE in a college with elite sports teams and many of the best players ARE dyspraxic - especially in the gross skilled sports like rugby!
    I somehow think that there is a misunderstanding that ignores the fact that PE includes biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, sociology, history etc etc not just games!
    Most of what you describe is Games, not PE (sport science).
    Then again I also know that many students don't get taught all of that at GCSE - I had always assumed its because PE is not considered a real subject!!
    Sad really as those students are the ones that will have a lot of work saving all the fat ar.sed lazy bods from an early death - and they may well be working in a hospital near you alongside the cardiac surgeon!

  12. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Dyspraxia is a funny term - there are some junior school kids who can't catch, run / walk in a straight line. Sometimes it will come back as dyspraxia. But sadly these are some of the kids who never go to the park, kick a ball in the garden etc. They get shipped off to an assessment and low and behold they come back as dyspraxic. But when targetting them, and those that maybe genuinely have dyspraxia, it is easier just to group them all together.
    I appreciate A-Level PE is a lot of things - but I think now the Uni's need to be much clearer over what they will accept. Some Sport Science courses at Uni are practical heavy, some are very theory heavy. In this day and age if someone is trying to get into one of the best sports Unis (your Loughboroughs, Birminghams etc) I would see an academic subject (like Biology) with a portfolio of practical experience and coaching (in a local club, to at least Level 2 standard) as something that would rise above the tens of thousands who have a A-Level in PE.
    I am starting to see the next generation of sports students come through the ranks and to be honest it scares me. They have been 'young leaders' since they were 14, and have taken small sessions in school (teaching Year 7s). They have taught in very large groups of 6-7, which means that they can sit back, not say a lot and still pass. This has all been done in school with no links to the sports clubs in the area. Therefore throw them into a situation out of school - like referee a small 5 sided football match - and they can't do it (because they are on their own and haven't got the group of 6-7 with them).
  13. I meant your asking if PE can deal with dyspraxic kids. We do and they play at a very elite level - 4 current Junior England squad members form our college are dyspraxic to the exten that they all have to have a scribe in exams, one cannot blow a whistle and has speech problems and one cannot play football to save his life but is currently a prop for U19 England squad. I think we deal with quite a wide range of dyspraxic kids. And they all had to make it through school teachers and clubs!
    Yup - and they all ask for quite different A Levels/BTECs etc. You only have to look at the module lists to see how theory heavy they are! That and they are usually called slightly different names, e.g. sporting excellence, one for coaches... exercsie physiology, very science heavy!
    Yes.... but Biology is not really relevant to PE. You need human biology or A Level PE, which includes Human Biology! Plain biology would be of very little use. As for coaching - why???You only need that if you want to be a coach... and you don't need a degree unless you want to go into performer development or sporting excellence!!
    As for the Leaders stuff... at under 16 years old they have to start somewhere! They can all use those courses as a stepping stone to coaches assistant but no-one would give them a job based on one! There is a HUGE difference between leading and coaching (as is specified by ALL exam boards) and they should not be confused. BUT the Leaders courses do great work getting kids into the community and tasting the industry.

    I'm not saying that the current system is great - it is horribly biased towards competitive sport - but it would be less inclusive and lead to even less healthy living if it were to be run on an even more sporting line. We don't need to add theory necessarily but to look at lifelong health and exercise science as well as the competitive sport side of things!

  14. True, but we need to give kids the tools to participate in sport and healthy activites so that they can access things when they leave school.....
    Dog walkng is a healthy activity but there is nothing about it that needs to be taught. If we make as many kids as possible pasionate about sport, and teach them enough basic skills (yes that does mean actually TEACHING techniques which comes down to good subject knowmedge!) then they are ore likely to be successful in their chosen sport, enjoy it more and therefore committ to it for the rest of thier life.
    I would love to see PE taken out of the classroom, kids spend enough time in class if you ask me. PE isnt abouty theory, its about being on the field/court/gym/fitness suite actually physically achieving things.

  15. I got mine catching...

    I guess i meant theory as in GCSE theory. Obviously there are a lot of prinmciples, call it theory if you want, when learnig s[ports in depth. But im against the PE lessons being confined to classrooms. As i mentioned earlier, i have a friend who teaches in a sports college where all the Btec is theory! No practical at all as it effects their grade outcomes. Whats all that about!?!?!??!
  16. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    I got mine with my 50 metre breaststroke badge supported by owning a new pair of trainers.
    I didn't do any theory. They had just introduced CSE PE the year I left school in *&^%
    I actually do wish I had been able to do a PE course INCLUDING theory when I was 16. I wish I had understood the 'whys' and 'hows'as well as the 'whats'
  17. Clearly we've all studied PE theory at Uni, i didnt study sport in any depth until then. But do we need to over theorise PE until, say, A level.
    The question is are we over intellectuising core PE and i think we are.
  18. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    Then you'll love the thread on Egypt (teaching overseas section) - some numpty keeps referring to us as "shower checkers". He's gone into hiding now
  19. I think then that we have identified a key difference atwixt you and say me or stoppers.
    You love the practical side and see the advantages of sport
    I love the theory and would prefer the practical was less competitive, more inclusive
    Different ideas of what PE could/should be! You say core PE and I would have assumed that it was the games aspect anyway... in which case I'd just ask for it to be less competitive and more participative.
    Personally I would be ecstatic if PE at GCSE was restricted to a wide variety of non competitive practical activities, an equally wide variety of extra curricular sports clubs and theory lessons on the health and well-being aspects of regular physical activity, even if only walking a dog plus cookery lessons and basic nutritional advice.
    They don't retain anything anyway, so I wouldn't miss the GCSE theory (I prefer non-PE students, tbh).

  20. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Although I'm not a massive fan, I have no problem with PE theory.
    However I have a problem when it is in place of practical.
    One problem in this country is that we are teaching kids to be young leaders, coaches and theory experts when they are not even getting 2 hours of practical PE a week (lets ignore the fluffy figures, we all know the truth).

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