What is the effect of within-class mixed ability groupings by perceived ability on more able pupils’ views of progress in physical education?

Article English OPEN
Pay, Bradley (2016)
  • Publisher: Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN), University of Cumbria
  • Subject: Z484

For many years, groupings and progress have been two key buzz words in education and Physical Education, however vast research focuses solely on mixed and similar ability setting and not mixed and similar groupings within-class sets, particularly in Physical Education. Using the Physical SelfDescription Questionnaire (PSDQ), on a top-set, male, Physical Education class, pupils were grouped according to their own perceived level in Physical Education and completed a unit of PE teaching which focused on various aspects of the subject in one specific sport. On completion of the teaching unit, pupils who perceived themselves as ‘more able’ were asked to recomplete the PDSQ and were interviewed to discuss their levels of progress in various aspects of Physical Education. Research findings demonstrated that mixed ability within class groupings worked best in social situations with pupils demonstrating improved progress in the coaching domain; although opportunities to progress in technical based activities and umpiring were hindered due to the lack of ‘stretch and challenge’ opportunities. However, such findings demonstrate teachers must start to become more flexible with their groupings within-class to maximise pupils’ opportunities to progress.
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