Using data collection to better understand students in early primary physical education

Year: 2021

Author: Van der Smee, Cameron

Type of paper: Individual Paper

In health and physical education, there has been a growing call for teachers to implement student-centred pedagogies. The use of these approaches allows a teacher to listen and respond to the needs and interests of a diverse student population in a localized context. To effectively deliver a student-centred approach in early primary HPE, a teacher must develop a nuanced understanding of all their students. However, primary teachers have been observed to deliver a more traditional sport-based version of HPE, that fails to address the needs and interests of all students in the class. This paper presents insights gained from a research project focused on the embodied interactions of a cohort of year one and two children (in physical education and on the playground) through the use of multiple tools of data collection. The use of a variety of methods, such as participant observation, video recording, map drawing and photo-elicitation, provided a wealth of interesting data. This data collection provided unique insight into the needs and interests of the children, both inside and outside of the school setting. By utilizing a similar multi-method approach, teachers can gain a deeper understanding of the needs and interests of their students, which will help with the planning and implementation of student-centred approaches in HPE.