Transformative Learning and Teaching in Physical Education  book cover
1st Edition

Transformative Learning and Teaching in Physical Education

Edited By

Malcolm Thorburn

ISBN 9781138650183
Published April 17, 2017 by Routledge
242 Pages

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Book Description

Transformative Learning and Teaching in Physical Education explores how learning and teaching in physical education might be improved and how it might become a meaningful component of young people’s lives. With its in-depth focus on physical education within contemporary schooling, the book presents a set of professional perspectives that are pivotal for realising high-quality learning and teaching for physical education.

With contributions from a range of international academics, chapters critically engage with vital issues within contemporary physical education. These include examples of complex learning principles in action, which are discussed as a method for bettering our understanding of various learning and teaching endeavours, and which often challenge hierarchical and behaviourist notions of learning that have long held a strong foothold in physical education. Authors also engage with social-ecological theories in order to help probe the complex circumstances and tensions which many teachers face in their everyday work environments, where they witness first-hand the contrast between discourses which espouse transformational change and the realities of their routine institutional arrangements.

This book enables readers to engage in a fuller way with transformative ideas and to consider their wider implications for contemporary physical education. Its set of professional perspectives will be of great interest to academics, policymakers, teacher educators and teachers in the fields of physical education, health and well-being. It will also be a useful resource for postgraduate students studying in these subject areas.

Table of Contents

Introduction Malcolm Thorburn

Part 1. The Societal Perspective

1. Physical Education, Economic Liberalism and the Free Market: Professional changes ahead? Malcolm Thorburn

2. Aims and Values in Physical Education: Can rival traditions of physical education ever be resolved? Steven A. Stolz and Malcolm Thorburn

Part 2. The Theoretical Perspective

3. The Transformational Wind of Theoretical Change: A historic and contemporary view of physical education Mike Jess and Matthew Atencio

4.The Primary School Teacher Perspective: Using an ecological framework and complexity principles as the basis for analysing teachers’ professionalism Mike Jess, Nicola Carse and Jeanne Keay

5. Start Young: The possibilities of physical education Mike Jess

6. Physical Education Teachers as Agents of Policy and Curriculum Change Justine Maclean

7. The Role Professional Learning Communities Play in School Based Curriculum Development Andrew Horrell and Rosie Mulholland

Part 3. The Practice Perspective

8. Creating Autonomy-supportive Learning Environments to Improve Health and Wellbeing in Physical Education Shirley Gray, Fiona Mitchell and John Wang

9. Pedagogy for Student Motivation, Learning and Development in Physical Education Shirley Gray, Kevin Morgan and John Sproule

10. Understanding Teachers’ Day-to-day Practice: Challenging the ‘unfair’ picture Paul McMillan

11.The Digitized Future of Physical Education: Activity trackers, personal analytics and algorithmic biopedagogies Ben Williamson

Part 4. A Futures Perspective

12. Past, Present and Possible Futures Steven A. Stolz

13. Conclusion Malcolm Thorburn

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Malcolm Thorburn is a lecturer in Education and Physical Education at the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh. He has taught extensively in secondary schools and occupied a number of curriculum development roles at local authority and national level. He has also published widely on aims and values, policy and professionalism and planning and practice issues in education and physical education.


‘This text provides an innovative perspective on the role of transformative physical education teaching and learning within the complex school context. Transformation is a lofty goal that builds valued and sustainable pedagogical change on a solid foundation of theory, practice and context. These authors, working from a critical perspective, first discuss the issues and challenges, and then give meaningful presentations of rich and refreshing curricular alternatives and practices with the potential to transform physical education to positively affect learning.’ - Catherine D. Ennis, Professor, Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA

‘Nowadays schools are tough places. Much is expected of them by governments, broader society and parents. The authors of this collection believe that school PE, well taught by teachers employing critical pedagogies, can be a transformative learning experience for young people. Transformative Learning and Teaching in Physical Education is no toolkit-type book offering teachers advice on what to teach and how to teach. The collection engages the reader across four dimensions of society, theory, schools and practice. It offers an activist perspective that is research-based and practice informed. Careful not to overstate their case, contributors to this collection offer both hope and an aspiration for teachers and graduate students alike. This is a book that needs to be read by prospective teachers, teachers and teacher educators alike.’ - Richard Tinning, Emeritus Professor, School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia