• A Narrative Review on Female Physique Athletes: The Physiological and Psychological Implications of Weight Management Practices

      Alwan, Nura; Moss, Samantha L.; Elliott-Sale, Kisrty; Davies, Ian; Kevin, Enright; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester; Nottingham Trent University (Human Kinetics, 2019-06-13)
      Physique competitions are events in which aesthetic appearance and posing ability are valued above physical performance. Female physique athletes are required to possess high lean body mass and extremely low fat mass in competition. As such, extended periods of reduced energy intake and intensive training regimens are utilised with acute weight loss practices at the end of the pre-competition phase. This represents an increased risk for chronic low energy availability and associated symptoms of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport, compromising both psychological and physiological health. Available literature suggests that a large proportion of female physique athletes report menstrual irregularities (e.g., amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea), which are unlikely to normalise immediately post-competition. Furthermore, the tendency to reduce intakes of numerous essential micronutrients is prominent among those using restrictive eating patterns. Following competition reduced resting metabolic rate, and hyperphagia, are also a concern for these female athletes, which can result in frequent weight cycling, distorted body image and disordered eating/eating disorders. Overall, female physique athletes are an understudied population and the need for more robust studies to detect low energy availability and associated health effects is warranted. This narrative review aims to define the natural female physique athlete, explore some of the physiological and psychological implications of weight management practices experienced by female physique athletes and propose future research directions.
    • The nature and practice of primary physical education: A study of the perceptions of subject leaders

      Green, Ken; Jones, Luke (University of Chester, 2015-09)
      Much of the existing research on primary physical education (PE) has focused on the supposed importance and potential of the subject at this age range, rather than on its actual nature and practice. It is repeatedly claimed within the literature that the development of movement skills during early learning experiences is significant as it lays the foundation for continuing participation in health enhancing physical activity. While much of the existing research has focused on the supposed importance of primary PE, further study in this area expresses concerns about the deficiencies in the preparation of primary generalists to teach the subject; over the quality of learning and teaching within the subject; and over a perceived lack of investment (in the long term) in the primary age phase. In the light of the comparatively limited research relating to primary PE, the reported issues which surround the provision of the subject and the current emphasis on its promotion through the PE and Sport Premium, the study aimed to examine change alongside continuity in what has been identified, rhetorically at least, as an important area of PE. Drawing upon data gathered from one-to-one interviews with 36 subject leaders (SLs), this study sought to describe and explain the nature and practice of primary PE and develop a more adequate understanding of what is actually happening in the name of the subject. The analysis of primary PE was undertaken through the use of a case study of one School Sport Partnership (SSP) in the north-west of England, with the theoretical framework for this study being formed by the figurational sociological perspective. The findings revealed that the most common model for the delivery of PE involved responsibility being shared between the generalist class teacher and either a sports coach or specialist PE teacher. The SLs recognised strengths and weaknesses in all of the three main approaches used. However, while they favoured the use of specialist teachers because of their subject knowledge and expertise, the more prosaic constraints of cost and flexibility meant that the use of coaches had become increasingly popular. Whether or not, the growth of coaches is de-professionalizing the delivery of PE, it certainly appears to be exacerbating any existing tendency to turn primary PE into a pale imitation of the sport-biased curricular of secondary schools. Ironically, the apparent ‘threat’ to the status of PE in the primary curriculum (as well as the status of PE specialists) posed by the growth of coaches in curricular PE in primary schools may well be exaggerated by the primary PE and Sport Premium which appears to have added momentum to a change of direction regarding staffing the subject – towards sports coaches and away from generalist classroom teachers and PE specialists. The data also showed that while the pedagogical approaches adopted in primary PE lessons did include some inclusive and developmentally appropriate methods, the overriding focus was on didactic teaching approaches being used to achieve narrow skills based outcomes. The historical dominance of games, the inclusion of primary teachers in lengthening chains of interdependence with sporting groups and individuals, and the conflation of sport with PE were all thought to have influenced the adoption of a teaching model that is unduly influenced by sport. It was also clear from SLs responses, that the prevalence of teaching methods that bind didactic and skill based pedagogy are unlikely to be challenged by the greater inclusion of sports coaches within primary PE. Finally, the contents of primary PE lessons were shown, by the data, to be dominated by sport and traditional team games; and to be organised around the timings of the major inter-school competitions and tournaments. Overall it was argued that the portents of a future with sports coaches as the main deliverers of primary ‘sport’ lessons are there for all to see, and that this apparent change is best understood by locating the subject leaders of PE in the networks of interdependent relationships that they have with others.
    • Neuromuscular function after exercise-induced muscle damage: Theoretical and applied implications

      Byrne, Christopher; Twist, Craig; Eston, Roger; DSO National Laboratories, Republic of Singapore ; NEWI/University of Wales, Bangor ; University of Wales, Bangor (Adis, 2004)
      Exercise-induced muscle damage is a well documented phenomenon particularly resulting from eccentric exercise. When eccentric exercise is unaccustomed or is performed with an increased intensity or duration, the symptoms associated with muscle damage are a common outcome and are particularly associated with participation in athletic activity. Muscle damage results in an immediate and prolonged reduction in muscle function, most notably a reduction in force-generating capacity, which has been quantified in human studies through isometric and dynamic isokinetic testing modalities. Investigations of the torque-angular velocity relationship have failed to reveal a consistent pattern of change, with inconsistent reports of functional change being dependent on the muscle action and/or angular velocity of movement. The consequences of damage on dynamic, multi-joint, sport-specific movements would appear more pertinent with regard to athletic performance, but this aspect of muscle function has been studied less often. Reductions in the ability to generate power output during single-joint movements as well as during cycling and vertical jump movements have been documented. In addition, muscle damage has been observed to increase the physiological demand of endurance exercise and to increase thermal strain during exercise in the heat. The aims of this review are to summarise the functional decrements associated with exercise-induced muscle damage, relate these decrements to theoretical views regarding underlying mechanisms (i.e. sarcomere disruption, impaired excitation-contraction coupling, preferential fibre type damage, and impaired muscle metabolism), and finally to discuss the potential impact of muscle damage on athletic performance.
    • No Effect of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on 100-m and 200-m Swimming Performance in Moderately-Trained Swimmers.

      Esen, Ozcan; Nicholas, Ceri; Morris, Mike; Bailey, Stephen J (2018-11-14)
      Dietary nitrate supplementation has been reported to improve performance in kayaking and rowing exercise which mandate significant recruitment of the upper body musculature. Since the effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on swimming performance is unclear, the purpose of this study was to assess the effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on 100-m and 200-m swimming freestyle time-trial (TT) performance. In a double blind, randomized crossover design, ten moderately-trained swimmers underwent two separate 3-day supplementation periods, with a daily dose of either 140 mL nitrate-rich (BRJ; ~800 mg/d nitrate) or nitrate-depleted (PLA) BRJ. Following blood sampling on day 3, the swimmers performed both 200-m and 100-m freestyle swimming TTs, with 30 min recovery between trials. Plasma nitrite concentrations was greater after BRJ relative to PLA consumption (432 ± 203 nmol/L, 111 ± 56 nmol/L, respectively, p = 0.001). Systolic BP was lowered after BRJ compared to PLA supplementation (114 ± 10, 120 ± 10 mmHg, respectively p = 0.001), but time to complete the 200-m (BRJ: 152.6 ± 14.1 s, PLA: 152.5 ± 14.1 s) and 100-m (BRJ: 69.5 ± 7.2 s, PLA: 69.4 ± 7.4 s) freestyle swimming TTs were not different between BRJ and PLA (p > 0.05). While 3 days of BRJ supplementation increased plasma nitrite concentration and lowered blood pressure, it did not improve 100-m and 200-m swimming TT performance. These results do not support an ergogenic effect of nitrate supplementation in moderately-trained swimmers, at least for 100-m and 200-m freestyle swimming performance.
    • ‘No pain, no gain’: former elite female gymnasts’ engagements with pain and injury discourses

