Who's teaching PE/Sport in NSW primary schools? The 'Specialist teacher': A case study

Year: 2006

Author: Ardzejewska, Kathie

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The delivery of primary education has undergone considerable change. Since the introduction of school based management a practice that anecdotally appears to be gaining ground is the employment of 'specialist teachers' to teach individual Strands or Key Learning Areas. This paper defines a specialist teacher as a person who is employed to teach in a specific Key Learning Area or a Strand or activity of a Key Learning Area. The term specialist does not include 'career specialists' (eg. librarians, special education teachers) employed by DET. How this specialisation has come about is difficult to locate. We know very little about these teachers: how they contribute to teaching, learning, assessment and reporting; and how their performance is managed. This paper describes some of the current practices of specialists in general, and specifically PE/Sport teachers in NSW primary schools. It reports the results of a questionnaire distributed to all principals in government primary schools. There were 372 responses (response rate of 25%). It also details, where specialists are employed, the relationships between the decision making of the school principal and implementation of the decision. More specifically it attempts to detail why PE/Sport is being given to 'specialists'.