Observing Affective Learning in Physical Education: Developing Effective Pedagogical Strategies
Background: Despite ambitions for physical education (PE) to facilitate student growth across the four learning domains of physical, cognitive, social, and affective learning, much of what educators do tends to neglect the affective domain and prioritise physical learning (Casey and Goodyear, 2015). Increased interest in the affective domain has accelerated recently due to raised awareness of mental health issues among young people (Patton et al., 2016). Yet gaps remain in teacher understanding, with recommendations for observational evidence to develop pedagogies that will enrich learning in the affective domain (Teraoka et al., 2020).
Purpose: To examine how student interactions facilitate learning in the affective domain and how teachers may begin to observe specific affective outcomes in PE.
Methods: Sixteen, 60-minute elementary (age 6-7) PE lessons were video-recorded at an international school in Singapore during 2020. Data were analysed using the Practical Epistemological Analysis (PEA) technique to identify indeterminate situations related to the affective domain (Wickman and √ñstman, 2002).
Results: The analysis of the videos identified three areas that impacted on student affective learning: 1) emotions from competition influence student interactions, 2) morality influences students attitude towards lessons, and 3) health-based focus influenced how students valued PE and engaged students.
Conclusion: The three indeterminate situations add to emerging frameworks of describing affective learning (Krathwohl et al., 1964; Casey and Fernandez-Rio, 2019). Evidence generated on student interactions provide new understandings that can inform the development of effective pedagogical strategies to support, develop and enhance learning in the affective domain and contribute to a mental health agenda.
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