The importance of senior secondary school physical education (PE) is underscored by the assessment of learning outcomes being linked to future access to higher education, employment and further training. Yet within the broad spectrum of PE studies, the investigation of senior secondary school PE has been limited. This article serves the purpose of exploring the key concepts and themes from senior secondary PE syllabi across Australian states and territories. The Leximancer text-mining software was applied as an innovative tool for the exploratory conceptual and thematic analyses within the Curriculum Analysis of Senior Education in Physical Education (CASE-PE) study. A number of similar themes emerged within the CASE-PE study from across the state and territory senior physical education syllabi, including skills, physical, learning, assessment, study, use, performance and training. A number of themes were unique to each state and territory and major concepts had differing levels of relevance. This article provides insights into an under-theorised and -explored part of the Australian curriculum and PE literature. We conclude there is a need for greater uniformity in senior secondary PE curricula and its underpinnings in the future.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (ACT BSS). (2016). ACT Senior Secondary Curriculum. Retrieved June 8, 2016 from: http://www.bsss.act.edu.au/curriculum/courses.
Arnold, P. J. (1979). Meaning in movement, sport, and physical education. Heinemann.
Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER). (2009). The ACHPER National Statement on the curriculum future of Health and Physical Education in Australia. Retrieved November 28, 2016 from: http://www.achper.org.au/documents/item/75
Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2010). The shape of the Australian curriculum version 2.0. Sydney: ACARA.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2011). Why have an Australian curriculum? Retrieved November 28, 2016 from: http://www.acara.edu/verve/_resources/why_have_an_Australian_Curriculum.pdf.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2012). The shape of the Australian curriculum: health and physical education.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2014). Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Retrieved June 19, 2016, from: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/health-and-physical-education/curriculum/f-10?layout=1.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2016). Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Retrieved November 12, 2016 from: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/health-and-physical-education/structure.
Australian Institute for Training and School Leadership. (2011). National Professional Standards for Teachers. Retrieved March 25, 2011, from: http://www.aitsl.edu.au/verve/_resources/AITSL_National_Professional_Standards_for_Teachers.pdf.
Beamish, W., Bryer, F., & Davies, M. (2006). Teacher reflections on co-teaching a unit of work. International Journal of Whole Schooling, 2(2), 3–19.
Bowes, M., & Bruce, J. (2011). Curriculum liquefaction (shifting sands) in senior school physical education in New Zealand: Critical pedagogical approaches and dilemmas. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 2(3–4), 17–33.
Brown, T. D. (2013). A vision lost?(Re) articulating an Arnoldian conception of education ‘in’movement in physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 18(1), 21-37.
Brown, T. D., & Penney, D. (2013). Learning ‘in’, ‘through’ and ‘about’ movement in senior physical education? The new Victorian Certificate of education physical education. European Physical Education Review, 19(1), 39–61.
Curriculum Corporation. (1994). Health and physical education—A curriculum profile for Australian schools. Melbourne: Curriculum Corporation.
Cothran, D. J., Kulinna, P. H., & Garrahy, D. A. (2003). “this is kind of giving a secret away...”: Students’ perspectives on effective class management. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(4), 435–444.
Cothran, D. J., McCaughtry, N., Kulinna, P. H., & Martin, J. (2006). Top-down public health curricular change: The experience of physical education teachers in the United States. Journal of In-Service Education, 32(4), 533–547.
Crawford, D. (2009). The future of sport in Australia. Retrieved 29 November, 2016 from: http://apo.org.au/resource/future-sport-australia.
Crofts, K., & Bisman, J. (2010). Interrogating accountability: An illustration of the use of Leximancer software for qualitative data analysis. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, 7(2), 180–207.
Curtain, R. (2001). An entitlement to post-compulsory education international practice and policy implications for Australia. National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER), Leabrook, South Australia.
Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S. (2011). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research. Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.
Fisher, R., & Miller, D. (2008). Responding to student expectations: A partnership approach to course evaluation. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 33(2), 191–202.
Green, K. (2001). Examinations in Physical Education: a sociological perspective on a ‘new orthodoxy’. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 22(1), 51–73.
Grimbeek, P., Bartlett, B., & Kit-Ken, L. (2004). Using Leximancer to Identify Themes and Patterns in the Talk of Three High-distinction Students [online]. In Bartlett, B., Bryer, F & Roebuck, D (Eds). Educating: Weaving Research into Practice: Volume 2. Nathan, Qld: Griffith University, School of Cognition, Language and Special Education, 122-128.
Grimbeek, P., Bryer, F., Davies, M., & Bartlett, B. (2005). Themes and patterns in 3 years of abstracts from the international conference on cognition, language, and special education research: identified by Leximancer analysis. Stimulating the “action”as participants in participatory research Brisbane. Australia: Griffith University, School of Cognition, Language, and Special Education, 101–113.
Haynes, J. E., Miller, J. A., & Varea, V. (2016). Preservice generalist teachers enlightened approach to teaching physical education through teacher biography. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 41(3), 2.
Horsley, J. (2010). How high ability students perceived the practice of influential teachers. New Zealand Annual Review of Education, 2009(19), 114–129.
Hyndman, B. (2014). Exploring the differences in teaching perspectives between Australian pre-service and graduate physical education teachers. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 4(4), 438–444.
Hyndman, B. P. (2017). Perceived Social-Ecological Barriers of Generalist Pre-Service Teachers towards Teaching Physical Education: Findings from the GET-PE study. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, In Press.
