Differentiation in outcomes focused physical education: Pedagogical rhetoric and reality

Year: 2004

Author: Whipp, Peter

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Teachers to be effective need to respond to the learning needs of their students through mastering subject content, integrating skills, strategies and concepts, and implementing teaching pedagogy that are responsive to a diverse clientele. Three main approaches to differentiation are identified as differentiation by content, by process/support' and by product, these presented in response to student needs, readiness and interest. Such an approach demands that teachers do not reach for standardised, mass-produced instruction assumed to be a good fit for all students, rather, they are required to begin where students are at. This quantitative and qualitative research incorporated case studies in 2 schools (3 teachers; 4 intact classes), including teacher and student interviews, together with Teacher in Charge of Physical Education (PE) and teacher questionnaires in Government and Independent Western Australian secondary schools. The reality is described, confirming that the provision of enjoyable, life-skill PE activities is a challenge in itself, but to provide them in a manner, which matches the learning needs of each individual, appears to be in advance of the current reality.