Lifelong physically active lifestyles and the Manitoba physical education curriculum: an inquiry into vision and reality

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Winchar, Gavin
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The general research problem of my study is the suggested discrepancy between what a physical education curriculum articulates and what physical education teachers actually implement and teach in their gymnasiums. Although the curriculum may be designed with a vision or goal in mind, teachers may not carry with them that same belief. In addition, these beliefs may or may not influence the types of physical activities they implement in their teaching. To address this research problem, my study surveyed and interviewed Manitoba physical education (PE) teachers about their views on the purpose of PE, the rationale for their beliefs, and the types of activities they are using to implement the PE curriculum. Forty-five PE teachers from across Manitoba participated in the survey strand of the study, and six teachers were interviewed. The study found that across all PE teachers, across streams, years of experiences and PE assignment portion, the belief was common that a primary purpose to PE is to develop physically active and healthy lifestyles. Furthermore, the PE teachers allocated almost three times as much instruction time to an instructional model that focuses on constant activity than to a model that focuses on the mastery of skills related to a sport discipline. While study participants generally knew and agreed with the vision of the Manitoba PE curriculum, some teachers used means to achieve that vision that were not supported by the research literature on how to achieve that vision.
Physical Education, Manitoba Curriculum