Case Study: P.E
Identity; is the main focal point of research in New Zealand. We were given the opportunity to work with a class of 10th grade students at the Shirley Boys High School. Our idea was that we could have 3 lessons with the same class, and the main aim of these lessons were for them to create a team sport which incorporates trust and can show the classes Identity.

In the first lesson: we started off by introducing ourselves and then handing around a bag with bits of paper in it, on the pieces of paper was the name of an animal, there were 5 different animals to randomly choose from, a cat, a dog, a cow, a sheep and a pig. When the students had all received a piece of paper, we then blindfolded them, and in order for them to form their groups they had to make the noises of the animals on their piece of paper. There was 4 groups of 6 and 1 group of 7. Once they had found the other group members by listening for the their individual noises, we brought them round into a circle and got them to pass a rugby ball around, saying something which was special/different about them when they caught it. Once they had done this we spilt them into their initial animal groups. Each group was given an A3 piece of paper and they had to create a list of sports which had an element of trust involved. They had to write a short explanation as to why the trust was necessary within the particular sports. They were given roughly 10-12 minutes to complete this part of the task. We then handed them another piece of paper and gave them the task to create a spider diagram of skills involved in sports. Overall the first lesson turned out well, they boys although chatty at times worked very well. The teacher Ms Jennings was very positive about the response to the task.

In the second lesson: We took the class outside, and we brought out a range of equipment for them to begin thinking about game ideas. We passed around a sheet with the skills and necessities which the class had come up with the week before, as a reference and reminder to them. The students spent the first 10-15mins of the lesson in their previous groups thinking up different ideas of possible games. Our lesson schedule was less rigid as the way we had first planned, however when the students were given the freedom to bounce ideas off each other they worked incredibly well, and created their own version of Quidditch, the make believe game from Harry Potter. Each group created thier own induvidual ideas however, we collectively chose Quidditch for the final lesson because the students were far more active and engaged in this particular game.

The third lesson: was meant to take place the following Monday however due to unfortunate circumstances we were unable to carry out the final lesson. The idea and aim behind this third lesson was for the students to all participate in their unique game of Quidditch and host a tournament. Each game would last approximately 3 minutes and in the last minute a bouncy ball would have been added to represent the golden snitch. The game and the tournament had been the product of all the students input and ideas and would have marked the success of their planning and conscious input.

Overall: I found this lesson to be very productive and the atmosphere amongst the boys was a very positive, good one. Unfortunately we had limited media and student evaluation on this particular project, however it does not in any way take away from the success of this lesson. I felt that the students worked well together in their given groups and when they were given the task to create a game they were able to assess problems well and source alternative options to solve the problem. I enjoyed being in the class, despite not actively taking part in the Quidditch game.



The issue
Research/quotes
Observations that link back to research
Quotes
Skills of a future teacher
Students: fun, humor, friendly, helpful, interesting, exciting and enthusiastic.

Teachers: communication, engagement, flexibility and passion for their subject.


“Ability to enthuse students and connect with them in 21st Century” [A&D teacher, AHS]
We were the teachers, the students needed discipline, and once being given that they focused on the task.

It seemed at times the students were not working well, when in actual fact they were, they were just more vocal about it.

Student-teacher relationship
Future teacher = facilitator. Students want a positive and perhaps informal relationship with their teachers, but they still want their teachers to be leaders who can discipline their class when need be.

We were facilitators the students were given a task and were left to carry it out. They asked questions when they were unsure. We had a friendly atmosphere.

Students opinions on problems in teaching
Some problems mentioned: Non interactive methods, too much talking, no feedback, level of discipline, lack of enthusiasm, pace, spoon-feeding, expectations
I feel the lesson had the right amount of everything, we were interactive with the students and we left them to get on with the task, we reprimanded them when they were out of line. We showed enthusiasm and interest in them. The lesson was quite fast paced but was not too fast, we assisted the students when help was required.

Learning styles
Wide variation between pupils, so you need variety. Teachers could work with students in developing learning strategies.

There was a good combination of written and active work, which was productive.