Hyndman, B. P., & Pill, S. (2016). The Influences on Teaching Perspectives of Australian Physical Education Teacher Education Students: The First-Year Influences on Teaching Perspectives Exploratory (FIT-PE) Study. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 41(5). doi:10.14221/ajte.2016v41n5.7.
Hyndman, B., & Pill, S. (2017). What’s in a concept? A Leximancer text mining analysis of physical literacy across the international literature. European Physical Education Review. doi:10.1177/1356336X17690312.
Hyndman, B., Mahony, L., Te Ava, A., Smith, S., & Nutton, G. (2016). Complementing the Australian primary school health and physical education (HPE) curriculum: Exploring children’s HPE learning experiences within varying school ground equipment contexts. Education, 3-13, 1–16. doi:10.1080/03004279.2016.1152282.
Kirk, D. (1988). Physical education and curriculum study: A critical introduction. London: Croom Held.
Kirk, D. (2014). A defining time for physical education futures? Exploring the legacy of Fritz Duras. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 5(2), 103–116.
Lamb, P., & Lane, K. (2013). Pupil voice on being gifted and talented in physical education: ‘they think it’s just, like, a weekend sort of thing’. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 18(2), 150–168.
Lynch, T. (2014). Australian curriculum reform II health and physical education. European Physical Education Review, 20(4), 508–524.
Macdonald, D. (2013). The new Australian health and physical education curriculum: A case of/for gradualism in curriculum reform? Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 4(2), 95–108.
MacPhail, A. (2004). The social construction of higher grade physical education: the impact on teacher curriculum decision-making. Sport, Education and Society, 9(1), 53–73.
MacPhail, A. (2007). Teachers’ views on the construction, management and delivery ofan externally prescribedphysical education curriculum: higher grade physical education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 12(1), 43–60.
Northern Territory Government. (2016). Senior Physical Education curriculum. Retrieved May 26, from: https://nt.gov.au/learning/primary-and-secondary-students/nt-school-curriculum/senior-years-curriculum.
NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA). (2016). Personal Development, Health and Physical Education. Retrieved June 1, 2016 from: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/pdhpe.html.
Penney, D., Jones, A., Newhouse, P., & Cambell, A. (2012). Developing a digital assessment in senior secondary physical education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 17(4), 383–410.
Pill, S., Harvey, S., & Hyndman, B. (2017). Novel research approaches to gauge global teacher familiarity with game-based teaching in physical education: an exploratory# Twitter analysis. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 8(2). doi:10.1080/18377122.2017.1315953.
Pinquart, M., Juang, L. P., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2003). Self-efficacy and successful school-to-work transition: A longitudinal study. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63(3), 329–346.
Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2016). Queensland Senior Secondary Physical Education syllabus. Retrieved June 10, 2016 from: https://www.qcaa.qld.edu.au/senior/subjects/hpe/physical-education-2010.
Rooney, D., Brabant, M., Paulsen, N., Callan, V. J., & Jones, E. (2006). Researching place and social identity in organizational change: a theoretically informed Leximancer analysis of a participant historiographical study. In 56th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association: Networking Communication Research. International Communication Association.
Smyth, E., & Banks, J. (2012). High stakes testing and student perspectives on teaching and learning in the Republic of Ireland. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 24(4), 283–306.
South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). (2016). South Australian Certificate of Education: Physical Education syllabus. Retrieved June 12, from: https://www.sace.sa.edu.au/web/physical-education.
Stolz, S. A., & Thorburn, M. (2015). A genealogical analysis of Peter Arnold’s conceptual account of meaning in movement, sport and physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 1–14.
SueSee, B., & Edwards, K. (2011). Self-identified and observed teaching styles of senior physical education teachers in Queensland schools. In Proceedings of the 27th Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation Conference (ACHPER 2011) (pp. 208–219). Australian Council for Health Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER).
Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification (TASC). (2016). Senior Secondary. Retrieved June 18, from: http://www.tqa.tas.gov.au/2191.
Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG). (2015). Action Now: Classroom Ready. Teachers. Retrieved May 23rd, 2016 from: https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/150212_ag_response_-_final.pdf.
Thorburn, M. (2007). Achieving conceptual and curriculum coherence in high-stakes school examinations in Physical Education. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 12(2), 163–184.
Thorburn, M. (2010). Opportunities and challenges for physical education. Physical Education-picking up the Baton. Policy & Practice in Education, 17–27.
Thorburn, M., & Collins, D. (2006a). The effects of an integrated curriculum model on student learning and attainment. European Physical Education Review, 12(1), 31–50.
Thorburn, M., & Collins, D. (2006b). Accuracy and authenticity of oral and written assessments in high-stakes school examinations. The Curriculum Journal, 17(1), 3–25.
Trost, S. G., & van der Mars, H. (2010). Why should we not cut PE. Educational Leadership, 68(1), 60–65.
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). (2016). Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Physical Education. Retrieved June 17, from: http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Pages/vce/studies/physicaledu/phyeduindex.aspx.
Western Australia Certificate of Education (WACE). (2016). Western Australian Certificate of Education (Physical Education). Retrieved June 17, 2016 from: http://senior-secondary.scsa.wa.edu.au/syllabus-and-support-materials/health-and-physical-education.
Whittle, R. J., Telford, A.,& Benson, A. C. (2015). The ‘Perfect’ Senior (VCE) Secondary Physical Education Teacher: Student Perceptions of Teacher-related Factors that Influence Academic Performance. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 40(8). http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2015v40n8.1
About this article
Cite this article
Hyndman, B., Pill, S. The Curriculum Analysis of Senior Education in Physical Education (CASE-PE) study. Curric Perspect 37, 147–160 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41297-017-0020-z
- Physical education
- Senior secondary