      Tynan, Ruby; McEvilly, Nollaig; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-05-11)
      This paper investigates former elite female gymnasts’ views and experiences of pain and injury. The purpose of the study was to examine how participants engaged with pain and injury discourses and interrogate the ways in which certain knowledge and practices had become dominant. A Foucaultian theoretical framework underpinned the study, making use of Foucault’s work on discourses, power and resistance. Data were generated through semi-structured interviews with seven former elite gymnasts. By analysing the participants’ talk through poststructural discourse analysis, three themes were identified. Firstly, participants’ persistence through pain and injury was due to the desire to compete. Secondly, participants differentiated between ‘good pain’ and ‘bad pain’. Thirdly, participants had a higher tolerance for pain than for injury. This research raises questions about the dominance of a ‘no pain, no gain’ discourse, and the ways in which gymnasts may develop an uncritical acceptance of particular ‘truths’ surrounding pain and injury.
    • Norwegian youngsters’ perceptions of physical education: Exploring the implications for mental health

      Røset, Linda; Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2019-06-24)
      Improving young people’s mental health has become a priority for policy-makers in Norway as elsewhere. Although the evidence is limited, physical activity has been identified as having a role in mental health promotion with school physical education (PE) typically being presented as a suitable setting. Few studies, however, have explored young people’s perceptions and experiences of PE and the possible consequences for their mental health – the departure point for this paper. We approach this issue sociologically by focusing on the processes through which PE is enacted. Qualitative data were generated by 31 focus groups involving 148 youngsters from the 10th grade (15–16-year-olds) in eight secondary schools in Norway. The overarching theme to emerge was that PE was valued by the students for what it was not as much as what it was. The appeal of PE often lay in being different and a break from ‘normal’ school lessons and, at the same time, an opportunity for informal social interaction and strengthening social bonds. Enjoyment of PE – even among those with limited sporting competence – was understood as giving rise to cathartic benefits and an antidote to their increasingly academic, routinized and performance-oriented school lives. However, processes relating to the organization, delivery and assessment of lessons meant that these benefits were sometimes compromised for some young people. We conclude that as far as the mental health of young people is concerned, the best justificatory defence for PE becomes physical recreation as a solution to (academic) schooling rather than PE as education.
    • The number of directional changes alters the physiological, perceptual and neuromuscular responses of netball players during intermittent shuttle running

      Ashton, Ruth; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2015-10-31)
      This study investigated whether an increased number of changes in direction altered the metabolic, cardiovascular, perceptual and neuromuscular responses to intermittent shuttle running. Using a randomized crossover design, ten female netball players completed 30 min of intermittent shuttle running over a 10 m (ISR10) and 20 m (ISR20) linear course. Measures of expired air, heart rate (HR), RPE, blood lactate concentration ([BLa]) and peak torque of knee extensors and flexors were measured. Differences (% ± 90% CL) in VO2 (1.5 ± 5.6%) was unclear between conditions, while HR was possibly higher (1.5 ± 2.5%) and [BLa] very likely lower in ISR20 compared to ISR10 (-32.7 ± 9.9%). RPE was likely lower in the ISR20 compared to the ISR10 condition at 15 (-5.0 ± 5.0%) and mosly likely lower at 30 min (-9.4 ± 2.0%). Sprint times over 20 m were likely slower during ISR20 at mid (3.9 ± 3.2%) but unclear post (2.1 ± 5.4%). Changes in muscle function were not different between ISR10 and ISR20 conditions for knee extension (-0.2 ± 0.9%) but were likely different for knee flexion (-5.7 ± 4.9%). More directional changes during shuttle running increases the physiological and perceptual load on female athletes that also causes a greater reductions in knee extensor torque. These findings have implications for the effective conditioning and injury prevention of female team sport athletes.
    • The observational analysis of elite coaches within youth soccer: The importance of performance analysis

