South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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School Physical Education in Four South African Provinces: A Survey

KJ van Deventer


Post-apartheid educational transformation in South Africa (SA) reduced Physical Education (PE) from a stand-alone subject to a learning outcome of the Learning Area/Subject Life Orientation (LO) in Grades 7-12. The main purpose of the current study was to determine the implementation of LO in selected secondary schools with specific reference to Physical Development and Movement, a learning outcome in the Senior Phase (SP), and Physical Education in the Further Education and Training Phase (FETP) in the Eastern Cape, Free State and North West Provinces (n=88). The data was combined with the data obtained in selected Western Cape secondary schools (n=62) in 2008. The combined sample was N=150. In the SP, 57% of the schools had qualified PE teachers on the staff compared to 42% of the schools in the FETP. Fifty-eight per cent of LO teachers in the SP and 40% in the FETP who facilitated the movement component of LO were not qualified to present PE. Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) and other stakeholders in SA need to convince government that there should be a discipline-based approach to PE and it should be a stand-alone school subject. The way that LO is compiled does not allow for subject specific training implying that generalist teachers are responsible for teaching the movement component of LO.

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