Getting physical;Learning to Teach;Reviews;General

26th June 1998 at 01:00
LEARNING TO TEACH PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN THE SECONDARY SCHOOL. A companion to school experience. By Susan Capel. Routledge pound;14.99

This publication should prove useful to student teachers specialising in physical education and ought to be essential reading for teachers who pride themselves on being "critically reflective". It reminds experienced teachers why they joined the profession and will help anyone mentoring new teachers to be aware of the myriad of variables they face.

Well-known figures in PE contribute chapters on essential skills and the issues faced by student teachers.

Safety is a priority. The book points out that the profession can be exciting and rewarding, but also shows it to be fraught with dangers. There are some gruesome examples of injuries to pupils.

The book covers such trad-itional topics as communication, organisation, management, teaching styles andevaluation. It also reflects the changing demands placed on PE teachers in discussingassessment, exams and the national curriculum.

Up-to-date research supports sound practical advice and there are suggestions for further reading on motivation, learning theory, skills acquisition and subject content.

The book considers the sometimes contentious issue of the PE teacher's role in the wider community. This reminds us that while schools provide the foundations for physical education and sport, pupils' experiences and expectations go beyond the school gate.

The appendix deals with anxiety-creating situations like the preliminary school visit and discusses ways in which a student should set about observing an experienced teacher.

Kevin Wesson is director of physical education at Colchester College and AEB chief practical moderator for A-level physical education

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