External providers and their impact on Primary Physical Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
journal contributionposted on 19.08.2020, 22:59 by B Dyson, Barrie Gordon, J Cowan, A McKenzie
© 2016 Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Within Aotearoa/New Zealand primary schools, External Providers (EPs) have steadily increased their influence on physical education. The purpose of this study was to explore and interpret classroom teachers’ perspectives of EPs in their primary school. The research team obtained questionnaire responses from 487 classroom teachers from 133 different primary and intermediate schools in six regions across Aotearoa/New Zealand. In addition, 33 classroom teachers, selected from the six regions as a purposive sample [Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (3rd ed.). Newbury, CA: Sage], were interviewed. The research utilised a case-study design [Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage] and incorporated a mixed-methods approach [Greene, J. C. (2007). Mixed methods in social inquiry. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass]. Our findings support the belief that EPs are established as major providers of physical education and sport in the primary schools space. Teachers identified a large number of EPs (n = 638) active in their schools. A number of categories were drawn from the interviews: Prevalence of EPs, Expertise and professional development (PD), Valued programs, Evaluation and assessment of EP provided programs and Pedagogical limitations. The teachers valued the EPs for their expertise, PD and the opportunities for students to experience a wide range of sports. However, schools conducted little assessment or evaluation of the programs. Teachers expressed some criticisms around the pedagogical approaches used and the EPs’ lack of knowledge of the curriculum. As a profession it is our responsibility to ensure that all students experience quality physical education programs and that EPs are working in ways that maximise the benefits for our students.