What does the term ‘quality physical education’ mean for health and physical education teachers in Australian Capital Territory schools?

John WILLIAMS, Shane Pill

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This research investigated what the term Quality Physical Education (QPE) meant to Health and Physical Education (HPE) teachers in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) schools. A total of 14 HPE teachers who taught middle school or above, representing government and independent schools, took part in focus group interviews about their understanding of QPE and the factors that influenced their constructs. Figurational sociology and the concepts of interdependence, habitus, and involvement and detachment, were used to inform the research and interpret the findings. It was found that teachers’ accounts of QPE were largely informed by their individual and collective experiences and their personal ‘philosophies’ of physical education. With the exception of a recently introduced national curriculum for HPE, the teachers in this study did not use, or refer to, any evidence-based documents in forming their ideas about QPE. Further, they did not mention any recognised pedagogical approaches that they used in teaching QPE. The findings from this research are important, because ‘everyday’ or common-sense teacher understandings can negatively impact student learning and threaten the status and credibility of our profession
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1210
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


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