Physical Education: the allegory of the classroom

Sprake, Andrew orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5164-770X and Palmer, Clive Alan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9925-2811 (2018) Physical Education: the allegory of the classroom. Journal of Qualitative Research in Sports Studies, 12 (1). pp. 57-78. ISSN 1754-2375

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The Physical Education (PE) community is notoriously resistant to change, yet this opposition has rendered the educational progress of PE trapped in a paradoxical stalemate. This paper offers some unorthodox educational potential for PE, couched in literacy and meaning making, whilst at the same time issues a wake-up call for the subject. Primary data were collected via interviews and focus groups with both primary and secondary teachers, qualitative surveys with staff and pupils and field observations. The data is discussed and interwoven with the analogies and messages behind Plato’s Allegory of the Cave; a philosophical backdrop against which to explore and explain the resistance shown by PE teachers to embrace meaningful change in PE.

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