Contemporary Issues in Pe

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Contemporary Issues in Physical Education Assignment 1

In this assignment the author aims to examine how the national curriculum for physical education (PE) has changed over time and the rationale for such development, and also critically evaluate the changing national curriculum for PE by comparing and contrasting the key points and principles from the 1999 and 2008 published versions.

Over the last decade, PE’s place in the national curriculum has been debated issue within the teaching profession. It is suggested by Capel. S, (2000:9) “…… teachers of this subject have to answer both why questions, ‘Why are you doing this activity?’ and ‘why is that a worthwhile use of pupils’ time in the curriculum? This is because English, science and maths are subjects have been primarily seen as more academic worthwhile subjects for students in the working world.

Although this may have been true for teachers in the past, the days were the class teacher would give a group of boys a football and let them get on with it have gone. PE teachers now have to spend just as much time teaching things like anatomy and physiology as they do coaching sport. Teachers now have to teach children in key stage 1 and 2 about fundamentals of movement for example the activities dance and gymnastics help a child understand the physical demands for exercise and also how the body moves. In key stage 3 the focus moves from fundamentals to engagement by offering a diverse range of sports for example skateboarding and extreme Frisbee.

This change in focus is because an increase in participation in schools is needed in order to create an ethic of health and wellbeing rather than the culture of televisions and computer games. Physical education in key stage 3 and 4 in the 2008 national curriculum doesn’t just engage students, it also teaches young people about competition and values both of which are very prevalent in both the social and working world

Since the 1992 national curriculum there have been changes with regards to PE. It is said on the new secondary curriculum website “Additionally, a sharper focus on the way in which physical education contributes to pupils developing a broader range of personal, learning and thinking skills will help prepare them for life and work”. This means that physical education is no longer being used as a tool to engage the less academic; it is preparing young people for the world of work like other subjects such as Mathematics and English. It is also mentioned on the new secondary curriculum website “Through the range of experiences that PE offers, they learn how to be effective in competitive, creative and challenging situations.” This therefore suggests that PE’s role within the national curriculum is not only beneficial on an academic level but on a social and mental level because within PE students learn to be effective individuals on all levels.

One of the key changes in the national curriculum from 1992 to 2008 that it is less rigid and it now caters towards the learners needs, which gives teachers more flexibility to cater for those needs and not their own preference. It is mentioned on the QCDA website regarding the new secondary 2008 national curriculum “To give schools greater flexibility to tailor learning to their learners’ needs, there is less prescribed subject content in the new programmes of study.” This is to show that a new national curriculum would increase a Teacher’s involvement in the decision making processes which underpins the creation of new learning opportunities. This is a view shared by armour, and jones, (1998), Green, (2000) and Flintoff, (2003).

The reason the increased teacher involvement in the national curriculum is more beneficial is down to the training and development of PE teachers. In schools more sports can be offered, this is because more PE teachers have more coaching qualifications therefore allowing more freedom with the curriculum delivery in schools, and...
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