Word of the Week 7: PE Inquiry

Our word this weeks (PE inquiry)  is inspired by our past few weeks at practicum. I think most of us would agree that inquiry based teaching is at the heart of our education at UBC.  As Teacher Candidates, we are encouraged to include an element of inquiry in all our lessons; we are encouraged to give students the time and space to ask questions, explore their surroundings and  wonder about the word around them.  While this model fits nicely into math, science, art and language arts lessons, I noticed my PE classes were chock full of  fulfilling IPO’s, covering fundamental movement skills, ensuring students are safe in the gym, completing student based assessments and managing student behaviors in the gym. With all this to cover,  when should teachers incorporate inquiry in PE? Moreover, as PE teachers who are devoted to teaching skill development, encouraging activity and having fun in the gym, what are some ways we can make our PE lessons more inquiry based that do not take away from activity time?


5 thoughts on “Word of the Week 7: PE Inquiry”

  1. During my practicum I asked the very same question to my school adviser. They indicated how working inquiry, and IB, into the Physical Education curriculum remains the highest hurdle in the school. We discussed introducing cross-cultural notions of Physical Education, and the importance of reflecting on a journal or orally following a class. However, there were extrinsic factors during the PE lesson that needed to be resolved. Now, though, I’m working on a way to connect the two for my final project. I’ll elaborate further on it in class, as I am sure most of us wonder the same thing.

  2. I was also trying to figure this out at my school. Our P.E. specialists talked about how some units that the homeroom teachers do make it much easier for them to tie in IB and inquiry while others do not. The teachers at our school make links to specials (P.E., Art, Music, French) classes when it’s possible and I think that’s the first step to bringing inquiry into P.E. because as a stand alone, it’s very hard, especially at younger grade levels.
    My class also tries to include DPA into the classroom activities so the two are not always done separatly but I’m still trying to find inquiry happening in the movement portions of a day.

  3. Hi everyone,

    I connected with this PYP PE teacher on twitter who has lots of great ideas about incorporating inquiry into the PE classroom

    My PE SA has also noted, they try to do it where possible, but don’t like to create tenuous links, they’d rather have all or nothing.

    I did manage to create an inquiry lesson for grade 1’s with target games with them finding out the easiest ways to throw, use the objects to get to various targets. I think at the beginning of units especially is an ideal time to get inquiry cranking in the PE classroom.


  4. Thanks everyone for the comments!

    I was teaching basketball during my practicum, and tried to incorporate inquiry into class before teaching them skills – I had them dribble the ball themselves and we discussed what they thought the best techniques for dribbling is. I found this worked really well – students were engaged and curious. But in doing this, we spent quite a bit of time talking, and I lost a lot of time I was hoping to use teaching/having them develop and practice the proper method of dribbling. Is there a way to have the best of both worlds?

    1. I think if you’ve got a multiple lesson unit on basketball – there’s no harm in shaving a bit of time off across the lot (say 5 mins each) to give you a bit of ‘inquiry time’ . 6 lesson unit would equal 30 mins of inquiry 🙂

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