      Nicolls, Scott B.; Worsfold, Paul R.; University of Chester; Middlesex University; Manchester Institute of Health and Performance (SAGE, 2016-11-15)
      The study investigated the observational capabilities of experienced elite coaches whilst focusing upon soccer specific actions and playing positions within elite youth soccer. Six soccer coaches assessed the performances of 10 youth soccer players (across 8 matches) on their short/long passing, tackling, shooting, heading and dribbling. Analysis was undertaken on an overall, quality and positional grouping basis. Mean observational accuracy was 38.8%, with successful shooting (78.6%) and passing (29.9%) illustrating the range. The limited effective observation of dribbling (37.2%), often considered a separating factor within talent identification, highlights the need for objective measures to aid such processes. Positional grouping analysis elicited 20% more effective observation for unsuccessful compared with successful actions. The poor level of observational accuracy identified herein has significant implications on talent identification assessments devoid of post-performance analyses. The findings reinforce the importance of performance analysis in the provision of highly accurate and comprehensive augmented feedback within the coaching process.
    • On the Role of Lyrics in the Music-Exercise Performance Relationship

      Sanchez, Xavier; Moss, Samantha L.; Twist, Craig; Karageorghis, Costas I.; University of Groningen; University of Chester; Brunel University (Elsevier, 2013-10-27)
      Objectives. To examine the role of the musical constituent of lyrics with reference to a range of psychological, psychophysical, and physiological variables during submaximal cycling ergometry. Design. Two-factor (Condition x Time) within-subject counterbalanced design. Method. Twenty five participants performed three 6-min cycling trials at a power output corresponding to 75% of their maximum heart rate under conditions of music with lyrics, same music without lyrics, and a no-music control. Cycling cadence, heart rate, and perceived exertion were recorded at 2-min intervals during each trial. Positive and negative affect was assessed before and after each trial. Results. A significant (p = .006) Condition x Time interaction emerged for cadence wherein participants cycled at a higher rate at the end of the task under music with lyrics. Main effects were found for perceived exertion and heart rate, both of which increased from min 2 through to min 6, and for affect: positive affect increased and negative affect decreased from pre- to post-trials. Conclusions. Participants pedalled faster in both music conditions while perceived exertion and heart rate did not differ across conditions. The inclusion of lyrics influenced cycling performance only at min 6 and had no bearing on the remaining dependent variables throughout the duration of the task. The impact of lyrical content in the music-exercise performance relationship warrants further attention in order that we might better understand its role.
    • Pacing during a cross-country mountain bike mass-participation event according to race performance, experience, age and sex.

      Moss, Samantha L.; Francis, Ben; Calogiuri, Giovanna; Highton, Jamie M. (2018-12-15)
      This study describes pacing strategies adopted in an 86-km mass-participation cross-country marathon mountain bike race (the 'Birkebeinerrittet'). Absolute (km·h ) and relative speed (% average race speed) and speed coefficient of variation (%CV) in five race sections (15.1, 31.4, 52.3, 74.4 and 100% of total distance) were calculated for 8182 participants. Data were grouped and analysed according to race performance, age, sex and race experience. The highest average speed was observed in males (21.8 ± 3.7 km/h), 16-24 yr olds (23.0 ± 4.8 km/h) and those that had previously completed >4 Birkebeinerrittet races (22.5 ± 3.4 km/h). Independent of these factors, the fastest performers exhibited faster speeds across all race sections, whilst their relative speed was higher in early and late climbing sections (Cohen's d = 0.45-1.15) and slower in the final descending race section (d = 0.64-0.98). Similar trends were observed in the quicker age, sex and race experience groups, who tended to have a higher average speed in earlier race sections and a lower average speed during the final race section compared to slower groups. In all comparisons, faster groups also had a lower %CV for speed than slower groups (fastest %CV = 24.02%, slowest %CV = 32.03%), indicating a lower variation in speed across the race. Pacing in a cross-country mountain bike marathon is related to performance, age, sex and race experience. Better performance appears to be associated with higher relative speed during climbing sections, resulting in a more consistent overall race speed.
    • Passive heat maintenance after an initial warm-up improves high intensity activity during an interchange rugby league match simulation protocol.

