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Children’s School Lives Study: Report 7

Children’s School Lives Study: Report 7

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Teaching and learning

Active participation in physical activity is central to teaching and learning in physical education. Learning outcomes in physical education require learners to set personal performance goals in the selected physical activities and to implement a plan to achieve these goals. Learners are encouraged to manage their own learning, work individually and with others and to reflect on their learning in, through and about physical activity.

A wide range of participatory and enquiry-focused teaching and learning activities are appropriate in physical education. These include learners participating in different physical activities, applying theoretical knowledge and understanding to practical performance, undertaking roles in addition to player/participant, engaging in class discussions and debate, using multimedia approaches, using simulations, examining case studies, and reflecting on their own and others’ performance and participation in physical activity. These approaches to learning are flexible in nature. They enable learners to arrive at different solutions to similar challenges that they face in the pursuit of optimum performance.

The use of assessment for learning approaches in physical education can ensure that learners are clear about the learning outcomes and the criteria for success. Many of the learning outcomes identify specific activities through which learners can demonstrate their understanding and support the teacher in planning for teaching and learning. The use of constructive, focused feedback can also support learners’ willingness to engage fully with new learning situations, promoting resilience when progress is slow and demanding. Feedback is an important mechanism to re-energise learners’ engagement with ongoing practices thereby helping the learner to achieve their performance goals.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Information and communications technology applications are included in activities to enhance student learning, by enabling students to learn more efficiently, to facilitate work that might not otherwise be possible and to reflect on their own learning. A wide variety of software tools are used to collect, record, analyse and display information and may, for example, be used by students in the preparation of videos, reports, graphics, concept-maps, databases, and presentations. There is a proliferation of user-friendly and portable digital tools available to support teaching, learning and assessment in physical education. Students also learn to use ICT in an ethical and responsible manner as an integral part of learning and assessment.

Students learn to critically evaluate, manage and use information as they analyse their own and others’ performances. They can record their effort and participation and use the results in their discussions, reflections and programme planning. ICT may also prove to be a significant motivational tool for students’ learning and performing in physical activity as students interact with the different types of feedback that can be obtained from using ICT creatively.

As students learn about physical education, they can be encouraged to critique the ways in which ICT is used in sport and physical activity, including analysis of which activities are covered in the media, how they are covered and the impact of this coverage on the experiences of different groups in sport and physical activity. Finally, ICT has an important role to play in the preparation and presentation of coursework for assessment purposes in physical education.

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