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Sociological and Philosophical Concepts of Physical Education

1875 words (8 pages) Essay in Education

08/02/20 Education Reference this

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From around the 1990s, when the national curriculum was introduced, there hasn’t been a massive change throughout the years. Students that are going through the education system and become teachers in PE are then copying through their own experiences meaning nothing is changing. Dance, gymnastics, athletics, games, swimming and OAA are the typical areas which are suggested to be covered, but teachers need to stop doing what they know and begin experimenting more, as Milligan (2017) also suggests as they may find the participation levels inside and outside of school increase. Going off past experiences, Tozer (2017) can’t gain enough evidence or feedback to back his own points in the areas he is trying to fight. This article is aimed at current PE teachers to encourage them to change their ways of teaching and start experimenting.

Green (2003) is trying to provide an outline of the ideological themes relating to the history of PE in secondary schools. Pre-world war II the ideological theme concentrated on fitness and health, and how it was teacher centred practise. PE was taught through drill and PT and to develop social control, they were providing the students with a troop’s mentality due to the major concerns about bad heath during this time. Post WWII, they focused on the game’s ideology due to the social growth. With the economy booming, leisure time was increased. There was a feel of cold war at this time- sport then became a way to express our values about the way we live. The 1960’s was when the academic ideology for PE emerged. At this time, it was when PE had to justify its worth in the school curriculum. In the 1960-70’s was when the ideology of health re-emerged, there was a growing concern of diseases linked to the lifestyle factors. In the 1970-80’s there was an ideology linked with sport and leisure. The curriculum was designed around youngsters to allow them to be involved in certain recreational activities. 1990’s onwards saw a new uprising sport ideology combining health, academia and leisure. Post millennium, competitive sport became increasingly popular. From 2012-2020, primary schools received funding with the focus being on PE. It is good how Green provides lots of different examples for us to understand the ideologies by.

Richardson (2017) looks at the opinion from a current PE teacher on the influence and standings of PE in primary schools. PE is seen to be less important than the core subjects but needs to be taken more seriously due to the obesity epidemic- children being more engrossed in social media and games, rather than sport and socialising. The health of the pupils and PE in schools depends on the imagination of the subject leader, with the support of the head teacher. Due to unspecialised PE teachers lacking confidence when teaching PE, primary schools need to use their budgets to have specialised PE teachers, if they’re unable to do this then continual professional learning should be provided. Another way to encourage pupils to be active, is by having organised events at breaktimes. This article is aimed at the head teachers of primary schools to get them to stop been as concerned about the league tables and start promoting PE and healthy lifestyles.

Lawless, Morton and Fleet (2018) suggest that by sampling different sports in primary schools gives children more of a chance at a sports career. However, this can be difficult as not enough time is spent on an individual sport. Trying to get students involved in competitive sport externally is proving difficult as its more of a long-term aspect. The School Games were introduced to increase participation levels. Lawless et al (2018) suggests that the sports chosen at primary level should be those accessible outside of school. They should also ensure parents are aware of the local opportunities to boost external participation levels. This article is aimed at primary school teachers to boost the physical activity levels externally and internally as well as trying to encourage the currents PE teachers to upskill.

Bailey (2006) suggests that students’ development in PE can be achieved through 5 domains; physical, lifestyle, affective, social and cognitive. The primary years are important for gaining fundamental skills of movement, this is the medicalisation of childhood, these skills can then be carried into their adulthood. PE teachers need to gain a greater knowledge of these skills to help develop their pupils further. Physical activity also has the perks of improving physical and mental wellbeing. Bailey (2006) states that PE is a good way to bring different groups of people together and is the social catalyst for getting people off the streets. Reports also show PE has a positive impact on the educational side of school with grades dipping by 26% when reducing the amount of PE lessons in schools. This article’s aimed at parents of school students to help them understand the benefits and advantages of PES in school.

Capel and Whitehead (2012) discuss the definition and close relation between physical education, recreation and sport. Physical education is seen different from sport and recreation – they have the same meaning as sport (physical education and sport is used in the same terms); however, recreation is seen as self-chosen, and physical education is seen as compulsory. It’s a worry that PE is seen as a break and only valued when it gives you a ‘rest’ from other commitments, but also a part of the role is to attempt to get young pupils into lifelong participation in sport – it also enables you to establish and improve movement skills. Participation in sport in your leisure time is seen as recreational, but physical activity is perceived to be in a competitive setting. Physical activity is seen as adults and young people participating in sport, but physical education is seen as a way of learning through different sports. Although the history of was briefly looked over about primary and secondary education, the focus was largely on secondary, when realistically all the fundamental skills for physical education are gained in primary and developed in secondary.

