Purpose: Peer assisted learning (PAL) strategies have been widely adopted in physical education (PE). They facilitate peer education and involved peer-based interaction and learning (Ward & Lee, 2005). These strategies are innovative, and effective in helping students in different learning domains. The reciprocal style of teaching (Mosston & Ashworth, 2002) and cooperative learning (CL) (Dyson & Casey, 2012) are common PAL strategies in PE. They aim to tackle problems associated with large classes, limited equipment, and insufficient feedback to students and learners diversity. However, these strategies are rarely practiced and studied in Hong Kong. The purpose of the study was to investigate students’ perceptions of, and experiences in reciprocal teaching and cooperative learning in PE in Hong Kong schools. Factors that influence students’ learning with these strategies were also examined. Methods: Eight experienced local primary and secondary PE teachers from different regions of Hong Kong and their classes were purposely selected to take part in the study. Four teachers were briefed on the principles and implementation of the reciprocal style, while another four teachers were reminded the principles and implementation of CL, and taught a 10-lesson unit with the same strategies in their schools. A combination of techniques was used to collect qualitative data: lesson observations, formal interviews of students and teachers, student reflective journals and teachers’ self-review. Constant comparison and inductive analysis were used to organize code and categorize the data. Results: Findings indicated that the students’ learning benefited from the PAL. Learning experiences influenced the students’ learning attitudes in PE lessons. Teachers’ experience, support, tasks designed and tutors’ abilities were found to be major factors influencing students’ learning in PAL strategies. In particular, teachers’ intervention and preparation availed students in the learning process. Students and teachers require time to learn and adapt to PAL strategies; they also held positive views and recognized the values of the approaches. Conclusions: Findings of the study contain implications that will help pre-service and in-service PE teachers adopt PAL strategies in schools.
|Publication status||Published - May 2017|