The target group for my inquiry is my Year 11 Physical Education class. The reason I chose this class is due to student perception that this subject is purely practical and involves no theoretical component. Therefore a lot of practical orientated students opt to take Physical Education due to the hands-on nature they experienced in junior school. Now, the presumption is that practical orientated students have lower literacy levels due to the nature of how they learn. So I wanted to gather some data in regards to literacy levels to see if this was true. The data I could draw on was each student's end of year E-AsTtle reading/writing results from 2016.
After reviewing this snapshot I realised the vast range of abilities in my class. Their literacy levels ranged from 2P to 5B which is 10 sub-levels. Being able to cater for a vast range of abilities is going to be a challenge but also bringing students writing up to speed to be able to achieve at Level 6 of the curriculum. I quickly concluded that there was a problem with writing among my students. There could be numerous reasons for such low literacy levels. The underlying reasons I have hypothesised are:
1. Underlying issues at home- home life/sickness/family issues- forces them to stay at home.
2. Psychological issues and lack of self confidence- because they are so far behind they don’t want to be at school.
3. Lack of support structures in place to help students progress-those with low literacy.
4. Low attendance rates lead to further drops in literacy levels.
5. Low attendance- Students miss out on key content to help with achievement outcomes.
6. Making resources visible and accessible.
Of the reasons that I have hypothesised, I believe that attendance is an issue that is beyond my control. I can follow all the necessary steps to help a student attend regularly but sometimes its beyond my help. What I can control in my class is building students self efficacy in their writing, making resources visible and attempting to put structures in place to help improve literacy levels. One aspect I have identified that is important in writing success, is students self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is a persons belief they have in their ability to complete a task. I conducted a survey on my class and asked them how they rated their confidence in practical lessons compared to theory lessons. In this survey I used the term 'confidence' instead of 'self-efficacy because I did not want to confuse my students. If you are a confident in performing a task, you generally have high self-efficacy.