The adaptability of experienced physical education teachers to a new curriculum: An interpretive understanding of facilitators and inhibitors

Will Bowins, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa
Physical education (PE) teachers are expected to learn throughout their careers in order to effectively educate their students. However, researchers have stated that the methods used to ensure continuous learning amongst PE teachers are inadequate because they do not meet the needs of experienced teachers (Fullen & Stiegelbauer, 1991; Johns, 2003). Within such a context, the present study was motivated by the need to better understand the adaptation process for experienced PE teachers. Thus,
more » ... teachers. Thus, the purpose of this study was to understand how experienced PE teachers perceived the process of adapting to a new curriculum. Using an interpretative approach, this study examined the facilitators and inhibitors that affected the adaptation process for PE teachers during the major 1999 Ontario curriculum change. Bechtel and O'Sullivan's (2007) study and Fullen, Bennett and Rolheiser-Bennett's (1990) conceptual framework were used to guide the interpretation of the facilitators and inhibitors experienced by the participants. Data were collected from ten experienced PE teachers from high schools in Ottawa, Ontario. Results spawned the categorization of the perceived facilitators and inhibitors into the Pyramid Model, comprised of four levels: the Personal Level, School Level, School Board Level, and the Upper Level. The specific effect of experience on the adaptation process appeared to mainly affect the confidence of the participants; and this increase in confidence was found to facilitate the adaptation process. Results from the study suggest a need for a bottom-up approach to curriculum design, whereby aspects from the Personal Level are taken into account during the planning and implementation phases of curricula. Furthermore, the results suggest that schools, school boards, and ministries should offer direction and resources, and should provide opportunities for support and collaboration to facilitate the adaptation process of experienced PE teachers to a new curriculum.
doi:10.20381/ruor-19129 fatcat:bpvqytlczzfgpblmnwltj22maq