Symbolism of clothing: The relationship between teacher clothing and children’s perceptions in primary school physical education

LCJ 21 front cover

Brent Bradford & Clive Hickson

LCJ: Special Issue: 2017 30th ACHPER International Conference, 21, pp. 20-33
https://doi.org/10.18793/LCJ2017.21.03

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Citation
Bradford, B. & Hickson, C. (2017). Symbolism of clothing: The relationship between teacher clothing and children’s perceptions in primary school physical education. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts [Special Issue: 2017 30th ACHPER International Conference], 21, 20-33. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18793/LCJ2017.21.03

 

Abstract

Teachers of physical education (PE) have the responsibility to develop and teach programs that physically educate primary school children. How teachers achieve this aim is a critical
consideration. Issues such as planning, delivery, and evaluation are constant themes of consideration; however, other areas of preparedness such as personal presentation are not often investigated. The purpose of this research study was to determine whether a primary school teacher’s choice of clothing in PE impacted children’s perceptions toward that teacher and the PE lesson. Primary school-aged children from six northern Alberta, Canada schools participated in the study. Quantitative data was collected through the use of a specifically designed Mannequin Clothing Assessment Questionnaire (MCAQ); while focus group interviews were employed to collect qualitative data. Both quantitative and qualitative data illustrated that teacher clothing is perceived by children to be important in PE lessons. Running shoes, athletic-style pants, and a golf shirt were perceived to be the most effective clothing choices for the ability to demonstrate, role modeling, safety, comfort, and mobility when teaching PE. This information may prove to be beneficial to the literature on effective teaching, teacher as a role model, and the symbolism of teacher clothing.

 

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