Teachers’ knowledge and teaching of Olympism within physical education in New Zealand


  • Anna McCone Ara Institute of Canterbury


Physical education, Olympism, New Zealand, Olympic education, Pedagogy


The aim of the research, which was conducted as part of a Master’s thesis, was to provide an insight into physical education (PE) teachers’ knowledge and teaching of Olympism, in New Zealand (NZ) secondary schools. The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) (Ministry of Education [MOE], 2007) has integrated the philosophy of Olympism into the Health and Physical Education Learning Area through four underlying concepts (Culpan, 2008b; Culpan, Bruce & Galvan, 2008; Thorn, 2010); however, there is little research into PE teachers’ knowledge and teaching of Olympism in NZ. An interpretive, mixed-methods methodology was used, with the research being conducted in two parts. In Part One 12 participants completed a short online survey and in Part Two five of the original participants were interviewed. All of the participants were the Head of their PE Department from secondary schools across the Christchurch region in NZ. The findings showed that the participants had heard of Olympism and had a general understanding of it; however, they were unable to give a clear and concise definition. They identified that they taught Olympism implicitly through a wide variety of teaching methods and models. The research highlighted that Olympism does have a presence within PE; however, considerable work needs to be done to ensure that Olympism education is consistent and effective. This article suggests a focus on pre-service and in-service teacher education, the updating of resources and the development of a daily lesson framework to improve the teachers’ knowledge and teaching of Olympism within NZ physical education.

Author Biography

Anna McCone, Ara Institute of Canterbury

Anna McCone is a tutor at Ara Institute of Canterbury, New Zealand. She is a member of the New Zealand Centre for Olympic Studies.






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