      Fairbank, Matthew; Highton, Jamie M.; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2019-01-01)
      This study examined using passive heat maintenance to maintain core temperature after a warm-up and its effect on first half running performance in rugby players. Thirteen male rugby players completed this randomized crossover study. Tympanic temperature was taken before a warm-up and then after a further 15 minutes passive recovery either with (PHM) or without (CON) a passive heat maintenance garment. Participants then completed 23 min of the rugby league match simulation protocol (RLMSP-i). Differences in tympanic temperature were unclear between CON and PHM before (35.7 ± 1.3 cf. 36.0 ± 1.1oC; ES = 0.20) and during exercise (34.5 ± 0.1 cf. 35.2 ± 0.1oC; ES = 0.26-0.35). High-intensity running (ES = 0.27) and peak sprint speed were higher (ES = 0.46-0.56) during the PHM compared to the CON trial. Time spent above 20 W.kg-1 also increased in the first quartile of PHM compared to CON trial (ES = 0.18). All other between trial comparisons of performance were unclear. HRmean (ES = 0.38) was higher in PHM compared to CON, while differences in RPEmean (ES = -0.19) were unclear. There are small to large increases in high intensity work performed during a playing bout when rugby players wear a PHM garment after a warm-up. Rugby players should consider PHM during extended periods of time between a warm-up and starting a match.
    • Patterns of Parenting, Class Relations and Inequalities in Education and Leisure: A Grounded Theory

      Green, Ken; Wheeler, Sharon (University of Chester, 2013-12)
      The class structure of Britain has changed considerably since the 1970s. The gap between the rich and poor has grown, and many individuals can no longer be classified into traditional middle- and working-class categories. Despite polarisation and fragmentation, however, social class has continued to shapes individuals’ daily lives and life-chances. There are distinct class inequalities in education and leisure that appear to be resistant to intervention. Governments and other public organisations have invested considerable funds and deployed various policies, but individuals from affluent backgrounds continue to do better in the education system and be more active in their leisure time than individuals from deprived backgrounds. Academics have also turned their attention to class inequalities in education and leisure, especially of late. Research indicates that such inequalities emerge during early childhood and remain through youth and into adulthood. This, along with evidence of the limited effectiveness of interventions delivered through schools, has made one thing clear: to explain the production and reproduction of class inequalities in education and leisure and do something about them through policy, researchers and governments must look to the family. The ways in which parents from different social classes are involved and invest in their children’s education and leisure have been researched quite extensively. However, the findings in many of the studies are un-integrated and de-contextualised. In addition, much of the research is deductive – academics have tended to test theories and the significance particular family variables and processes. This thesis, therefore, set out to produce a grounded theory of class-specific patterns of parenting in relation to children’s education and leisure. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a case study of parents and children from a small city in the north-west of England. Two main social classes emerged out of the case study, a group tentatively described as an ‘under-class’ and a middle-class divided into fractions. It was found that social class impacted upon several areas of family life, and differences in these areas of family life clustered together to form class-specific patterns of parenting. The under-class pattern of parenting was conceptualised as ‘essential assistance’. It conveys the present-centred and basic involvement of the parents – they did not think a great deal about the future but did what was necessary to keep their children up with their peers on a day-to-day basis. The middle-class pattern of parenting was conceptualised as ‘concerted cultivation’. It conveys the forward-thinking and deliberate nature of the parents’ involvement. Also, the meticulous lengths to which the parents went – every aspect of their children’s development was open to pruning. The middle-class parents were involved in their children’s education and leisure in similar ways, but to different degrees. Thus, concerted cultivation can be regarded as gradational. Class-specific patterns of parenting can be linked to the production of class-related patterns of inequality. Through essential assistance and concerted cultivation, under-class and middle-class parents condition their children to think and act in particular ways. More specifically, they furnish their children with different skills, preferences and mentalities. A detailed discussion of the theoretical and policy implications of these patterns of parenting is provided in the conclusion to the thesis.
    • Perceptions and measurement of playtime physical activity in English primary school children: The influence of socioeconomic status

