AN OBSERVATIONAL STUDY OF TEACHER PLANNING IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Abstract (Summary)The purpose of this study was to examine in a naturalistic setting, how four physical education teachers planned for their classes. The questions which guided this study were: (1) How do each of the subjects plan? (a) What variety of forms do plans take? (b) In what settings does planning take place? (c) When do physical education teachers plan? (d) How much time do the teachers spend planning? (e) What resources are used by the teachers when planning? (f) What planning decisions are made by the teachers? (g) What is the focus of planning? (2) What are the influences on the subjects' planning? The methodology employed was participant observation. Three data sources were used, field notes from observations, documents and an interview following the two-week observation period. The results indicate that the teachers did not follow an ends-means model of planning, but focused on activities for students. Although the amount of written planning varied by teacher, three teachers made decisions about specific activities to teach immediately prior to class. The fourth teacher wrote lesson plans a week ahead but felt free to improvise if the teaching situation was different than expected. Long-range planning occurred prior to school beginning in the fall, and if any product developed from this planning, it consisted of a listing of activities to be taught over the course of the year. The twin themes of unpredictability and sensitivity to student reactions were identified as major influences on the four teachers' planning. These influences affect both the amount of planning that occurs and decisions made by the teachers. The teachers' planning based in part on unpredictability was very short term in focus. The teachers made explicit decisions dealing with activities and equipment, but decisions about diagnosis, objectives and evaluation were given very little attention. As a result, the decisions anticipated students' reactions and focused on keeping students happy, busy and compliant rather than focusing on student learning.
School Location:USA - Massachusetts
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/1982