Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
MacPhail, A
2010 March
Physical Education For Learning: a Guide for Secondary Schools
Listening to pupils' voices
Optional Fields

“If we view the world through the eyes of our students and hear the messages embedded in their actions, we will learn things we never knew we did not know. There seem to be some consistent messages from our students – messages about the content of the curriculum, their value perceptions, and the meaningfulness of their experiences” (Lee, 1997, p.274).

There may be a tendency to under-estimate the extent to which pupils care and are perceptive about their educational progress. However, numerous studies and the quotation above provide evidence that pupils enjoy, are motivated by and strengthen their self-esteem and respect by being consulted about their school experiences and welcome the opportunity to share ideas that may help them to learn more effectively. This can convey to pupils that they are legitimate members of the schooling system, and acknowledge that a worthwhile school experience relies on the pupils and teacher informing each others’ learning. That is, the teachers’ practice of teaching is integrated with and through pupil consultation and subsequent participation.

Physical education teachers strive to provide pupils with authentic experiences that meet their changing needs and interests with the ultimate goal being to encourage young people to be more physically active and to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It is therefore vital that teachers not only understand how pupils perceive physical education but how such values and beliefs can inform the development of effective practice in physical education (Brooker & Macdonald, 1999). The way in which pupil voice can contribute to the construction of the physical education curriculum in partnership with teachers (Glasby & Macdonald, 2004) is vital in providing authentic and meaningful learning experiences.

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