UBC Theses and Dissertations
Teacher rationale for compliance or non compliance with curriculum guidelines in the teaching of elementary school gymnastics Munro, Peter Ronald
This study used a questionnaire to examine teacher rationale for compliance or non-compliance with curriculum guidelines in the teaching of elementary school gymnastics. Descriptive data were collected from teachers to establish: 1. How much time is given by primary teachers to the teaching of gymnastics to their homeroom classes. 2. What factors primary teachers identify as being important determinants in the amount of time they allocate to the teaching of gymnastics. A two-part questionnaire was designed to gather data relevant to the two major goals of the study. Twenty one schools were chosen at random from one school district, and all nine elementary schools in a second district were included. The study sample comprised 132 primary teachers; 74 of these returned the questionnaire. The results of the study indicated that the majority of teachers offered their students well below the time allotment assigned to gymnastics in the British Columbia physical education curriculum guide. The data also indicated that teachers generally had certain attitudes towards the teaching of gymnastics which included the following: (a) strong agreement that students enjoyed gymnastics lessons, (b) strong agreement that gymnastics was valuable to children, (c) enjoyment in teaching gymnastics, (d) strong concern for student safety, (e) concern for teacher liability in the event of accidents to students, and (f) little expectancy that gymnastics be taught. Other factors which appeared to act as determinants included: (a) the adequacy of print resources, (b) the nature of pre-service training, (c) teachers' sense of competence in the teaching of gymnastics and, (d) the adequacy of in-service. This study concluded that it was the interaction of factors that influenced time allocation. There was a strong indication that pre-service training was a major factor and that it was compounded by other factors such as levels of support services, teacher age, and teacher concerns about safety. In turn, these factors were possibly interacting to affect teachers' perceptions of competence to instruct students in gymnastics. Recommendations arising from the study included (a) that opportunities be provided for in-service that meets the specific needs of teachers, (b) that teacher associates be appointed to provide coaching in gymnastics at a teacher's school, (c) that pre-service training for teachers involve comprehensive courses in gymnastics, and (d) that leadership be shown by principals in developing school-wide plans for physical education that define specific times and activities for gymnastics. Further, it is recommended that additional research should attempt to clarify the extent to which specific factors outlined in this study interact to affect time allocation for gymnastics.
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