      McWhannell, Nicola; Triggs, Carmel; Moss, Samantha (Sage, 2017-11-27)
      Children in areas of low socioeconomic status might face barriers to physical activity during school playtime in comparison to their high socioeconomic status counterparts. However, limited research within the area currently prevents evidence-based interventions from being targeted appropriately. This exploratory study aimed to assess and compare playtime physical activity levels and perceptions of physical activity in primary school children from two schools of different socioeconomic status. Fifty-three children wore an accelerometer during playtime for three school days while 33 children participated in single-sex focus groups to elicit their experiences of physical activity during playtime. Results revealed that children from the low socioeconomic status school spent more time in sedentary activities (P = 0.001) and spent less time in moderate and moderate to vigorous physical activity (P = 0.001) than children from the high socioeconomic status school. Despite some between-school similarities in their perceptions of physical activity, differences resonated in their reasons for taking part in physical activity, perceptions of the play environment and ideas to improve physical activity. These findings contribute to current research and provide in-depth information from active users of the play environment that could be useful to inform new interventions for schools of varying socioeconomic status.
    • Physical activity guidelines and cardiovascular risk in children: a cross sectional analysis to determine whether 60 minutes is enough

      Füssenich, Lotte M.; Boddy, Lynne M.; Green, Daniel J.; Graves, Lee E. F.; Foweather, Lawrence; Dagger, Rebecca M.; McWhannell, Nicola; Henaghan, Jayne; Ridgers, Nicola D.; Stratton, Gareth; et al. (BioMed Central, 2016-01-22)
      Background: Physical activity reduces cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends children engage in 60 min daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The effect of compliance with this recommendation on childhood cardiovascular risk has not been empirically tested. To evaluate whether achieving recommendations results in reduced composite-cardiovascular risk score (CCVR) in children, and to examine if vigorous PA (VPA) has independent risk-reduction effects. Methods PA was measured using accelerometry in 182 children (9–11 years). Subjects were grouped according to achievement of 60 min daily MVPA (active) or not (inactive). CCVR was calculated (sum of z-scores: DXA body fat %, blood pressure, VO2peak, flow mediated dilation, left ventricular diastolic function; CVR score ≥1SD indicated ‘higher risk’). The cohort was further split into quintiles for VPA and odds ratios (OR) calculated for each quintile. Results Active children (92 (53 boys)) undertook more MVPA (38 ± 11 min, P < 0.001), had greater VO2peak (4.5 ± 0.8 ml/kg/min P < 0.001), and lower fat % (3.9 ± 1.1 %, P < 0.001) than inactive. No difference were observed between active and inactive for CCVR or OR (P > 0.05). CCVR in the lowest VPA quintile was significantly greater than the highest quintile (3.9 ± 0.6, P < 0.05), and the OR was 4.7 times higher. Conclusion Achievement of current guidelines has positive effects on body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness, but not CCVR. Vigorous physical activity appears to have beneficial effects on CVD risk, independent of moderate PA, implying a more prescriptive approach may be needed for future VPA guidelines.
    • Physical education and health promotion: A qualitative study of teachers' perceptions

      Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda (Emerald, 2002-06-01)
      This article discusses the extent to which health promotion is central to physical education (PE) teachers' philosophies and practices. 35 PE teachers in secondary schools in north-west England were interviewed.
    • Physical education at preschools: practitioners’ and children’s engagements with physical activity and health discourses

      McEvilly, Nollaig; Verheul, Martine; Atencio, Matthew; University of Chester; The University of Edinburgh; California State University (Taylor & Francis, 2013-12-16)
      This paper focuses on one aspect of a qualitative study concerned with investigating the place and meaning of ‘physical education’ to practitioners and children at three preschools in Scotland. We examine the ways in which the participants engaged with discourses related to physical activity and health in order to construct their subjectivities. Fourteen practitioners and 70 children participated. Research methods employed were observations, interviews with adults, a group drawing and discussion activity with children, and interviews with children. Both the adults’ and children’s talk illustrated the dominance of neoliberal, healthism meanings which position individuals as responsible for their own health. While the children’s talk primarily centred on health as a corporeal notion, the practitioners tended to talk about physical activity and health in both corporeal terms and in relation to the self more holistically. The practitioners also talked about physical activity as a means of regulating children’s behaviour.
    • Physical education teachers in their figurations: A sociological analysis of everyday 'philosophies'

