Friday, 20 September 2019

The Future of NCEA PE: How Does This Look?

NCEA was initially designed to be flexible, to allow for multiple methods of assessment, to capture student learning. However unfortunately many of us now have the assessment at the forefront of our minds, some even say it is what they are 'teaching'. The reality is, kids are credit counting and it's sad to admit many are most actively involved when they know the task is being assessed. One of the hopes of the upcoming NCEA Review is that these sad realities can change.

Today I was lucky to attend a thought provoking 'Big Ideas' day at Hobsonville Secondary School faciliated by Sally, Adam, Anne, Margot and Michelle about this review, and how we might be able to reshape the future of PE assessments. The overarching focus of the day was for us to consider the qualities, skills and knowledge we want our students to leave our classrooms with - what actually makes a Phys Edder?

One of the first activities we completed, was to list all the key knowledge we want our students to leave school with, by the end of Year 13. My group found this a little difficult because the list is so huge! The first picture below (SOLO hexagons) shows these initial ideas and the groupings we made from these ideas (also very challenging as some things fit into many boxes!).

The next step was to list all the subject specific skills, and generic skills we would like students to develop during our courses (post-it notes). We then needed to create one possible unit that encompasses some of these skills and some of the knowledge. From start to finish this whole brainstorm was about 45 minutes and really highlighted how much we do teach both explicitly and implicitly. This was a really great reminder of how rich our subject is - and we had not considered assessments at all!

The last activity of the day, as below, was to envisage our dream Year 11 PE class. What would the students be doing? How would they be interacting with each other? Where will their learning be heading next? Naturally, we all had a similar vision: actively involved students who are self managed and can explain what their learning/purpose is in PE. The discussion then became, how do we get there and what recommendations can we make in this review to get there? Although, obviously, we did not create a life changing programme to change the world of NCEA PE, these discussions were insightful and incredibly exciting!

Adam frequently expresses we are only a product of our environment, and so are the kids. We need to be comfortable in the uncomfortable, so they are too. We need to challenge and change the sad realities for the future of PE, and the quality of Phys Edders we create! I look forward to seeing how this review shapes our curriculum.

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