‘If they can say it they can do it': redesigning pedagogies for enhanced educational outcomes in senior secondary physical education

Year: 2013

Author: Wrench, Alison, Garrett, Robyne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Pedagogical practices are central to teachers' work, and in the spaces of schooling bear a potential to impact on students. This impact is particularly significant for students attending schools where low socio-economic factors prevail, as these students rely heavily on formal schooling for their educational resources. Interrelationships between pedagogical practices, senior-secondary physical education curriculum, and the learning experienced by students and a teacher from a school located in an area of socio-economic disadvantage are explored in this presentation. The specific focus for this paper is reporting on action research conducted by a physical education teacher and university academics, which investigated pedagogical redesign for a ‘motor-skill learning' unit. Of key interest are pedagogical practices which incorporated opportunities to learn ‘about' motor-skill acquisition ‘through' and ‘in' movement. These pedagogical practices sought to scaffold acquisition and application of scientific literacies specific to the human movement sciences, which are fundamental to academic success in senior secondary physical education. Findings revealed high levels of student engagement, successful utilisation of specialised scientific literacies specific to motor-skill acquisition and application of new learning to life-world situations. We argue that pedagogical practices that embed learning ‘through' and ‘in' movement disrupt default modes of teaching theoretical concepts in physical education, which marginalise and exclude students from low-socio-economic backgrounds.