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Teaching Research Focused on Physical Activities in Italian Primary School: The Use of Technological Instruments for the Assessment

Author(s): Maurizio Sibilio | Claudio Macchi | Raffaele Prosperi | Antinea Ambretti | Gaetano Raiola | Paola Aiello | Nadia Carlomagno

Journal: Journal of Didactics
ISSN 2067-4627

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 96;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: physical activities | assessment | teaching methodology | energy expenditure | technological instruments.

The physical and sports activities in Italian primary school are configured as physical activities that do not require intense efforts, inadequate to the educational context and its objectives. Therefore, when they are not conducted with appropriate methodological approaches, can be potentially dangerous even in the absence of adequate medical checks that are not currently required by the Italian law. For this reason it is essential to provide adequate training to teachers to acquire a knowledge of the best teaching methodological approaches aimed to achieve the objectives set out in the ministerial educational documents, while promoting awareness of the effects of physical and sports activities among students. At the same time, the focus on procedures and assessment tools to promote quality teaching of motor activity at an international level (Hay, 2006) has imposed a necessary testing of the instruments not traditionally used in school contexts but that, for their characteristics of handling and measurement accuracy (Jakicic, 2004; Arvidsson, 2007), are valid aids in verifying the results of the adopted methodologies. The aim of this research was to verify teachers’ awareness of the effects of a laboratorial physical education lesson based on light exercises (lasting 15 minutes ± 5 minutes) through a comparison of the pre-defined values of energy expenditure supposed by the teachers and the real values obtained using the calorimeter.The results have suggested that the teaching methodologies are not suitable for the teaching of light physical activities such as warming up. They also show that the performed activities, although described as "light" and "non-competitive", should require a further medical examination such as "effort test" used for specific sports and fitness competitions.

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