Action Research In Physical Education: Focusing Beyond Myself Through Cooperative Learning

Sep. 30, 2009

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 17, Issue 3 September 2009, pages 407 - 423.

This article reports on the pedagogical changes that the author experienced as a teacher engaged in an action research project. In this project, the author designed and implemented an indirect, developmentally appropriate and child-centred approach to her teaching.
There have been repeated calls to expunge - or at least rationalize - the use of traditional, teacher-led practice in physical education. Yet despite the advocacy of many leading academics there is little evidence that such a change of approach is occurring.

In her role as teacher-as-researcher the author sought to implement a new pedagogical approach, in the form of cooperative learning, and bring about a positive change in the form of enhanced pupil learning.

Data collection included a reflective journal, post-teaching reflective analysis, pupil questionnaires, student interviews, document analysis, and non-participant observations.

The research team analyzed the data using inductive analysis and constant comparison. Six themes emerged from the data: teaching and learning, reflections on cooperation, performance, time, teacher change, and social interaction.

The article argues that cooperative learning allowed the author to place social and academic learning goals on an even footing, which in turn placed a focus on pupils' understanding and improvement of skills in athletics alongside their interpersonal development.

Updated: Dec. 08, 2009