Chroinin (2011) examines the current understanding Irish pre-service teachers have on PE and identify the links they have from their experiences. The Irish PE curriculum aims to get primary school students into lifelong participation. After primary it’s developed through social, personal and physical development, this is part of their overall development through the medium of movement. Bailey (2006) also believes this. Teachers usually deliver lessons based on their experiences, but some believe participation in PE is seen as an escape from the rest of school-life, but Bailey (2006) shows that PE can benefit the rest of your studies. Chroinin (2011) findings were that participants believed PE has a positive impact on physical and social skills, by asking a larger group of people they have been able to gather and analyse more data. This article is aimed at the people higher up in the structure to get them to understand the current problems and get them to adapt and change the curriculum.

Kirk (2010) is trying to discover how to define ‘physical education,’ he states that teachers repeatedly cover the same teaching techniques when covering a wide range of individual and team games, making it difficult to justify the educational aspect- what are they learning if it’s getting repeated? In secondary schools, the teachers are given the chance to decide what they teach, this is when they should think out of the box and get ideas from their pupils, instead of not experimenting. Not much physical activity is taken place in the 40-50 minute time slot, as its partially used for getting ready and setting up- how can the physical part be justified? It’s rare a game, such as basketball is played until the end of a teaching block, meaning it’s difficult to see pupil’s progression year to year if there’s no new and advanced skills being added to the lessons. This article is aimed at PE teachers to get them to make PE lessons harder to help pupils excel and progress.

Milligan (2017) attempts to identify why students continue to study sport even when they have had previous negative experiences in PE. Currently one of the main issues regarding lessons is the teacher allowing students to not participate. Teachers will find if they mix the sports up and make the lessons more interesting, the participation levels will increase, teachers need to develop in their specialist areas to keep the students engaged. It also means the same basic drills and lesson structures aren’t repeated, teachers need to step out of their comfort zone and experiment instead of being afraid of failure. Teachers need to put the students’ needs first. Milligan (2017) also agrees with Almond (2015) in the fact that teachers need to explain more to develop and push student’s physical education knowledge. This article is aimed at teachers to get them to broaden their teaching and increase student engagement levels.

Almond (2015) suggests that there are four key components that teachers should investigate to develop their teacher practise, physical activity needs to be seen in a positive way. If PE teachers are wanting to link health to physical education, they need to educate young people of the advantages and impacts physical education has on their lives. Almond (2015) suggests that PE is varied and doesn’t have a defined purpose. The question ‘why?’ should be covered more and explanations should be given to students, so they gain a better understanding of physical education. If teachers make the lessons more interesting, students could potentially make a commitment and be more active. Teachers can be the support system for the students and help them make better life choices and overcome barriers. This article’s aimed at teachers in all areas to help them improve their teaching skills to help build a better rapport with their students.


  • Almond, L. (2015, Spring). A Change in Focus for Physical Education. Physical Education Matters, 22-26.
  • Bailey, R. (2006). Physical Education and Sport in Schools: A Review of the Benifits and Outcomes. The Journal of School Health, 76(8), 397-401
  • Capel, S., and Whitehead, M. (2012). What is Physical Education? In S. Capel and M. Whitehead, Debates in Physical Education. Routledge.
  • Chroinin, M. C. (2011). What is PE ? Sport Education and Society, 18 (6), 825-841.
  • Green, K. (2003). Ideological Themes in Physical Education. In K. Green, Physical Eduation Teachers on Physical Education. Chester: Chester Academic Press.
  • Kirk, D. (2010, Autumn). Defining Physical Education: Nature, Purpose and Futures. Physical Education Matters, 15, 30-31.
  • Lawless, W., Morton, R., and Fleet, M. (2018, Summer) How can primary schools increase participation pathways in sport and physical activity outside of school? Physical education matters, 26-27.
  • Milligan, J. (2017, Autumn) What is the point of physical education? Physical education matters, 18.
  • Richardson, B. (2017, Summer). Valuing Physical Education in Primary Schools. Physical Education Matters, 13-15.
  • Tozer, M. (2017, Spring). Opinion ” The Teaching of PE…has not changed since the 1940’s. Physical Education Matters, 9-10.
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