Purpose: To explore how the use of gender categorizations inform children’s preferences of working with others in physical education. Method: Draw, write, and tell procedures were used to elicit the thoughts and feelings of 42 children, across four schools, about their peers and working together in groups. The children, aged between 11 and 13 years, were distributed across 14 focus groups to talk about conditions in group work that they thought facilitated and inhibited their learning. Results: Two meta-themes—(a) classmates and friendships and (b) work intention and trust—emerged from the interview data about their preferences for the ways groups were constituted. The results indicated that these children created or constructed categories of their peers based on gender but using gender-neutral words. Conclusion: Their constructions of working with others in PE contributed to an implicit curriculum consisting of different expectations for the same gender and for other gender groups.
Jeroen Koekoek and Annelies Knoppers
Jeroen Koekoek, Annelies Knoppers, and Harry Stegeman
Relatively little is known about the ways in which children understand and perceive how they learn tasks or skills in physical education classes. The purpose of this study was to use a constructivist framework to explore how children express their experiences, thoughts, and feelings about how they learn in physical education classes. A variety of methods (semistructured interviews, draw and write exercises, and focus groups) were used to examine how 29 children, aged 11–13, perceived assigned tasks. Results indicated that these children could express themselves in a limited way about their learning experiences and that each method yielded similar and different information. We discuss the implications of these findings for research methodology and quality instruction in physical education.