South African Journal of Education

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An approach to re-skilling of in-service teachers in Physical Education in South African schools

Leoni C.E. Stroebel, Johnnie Hay, Hermanus J. Bloemhoff


During the past two decades, curriculum restructuring in South Africa has had some unintended consequences; one of these being the unrealistic demands expected from Life Skills (LS) and Life Orientation (LO) teachers. Physical Education (PE) finds itself within the multi-faceted subject of LS/LO, therefore the teacher, often without requisite training, has to be accountable for the dissimilar demands of this multidisciplinary subject. The continuing professional development needs are undoubtedly just as diverse as the subject itself is. The aim of the study was to explore an approach for capacitating in-service LS/LO teachers responsible for teaching PE. The research reported in this article employed a qualitative design, which comprised semi-structured interviews with 10 Subject Advisors of LS/LO in the Free State. Themes that emerged from the data analysis were assessment problems, inappropriate allocation of teachers; rotation of teachers; and lack of knowledge and understanding; which culminates in the need for in-service training. The results of this study indicate the necessity for re-skilling of in-service LS/LO teachers and propose an approach for a re-skilling programme to equip these teachers with the essential knowledge and skills to teach PE proficiently.

Keywords: continuing professional development; Life Orientation; LO teachers’ needs; Physical Education; re-skilling
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