Asking better questions! A review of the pedagogical strategies used in one senior level award in Scotland

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Previous related research on teaching effectiveness in one senior level award - Higher Still Physical Education (HSPE) in Scotland - revealed a number of extended challenges in adopting the practical experiential teaching and learning approaches advised. However, these studies were restricted by lack of observation of teaching and learning in action and of detailed analysis of the types and timings of questions asked. The present study addressed these limitations. Data were collected through observations of teaching, questionnaire responses on the uses of discussions by pupils and teachers and semi-structured teacher interviews. Findings revealed that there were encouraging signs of a broad range of purposeful question techniques being used in practical sessions. However, there was still a lack of full teacher trust in these approaches, despite high pupil endorsement for their usage. We conclude that perceived subject content and external assessment demands continue to constrain pedagogical strategies in HSPE.

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