The effective use of competition as a pedagogical tool to develop competence, confidence and enjoyment in physical education lessons in primary school

Masters Thesis


Castle, N. 2019. The effective use of competition as a pedagogical tool to develop competence, confidence and enjoyment in physical education lessons in primary school. Masters Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Childhood and Educational Sciences
AuthorsCastle, N.
TypeMasters Thesis
Qualification nameMasters by Research
Abstract

Competition sits prominently within the National Curriculum for Physical Education (PE) (DfE, 2013) yet there is little guidance for teachers in how competition should be delivered. Additionally, much of the current research in this field focusses on competitive sport that takes place outside of curriculum time and considers the attitudes of older children. This thesis seeks to address some of these gaps in research by focussing on competition delivered within primary school PE lessons.

Howells et al. (2018) propose a Model for Effective Learning in Competition (MELC) that explores the relationship between the level of challenge within an activity and the level of success achieved, suggesting that there is a ‘Competition Learning Zone’ (CLZ) when these two are in equity. Additionally, Howells et al. (2018) consider three different ‘types’ of competition and how each can foster learning. This thesis investigates the application of the MELC and CLZ to develop competence, confidence and enjoyment in primary PE during the three different types of competition within two primary schools in the South East of England across two different age phases.

The findings support the ideas presented by Howells et al. (2018) with a higher percentage of children improving in confidence and competence when competitive targets were introduced, regardless of age or gender. Additionally, when competition was absent children’s scores regressed at a higher rate. Children responded far more positively in terms of enjoyment when targets were low or mid-level whereas high targets had less impact on improvement, although they did lower confidence, particularly amongst girls. Moreover, the children expressed a preference for competing against others, whereas they produced their best results when competing alongside others, which interestingly was the format of competition that they enjoyed the least.

KeywordsCompetition; Primary school; Physical education; Gaps
Year2019
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Open
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Publication process dates
Deposited20 May 2020
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8v8w9/the-effective-use-of-competition-as-a-pedagogical-tool-to-develop-competence-confidence-and-enjoyment-in-physical-education-lessons-in-primary-school

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