On-going critiques of existing practices in schools focus on the ability of generalist teachers to deliver quality Health and Physical Education (HPE) in the primary sector. As well, there are concerns regarding the influx of outsider providers in school spaces and the potentially damaging body pedagogies and practices that are pervading education settings. We are interested in how these issues contour teachers’ practice, what this might mean for diverse learners in schools, and what processes support classroom teachers to re-imagine and practice HPE in ways that celebrate and meet the varied needs of students. In this paper we draw from a collaborative ethnographic action research project with four primary school teachers and three university lecturers. In particular, we explore the pathway that supported both academics and teachers to re-imagine HPE in two primary schools in Aotearoa-New Zealand. We direct attention to three key processes: the importance of identifying teachers’ and students’ preconceptions of HPE and the pedagogies employed; the need for ongoing, critical dialogue and questioning about current orthodoxies and classroom practices; and the momentum provided by the enunciation of a shared ethos or philosophy of HPE. These are proposed to have been fundamental to our subsequent endeavours to re-imagine classroom HPE in ways that met the needs of diverse learners. We conclude that innovative, inclusive programmes and practices in HPE are possible when teachers and researchers work collaboratively, and teachers increasingly ‘drive’ both the research and the change process in their own classrooms.
& Cosgriff, M.
Building a Community of Collaborative Inquiry: A Pathway to Re-imagining Practice in Health and Physical Education.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(2).