Input and say in learning
Students should have more say in learning, working with teachers, who should be given more freedom in the curriculum.

“Teacher should lead lessons but when there is high trust, pupils should have more say” [AHS, teacher]
The students were given guidelines and were left to create a game as a team. The students were given the freedom to work as they wished and I feel it worked very well.


Cross-curricular links & Interdisciplinary learning
Is this an interdisciplinary project/topic?

It is important that cross-curricular links are not forced or contrived – not just to ‘tick-a-box’ – does the link add to the learning experience?

No it was not.

Use of technology
Hopes: more useful and increase efficiency. Improve home and school connections, handing our work, connecting everyone in the school. To help people with learning difficulties.

Worries: ICT used too much, frustrating when it doesn’t work, funding, training, loss of traditional skills, shouldn’t completely replace traditional methods of teaching and learning.

There was no technology used in this class.

Skills students need to prepare the for the future
More emphasis should be placed on communication, social, life and team-working skills. ICT should be increasingly important. The merit of practical & creative subjects should be increased

The topics that are picked should give skills and knowledge that can be used and transferred to jobs in the future” [student, AHS]

In the task the students were put into groups which explores the skill of team work and, in their teams it was essential for the students to communicate and take to each other for ideas. The icebreaker increased the interaction between students improving communicative links.
There was no ICT used in this project mainly because there was no need for it.
This lesson was very active and creative, which I feel helped the students to engage with the task.

Balance of skills
“I think there needs to be more focus on work experience and dat. Cos you can sit in school doing maths and physics advanced higher, reading books an all this stuff, and then have no people skills at all. And that’s not going to help you.” [AHS, S6]

This lesson allowed the students to be creative and interact with others, whilst thinking about Identity.

Inclusion of practical elements
Practical skills may be undervalued – should emphasize their importance:

"Practical options are more fun for pupils and will help pupils to learn more. I think more subjects offering practical options will be a great benefit" [AHS, S5]

This lesson was mainly practical based as it was a physical education class.

The examination/assessment system
Stress was the most common complaint about the exam system. Other common complaints include: exams mainly measuring memory and not other skills, lack of time in exams & too much work in one go.

Students want to see less weight placed on exams, with work done throughout the year contributing more to their grades.

Teachers suggested varying assessment methods:

“Less than a form of ‘regurgitation’” [AHS, teacher]

“Teachers should have more freedom to set their own internal tests” [AHS, teacher]
N/A

Class atmosphere
Desired aspects in physical layout included: space, technology, group tables and comfort
The students worked in groups on the floor and were able to make themselves comfortable.


Age Versus Stage
Benefits: socialization, helping others, communication skills, having everyone at the same level and a richer experience.

Worries: bullying, intimidation, embarrassment, stigma, judgment, pace and maturity.
N/A

Network Learning
Are resources used?
N/A

Physical Layout
Does the layout encourage inclusion and contribution?
For the class as whole, the physical layout did encourage interaction between students, they were given big open spaces to work in.

Personal Development
Does the class aim to improve social skills, self awareness, maturity, responsibility, team work, communication skills and/or any other aspects of personal development?
There was a lot of responsibility placed on the boys because they were given alot of freedom and they worked extremely well in their groups.

Inclusion
Is the project/class inclusive? Is extra support available and accessible?
Yes it was inclusive for individual groups throughout the research and ideas phase, then the entire class were included by presenting their ideas.

Learning Outwith school
Does the project/class make use of learning outwith school – e.g. homework (additional work done to support school studies), learning at home (this could make use of ICT), projects done outwith the school, vocational and practical work, trips, and links with colleges, Universities and businesses.

What is the reason for this link/s?

N/A

Homework
If homework is given is it clear why it is given, relevant, interesting? Is their variety in format (e.g. any practical, technological, interactive or group work) Is feedback given and/or the homework referred to in class.
N/A

Options after school
Is there discussion/exploration of careers & jobs relating to the topic?
N/A

Flexible Learning Times
Any examples of flexible learning times?
N/A