Optimising Practice in PE

Reasearch into Physical Education Practice

Children, teachers and practice in PE, sport and physical activity

Football Camp

Researchers in this theme explore the experiences of children/young people and the attitudes and behaviours of teachers and coaches working with them in sport and physical education contexts. Consideration is given to the gendered nature of participation, safeguarding and developing confidence and competence to access opportunities. Specific attention is afforded to creative methodologies that serve best to understand children/young people’s subjective experiences. Teacher and coach epistemologies and behaviours form a focus of work that aims to understand practice and the impact that this has in professional environments.

Further work seeks to create methodologies able to capture teacher behaviours; aimed at enhancing the quality of feedback, used in teacher training, development and inspections.

Recent projects have been funded by the FA and NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit.

For enquiries concerned with themes of Children, Teachers and Practice in Sport and PE please contact Dr Suzanne Everley on s.everley@chi.ac.uk or Dr Julia Potter on j.potter@chi.ac.uk .

Our Researchers

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Ben Francombe

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Business in a box PAULA JENKINS Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management

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Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance

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Research Projects

Explore our research projects

Browse our research projects below.

Children's Experiences of Health and Wellbeing

Promoting health and wellbeing through sport and physical education

Sport and physical activity has long been considered to be a powerful factor in promoting childhood health and well-being. Our researchers are interested in how and when physical activity, sport and physical education experiences can promote such well-being changes and how we can better promote health and well-being through physical activity.

Two key strands can be seen in our research activity. First, we examine the factors that influence a child’s experience of physical activity (whether through formal coaching, teaching or play). In particular we examine how sociocultural factors (class, power dynamics, culture) shape the experience and impact of being physical active. In this line of research, we are particularly keen on exploring research methods (e.g., drawing, photography) that allow us to more fully access the child’s voice and subjective experiences. Second, our research examines the potential short and long-term health benefits of physical activity in children. In this strand, we have explored the efficacy of schemes such as the daily mile on physical activity participation, attitudes to physical activity and physical fitness. We have also evaluated exercise schemes designed to promote activity within obese populations.

Are you interested in finding out more about this research area or getting involved in our research projects? Please email Suzanne Everley on s.everley@chi.ac.uk.

Our Researchers

Dr Suzanne Everley

Head of Sport Social Science, Reader in the Sociology of Physical Education, Activity and Health, Chair of the Anita White Foundation

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Dr Julia Potter

Programme Coordinator PE and Sports Coaching Senior Lecturer in Physical Education

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Dr Mandy Gault

Head of Sport and Exercise Physiology

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Jamie Sims

Senior Lecturer

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Tanya Goosen

Senior Lecturer

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Optimising Practice in PE

Enhancing the outcomes of physical education

Physical Education is a key curriculum subject with a broad role, including; teaching values of fairness and respect; experiencing competition; developing physical confidence and competence; providing opportunities for and learning around a healthy and active lifestyle. There is a growing body of evidence of an increase in sedentary lifestyles across populations and the resultant declines in mental and physical health. Yet there is a ‘squeeze’ on PE quantity and quality, with pressure on schools to maximise outcomes in core subjects and the increased use of external coaching companies; some with little training or experience. These factors mean there is a pressure to optimise the outcomes of Physical Education lessons. Our researchers are interested in identifying where the opportunities for improvements exist in sessions delivered by both teachers and coaches and to recognise successful strategies to optimise practice in physical education.

There are three strands in our research activity focussed on the delivery of high-quality Physical education. The first strand focuses on teacher behaviours; in particular we are interested in questioning and feedback strategies. Specific work being done in this area is to identify and validate tools that can be used to ‘measure’ the outcomes of teacher behaviours. We are also exploring other areas such as non-traditional approaches (such as; novel sports, differing environments; daily mile) by practitioners to improve pupil outcomes.

The second strand explores teacher and coach education; focussing on the use of reflection in the development of pedagogical understanding and practice. Research undertaken with trainee teachers completing a PGCE route has led to the development of reflective learning strategies that are effective when completing a higher education based initial teacher training course. The impact and effectiveness of such strategies can also be applied to the professional development of qualified teachers.

The third strand currently being developed by staff is to consider issues around inclusion; principally the issues for transgender students in a sport and PE setting within schools, alongside SEND considerations.

Our Researchers

Dr Melissa Mantle

Deputy Director of the Institute of Sport, Nursing and Allied Health

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Rachel Mackinney

Programme Coordinator Physical Education in the Primary Years

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Craig Pulling

Senior Lecturer in Physical Education

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Kirsty Lawie

Senior Lecturer in PE and International Coordinator roles

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Jon Mills

PGCE PE Secondary Subject Leader / Senior Lecturer in Physical Education

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Dr Julia Potter

Programme Coordinator PE and Sports Coaching Senior Lecturer in Physical Education

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Rebecca Warke

Senior Lecturer

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David Eldridge

Senior Lecturer

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Ed Christian

Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sports Coaching

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Ian Perkins

Senior Lecturer

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Dr Suzanne Everley

Head of Sport Social Science, Reader in the Sociology of Physical Education, Activity and Health, Chair of the Anita White Foundation

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