Loughborough University
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Investigations into the teaching of swimming in secondary schools

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posted on 2018-05-25, 08:26 authored by Colin A. Hardy
The research grew out of the author’s interest In the process of leaming to swim and his concern about the recent problems faced by schools in providing swimming lessons. 1ST INVESTIGATION. The results of a questionnaire given to 582 fifth year secondary school pupils from six schools in a Midlands local authority showed that nearly all pupils could swim, females did less well than males at swimming, and low ability pupils (those swimming less than 100 metres) were less likely to enjoy and go swimming in their own time, and more likely to have a parent non-swimmer. 2ND INVESTIGATION. As there was a substantial number of pupils who had made little progress during the secondary years, twenty-nine low ability pupils were Interviewed to probe Into the reasons for their lack of progress. The results Indicated that many of their problems emanated from experiences in the swimming pool, and that their lack of confidence or fear of water affected such areas as stroke technique. The background profile of the group indicated that there was not a general rejection of sporting and educational values, but the variations among pupils suggested that teachers need to have a knowledge of individual as well as group characteristics. 3RD INVESTIGATION. The fact that the school was the main agent of Instruction for many low ability pupils and that many of the pupils' worries stemmed from experiences in structured situations, Indicated that the author should focus on the teaching of swimming for the next investigation. The results, based on a mini-experimental teaching unit (ETU) format. showed that an Intervention strategy could increase the pupils' practical Swimming time, that experienced teachers, who spent the majority of their time teaching and not managing, were able to improve the back crawl performance of females and low ability pupils and to leave the pupils with an accurate picture of the skill. 4TH INVESTIGATION. Although the behaviours of successful experienced teachers may provide models for less experienced teachers, the author was aware, as a teacher educator, that the concerns of pre-service teachers were not always the same as those of co-operating teachers and supervisors. Consequently, a content analysis of the non-success features of Swimming lessons Cited in the evaluation reports of pre-service teachers and supervisors was carried out. The results showed that pre-service teachers were particularly concerned with pupil non-compliance and pupil difficulty with the task, whereas supervisors felt that many of the pre-service teachers' problems were related to their presentation and their choosing and organizing of material to their management of pupils and to lack of professional skills. The present study Indicated that differences exist between pre-service teachers and supervisors in their perceptions of the non-success features of swimming lessons, and that conflict could occur between them unless they try and understand each other’s perspective.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


© Colin A. Hardy

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.


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