Early childhood teachers’ views about teaching physical education: challenges and recommendations
SourcePhysical Education and Sport Pedagogy
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Background: Educational scholars emphasize that in order to gain a better understanding of the complexity of teaching, greater attention needs to be paid to teachers’ views and perceptions of the challenges and barriers of teaching. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe preschool teachers’ views and perceptions of the main challenges of teaching physical education. The major question addressed was: what are the main challenges that preschool teachers face in teaching physical education, and based on their experiences what suggestions do the preschool teachers make in reference to early childhood physical education? Data collection and analysis: Four experienced early childhood educators from Cyprus volunteered to participate in this study. Data were collected through formal interviews and were analyzed inductively via individual-case and cross-case analysis. Findings: The findings suggest that the four early childhood teachers believed that the main aim of physical education, in the early years, is to provide children with opportunities to develop their psychomotor, cognitive, and social skills. Although the participants consider physical education to be an important subject in the school curriculum, they admitted that it has been undermined to a great extent and is viewed as a marginal subject. Findings from the study suggest that the four early childhood educators faced common barriers, deficiencies, and constraints, relative to the teaching resources. Finally, the participants called for meaningful professional development programs. Implications of these findings for educators are discussed.