Perceptions of physical education among pupils in selected schools of Lusaka district,Zambia

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Kapembwa, Glyniss
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The University of Zambia
This study purposed to gain insights into pupils‟ perceptions of Physical Education (PE) among selected secondary Schools in Lusaka District. Lack of adequate knowledge on how pupils perceived PE necessitated this research whose results could be relevant to educators, researchers, policy makers and others. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches in the context of a survey research design. Purposive sampling techniques were used to select 210 pupils from three secondary schools of Lusaka Province. Data collection instruments included semi-structured interview guide, focus group interview and unstructured observations. Results were analyzed using constant comparative analysis and therefore, all uniform phrases and words that emerged from responses were grouped and quantified using manual coding and thereafter, discussed and interpreted. The discussion of results showed that indeed, PE does not only need to focus on various psychomotor skills, but also on the development of cognitive skill within the classroom environment. Generally, PE was perceived to be an easy subject that would promote physical fitness, personal enjoyment. Meanwhile other views showed that PE was a less interesting subject in class than when done from outside and that it is a subject for pupils who are interested and talented in sports. It was noted that pupils‟ perceptions of PE were more biased on the constructed field of PE than its meaning, which pointed to an existing gap between the psychomotor and the cognitive domains, hence, the need to teach PE as an academic subject in the classroom. It was also noted that pupils preferred outdoor activities than learning PE in class because they were more interesting than being in class, promoted physical fitness, and reduces school stress. It was further noted that only very few pupils were able to associate PE to a broader array of themes other than outdoor physical activities because they lack a cognitive knowledge orientation about PE. There was also an outcry that there were few trained and motivated teachers, inadequate material resources and poor timetabling of the subject. These, among other factors made the pupils to feel that PE would rather be an outdoor based than as a subject in a classroom environment. Nevertheless, some measures such as change of pedagogical approaches, retention of PE on timetable, exchange programmes, among others were proposed to be among some measures that would expedite pupils‟ interest in PE. The main recommendations of the study included creation of awareness programmes which should change wrong perceptions of the subject so as to embrace its intellectual domain and the urgent need to implement end of year examinations in PE
Physical education and training--Study and teaching--Zambia , Physical education for children--Zambia