Understanding physical education teachers' day-to-day practice: Challenging the ‘unfair’ picture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents a brief overview of the literature reporting physical education teachers' actions in schools. It acknowledges a number of studies reporting teachers' practices as over-reliant on forms of 'direct' teaching, and provides an examination of three key research traditions to demonstrate the ways in which contemporary research has never really managed to capture 'real-world' teaching. The chapter sets out the methodological stance for a study that looked to avoid the problems and pitfalls identified in the majority of the research literature. It reports two main findings following qualitative observation and teacher interviews: firstly, that teachers' construal of teacher–learner relationships as 'reciprocal' in nature provided latitude to interact with the learners in their classes in a variety of ways; secondly, the variation displayed in the practices of these teachers enabled five framing categories to be constructed as they represent the patterns of interaction identified in the study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransformative Learning and Teaching in Physical Education
EditorsMalcolm Thorburn
Place of PublicationAbingdon; New York
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781315625492
ISBN (Print)9781138650183
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Education


  • physical education
  • primary physical education
  • physical education teachers
  • professional learning
  • mastery motivational climate
  • physical education curriculum
  • self-regulated learning
  • primary physical education Curriculum
  • rival tradition
  • professional learning experiences
  • physical education professional
  • transformative teacher
  • school based curriculum
  • development
  • plural aims
  • professional learning activities
  • physical education context
  • local authority
  • physical activity contexts
  • transformative learning
  • recursive elaboration


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