An examination of an implementation of the 'responsibility model' in a New Zealand secondary school physical education programme : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This study examined a six-month implementation of the Responsibility Model (RM) in a New Zealand secondary school. Four classes were involved in the study, two classes were taught a programme based on the RM and two classes were taught using a traditional pedagogical approach to physical education. All four classes were taught by the same teacher. A mixed methodological approach was used combining case study and quasi-experimental research. Data were collected through interviews, observations, analysis of detention patterns, and regular student self-assessments.
The implementation was successful in developing positive, supportive and well-behaved classes in physical education. The majority of students developed a greater understanding of personal and social responsibility and became more personally and socially responsible in class. The students were not found to be disadvantaged in meeting the physical education curriculum goals and students in the RM classes were found to be more engaged in their class work than the equivalent students in the control classes. If the true measure of success, however, is that students are able to take what is learnt in physical education and apply it in other contexts, then this implementation was less successful. For the vast majority of students the teaching and learning about personal and social responsibility was firmly associated with physical education and they generally showed little understanding of the potential for the transfer of learning to other contexts. It is possible that a longer implementation and a more consistent reinforcement of the concept of transfer would lead to students developing greater understanding of the models potential application in other areas of their lives.
This study has implications for teachers who are considering introducing the RM into their teaching. It provides insights into the realities of implementing the RM into the specific context of secondary school physical education programmes. It also challenges the assumptions that teachers may have that the introduction of the RM is a relatively unproblematic process and identifies a number of areas of potential difficulty. The study concludes with recommendations for teachers contemplating introducing the RM into their practice.