Sport and Health Sciences at Brighton

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Teaching Physical Education in Pandemic Times

As pupils return to schools after a six month absence due the outbreak of Covid-19 the teaching of physical education in secondary schools will present a number of major challenges for teachers during these pandemic times.

Dr Gary StidderThose are views of Principal Lecturer Dr Gary Stidder in an article due to be published by the Association of Physical Education next month. In the article, written with School of Sport and Service Management colleagues Warren Smart and Simon Green, it is suggested that the design of the PE Curriculum has to be realistic, achievable and manageable and comply with hygiene regulations.

Dr Stidder said: ” Rules on social distancing must be adhered to and PE lessons will have to be outdoors wherever possible. Pupils might be working in pre-marked zones and teachers will have to take into account the use of equipment and the cleaning regimes at the end of lessons.”

In the article it is suggested that the design of the PE Curriculum must be based on localised circumstances, resources and facilities. What works in one school may not work in another.

Their contention is that a ‘one-size fits all’ model will not be in the best interests of most pupils. Offering breadth, depth and balance within the physical education curriculum will be increasingly more important during these pandemic times.

Dr Stidder and his colleagues propose an alternative physical education curriculum model to more traditional and conventional types of provision.

The article concludes by urging teachers of physical education to consider these alternative forms of physical education that may be more appropriate and have greater relevance for pupils. This is likely to involve more pupils and have the desired effect of dispelling the myth that teachers of physical education just coach sport.

Kerry Burnett • 25/09/2020

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