      Green, Ken; Chester College of Higher Education (Taylor & Francis, 2002-03)
      This article examines physical education (PE) teachers' perceptions of their subject and the impact upon their practice of their (sporting) predispositions as well as the contraints of their school and 'professional' contexts. It reports data from an original empirical study conducted by the author with physical education teachers in secondary schools in the north-west of England.
    • Physical education teachers on physical education: a sociological study of philosophies and ideologies

      Green, Ken (Chester Academic Press, 2003-03-27)
      This book discusses the results of a research study in the late 1990s amongst practicing PE secondary school teachers in the North West of England.
    • Physical Education teachers’ perspectives on the 14-19 Physical Education Curriculum in England: A sociological study

      Green, Ken; Bicknell, Simon (University of Chester, 2015-04)
      Over the last 40 years, there has been an expansion, what some have termed an “explosion” (Green, 2001) in the provision of Physical Education (PE) related qualifications, both academic and vocational, in English Secondary schools. In the context of the emergence and rapid growth of the 14-19 PE curriculum, a number of issues have emerged for both PE teachers and their pupils (Green, 2008). It is important to consider these issues and the implications for PE teachers and their pupils. This research study explored the perspectives of secondary school PE teachers towards the subject of PE within the 14-19 curriculum. Specifically, the research focused on PE teachers’ perceptions relating to (i) the broader social processes which have influenced the development of 14-19 PE, and (ii) the impact of the development of 14-19 PE for the subject of PE, PE teachers themselves, and their pupils in English secondary schools. 52 semi-structured interviews were completed over a 14 month period. The research participants, from 22 different secondary schools, consisted of both male and female PE teachers who held varying positions in schools, from PE teachers through Heads of PE to Assistant Headteachers and Headteachers. The research participants were aged between 23 to 59 years of age. The level of teaching experience ranged from between 3 months to 38 years, with 616 years of teaching experience between them. The primary data collected from the interviews were analysed both inductively and deductively. That is to say, first, using a ground theory methodology, emerging themes were identified that were ‘grounded’ within the data itself. Second, the sensitizing concepts offered by a figurational sociology perspective were used to interpret and ‘make sense’ of the themes emerging from the data. The key findings from this study have been broken down into two main themes. With regard to the first theme – PE teachers’ perspectives on the development of the 14-19 PE curriculum (in general, and in their schools in particular) – it was evident that there had been an expansion, over the last decade, of the accreditation opportunities available to more pupils, across more schools, through 14-19 PE, with the ‘drivers’ of such change being located within both ‘local’ and ‘national’ contexts. In terms of the second theme – PE teachers’ perspectives of the impact (both intended and unintended outcomes) of the development of PE within the 14-19 curriculum – it was evident that PE teachers’ views centred initially on the benefits of 14-19 PE for their pupils, and their departments and schools. However, it was evident that there were benefits to be had from 14-19 PE for PE teachers themselves, which meant a change in their ‘working climate’, although there were unplanned consequences also. For PE teachers this meant a change in their ‘work demands’. Sociologically speaking, it is suggested that 14-19 PE may be seen to have developed within a context of complex developmental processes, more specifically through networks of interdependency, characterised by power balances/ratios, and which have led to outcomes both intended and unintended. Specifically, it was suggested that the nature and purposes of PE and the role of PE teachers has markedly changed, indeed transformed. From the findings of this study, recommendations are proposed that focus upon policy implications and future developments, particularly in relation to the unintended outcomes of the development of 14-19 PE.
    • Physical education, lifelong participation and 'the couch potato society'

      Green, Ken; University College Chester (Routledge, 2004-05)
      This article discusses the need to encourage continuing participation in sport and physical activity by young people through catering for their preferences through a wider range of activities in more informal and individual and small-group settings. Consequently, school PE lessons would need to focus on 'optional', recreational, lifestyle-oriented sports and physical activities, rather than competitive, performance-oriented sport.