Physical Education: Picking Up the Baton (Policy and Practice in Education): 27

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9781906716073: Physical Education: Picking Up the Baton (Policy and Practice in Education): 27
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Physical education is now a key component of the realisation of school aims. This repositioning of the subject presents both opportunities and challenges, especially as views on the role of physical education are often polarised and contested with politicians, the media, parents, teachers and students having varied and contrasting views. The authors help readers comprehend, in greater detail, some of the complexities involved in understanding physical education in its modern context. Accordingly, they review many of the contested arguments about the nature and purposes of physical education and the pedagogical and professional challenges which lie ahead. In order that their arguments are suitably contextualised, the book discusses the associated issues of health and well-being and youth sport to ensure that readers can gain a rounded and more complete understanding of physical education. With its discussion of the pedagogical and professional challenges facing those engaged in teaching physical education this book will be of particular interest to students intending to become physical education teachers, at both primary and secondary levels, as well as to educators and administrators with an interest in the physical well-being and development of those attending schools.

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Review:

From a policy perspective therefore and for anyone interested in contemporary developments in curriculum and pedagogy in physical education (and/or Health and Physical Education), Picking up the baton will make for an interesting read. While firmly focused on the Scottish context, the text engages with issues that have significant international relevance and appeal. --Sport, Education and Society

In considering the future of PE, this book highlights the unlikely effects in implementing policy reforms if pedagogical and professional issues are not resolved. Throughout there are strong indications which suggest that in order for PE not to become marginalised in an era where change is rapidly occurring, it will be essential that teachers take up the baton to improve quality and value for money definitions of professionalism in PE. Whilst the book has provided fruitful policy discussion and the need for evaluative input from stakeholders, it is also critical in its analysis of government and classroom teaching and learning. An interesting aspect was its ability to examine and provide insights into existing and emerging issues whilst enhancing the reader s perceptions through its analytical and critical thinking on PE in both academic and social circles. --Journal of Education Policy

About the Author:

Malcolm Thorburn and Shirley Gray are Lecturers of Physical Education at the University of Edinburgh.

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