Physical Education (PE) can provide many areas to investigate whether this is related to teaching styles, communication methods, the application of theory or how to encourage students to remain physically active. This guide will provide you with some of the latest trends that are occurring in PE literature as well as noting some key practice related focuses. Whether you are studying as an undergraduate, PGCE or postgraduate student, here are some key research topics for you to consider:
- Do male PE staff focus more on skill development to support student physical development?
- How does teaching style influence engagement and achievement in students?
- What challenges arise in low-level PE lessons?
- How can PE teachers help to reduce obesity in teenage students?
- How can PE teachers increase knowledge and understanding of the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle?
- How do cultural differences impact active participation in PE lessons?
- Is there a place for exer-gaming in the UK PE curriculum?
- The impact of visual aids in communicating in PE teaching practice.
- What is the role of student voice in the PE classroom?
Lesson planning is a key element of all teaching; however, PE teachers need to consider additional factors such as risk assessments, weather conditions or injuries which can influence students’ participation in their lessons. Therefore, ensuring additional elements are in lesson planning – such as the role of non-doers as officials or coaches – and ensuring to have a plan B should lesson plans not be able to be implanted. Here are some potential topics you might like to consider:
- How do online resources support improvements in creative lesson planning in secondary PE lessons?
- How does the use of ‘Joe Wicks’ style lessons support improvements in primary school students engagement in PE lessons?
- How do trainee teachers in England use and evaluate lesson plans?
- Do PE teachers see the value in reflective practice to improve future lesson planning?
- How do PE teachers enhance motivations in lessons?
- Do game-based activities increase engagement and enjoyment in secondary school students?
- Is there still a place in the UK PE curriculum for traditional teaching methods?
Motivation is one of the most hotly debated and investigated areas in teaching, especially in PE where students engagement can differ greatly. While many studies have focused on girls’ motivation and engagement factors, there remains further motivations and the role of school provisions such as after school clubs and providing additional sources of motivation. Here are some potential topics for you to consider:
- The impact of competitiveness in PE lessons on student’s motivation.
- Factors influencing male KS4 motivation in core PE lessons.
- Understanding the association between engagement, motivation and achievement in PE lessons.
- Understanding the association between theoretical and practical engagement in PE lessons.
- Key differences in male and female PE lesson motivation.
- Are student motivation levels impacted by teaching style?
- How does student choice impact motivation?
- Does the inclusion of external teachers (local sport club coaches) support improvements to in and out-of-school sports participation?
- How can PE teachers enhance students engagement in sport and exercise?
Similar to motivation, engagement is a key focus for PE teachers as without engagement, we are unable to meet the goals of the PE curriculum. By focusing on engagement, it is possible to understand how we can communicate with students and ensure that they are fully participating in lessons. Additionally, engagement can relate to the teachers’ engagement in practice and other areas. Below are some considerations for research regarding student engagement in PE lessons:
- Effective differentiation in supporting student engagement in PE lessons.
- The role of assessment for learning in supporting PE teachers’ engagement practice.
- How can teachers adapt their practice to deliver fully inclusive lessons to enhance engagement?
- Teacher and student perceptions of engagement in PE lessons.
- How teacher personality and approach influence engagement in PE lessons.
- PE Teachers’ engagement in theoretical-based practices to develop and deliver PE lessons.
- How do PE teachers prepare for theoretical vs. practical lessons: Engagement with resources, planning time and additional factors.
- How do creative lessons influence engagement in PE lessons?
- Individual, Instructional and Department determinants of student engagement in PE lessons.
- Students behaviours and engagement in PE lessons.
- How to engage the unengaged in PE lessons?