Date of Award

1-1-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Associate Professor Andrew Taggart

Second Advisor

Dr Ken Alexander

Abstract

This study investigates physical education (PE) teachers' perceptions of quality teaching as related to their teaching activities in junior secondary schools in Nigeria. The study also investigated how the perceived teaching quality of the teachers matched their teaching practices and the feasibility of supporting quality teaching in these schools. The research is underpinned by a conceptual framework, which identified quality teaching as an educational process influenced by the curriculum, teacher effectiveness, teacher reflection and belief systems, and teacher development process designed to enhance students' learning. The study incorporated a descriptive survey and interpretive case study for data collection. A pilot study, which involved ten PE teachers (not included in the study) trial tested the research instruments constituted phase one of the study. Initial data collected during phase two of the study, involved surveying all 60 PE teachers in the two Local Education Districts comprising 29 secondary schools. The survey data were analysed with descriptive statistics and some measures of association were applied to give a general picture of the PE teachers’ views about quality teaching. An analysis of curriculum documents complimented phase two of the study. Phase three involved an in-depth case study involving six teachers from six different schools. They were interviewed, observed and engaged in informal discussions that determined their views of quality teaching allowing comparison of their views with their teaching actions. Data collected were inductively analysed employing a thematic cross-case analysis process. Survey results suggested that teachers perceived quality teaching as a multidimensional teaching process that enhanced student learning. The two major themes of their quality teaching descriptions centred on effective teaching incorporating the achievement of lesson objectives, and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). The teachers rated highly all Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) dimensions of quality teaching and did not discriminate between the five dimensions. They viewed these dimensions: curriculum knowledge, pedagogic skills, reflection, commitment, and managerial competencies, as important and necessary ingredients for achieving quality teaching. The survey indicated that majority of the teachers considered physical education as a recognised subject and well regarded in their schools. The documents analysis of the study indicated that both the National and State curriculum documents constituted a highly prescriptive form of teacher control in terms of their strict adherence to their uses. A number of problems were identified as impeding the teacher's teaching quality; these were categorised into three areas of self, general resources and workplace conditions. The case study findings indicated that the six teachers' views about quality teaching reflected those of the survey teachers. Messrs Senator and Suru focussed their rhetoric of quality teaching on achievement of lesson objectives through effective teaching, while Ms Toyin, Ms Lilian, Ms Ayodeji and Mr Tony highlighted pedagogical content knowledge, and Ms Lilian combined achievement of lesson objectives with the PCK construct. When the teachers' rhetoric was compared with their teaching practices, a number of inconsistencies were recorded. Findings indicated that most teachers had little sense of transferring their perceptions of quality teaching to their practical PE lessons. The theory lessons observed indicated elements of teaching quality with teachers' rhetoric at times matching their practices. With the exception of two of the six teachers' observed practical lessons that fared better, other teachers suggested to implement quality teaching in their practical classes, which in most cases did not measure up. The study revealed that the teaching context did not support quality teaching. The two major problems impeding quality teaching were inadequate teaching resources and large class sizes. All teachers reported that they achieved quality in their teaching and that the results of their students in the various assessments and examinations, which were mostly knowledge based, reflected the achievement of quality' teaching. The study recommends that teachers should be empowered in the choice of PE content and set expectations realistic to the limiting teaching contexts. Teaching activities that support higher levels of students' involvement are necessary if quality teaching is to be achieved. Considerations to outcomes-based education should be given and the use of student-centred pedagogy by teachers. Further investigations were suggested in the areas of intervention programmes for PE teachers, production of cheap teaching resources and refocussing professional development efforts in both in-service and pre-service programmes.

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