Designing Activity Rethinking Girls' Physical Education Experiences Through New Materialism

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


Within the UK and internationally there remains an issue of engaging teenage girls in school PE (Physical Education) lessons. Previous studies have employed critical activist approaches that place girl's voices as central to bringing a lasting change to PE in schools, focusing on the way in which girls navigate neo-liberal healthism discourses within their lessons and other barriers such as relationships with teachers and the PE kits. This paper considers the changes that have occurred over the past year within PE pedagogy due to the 6-month COVID 19 lockdown. It is clear that this is a critical moment for policy makers, teachers and parents to rethink what constitutes PE for teenage girls. In particular the way in which technology has taken a central role in how PE is experienced. Drawing upon affect theory as a framework for rethinking PE, this paper questions the relationships between human and non-human actors within the girl, technology and nature assemblage to reveal new ways of thinking within the field. Focusing on the design of an affective methodology that enables the co-production of affective 'data', the paper aims to foreground the possibilities of what creative methods can do within a PE context. It explores how the material discursive practices of co-creation can disrupt existing knowledge and help girls reimagine their PE experiences. Shifting attention from a critical activist perspective, this paper suggests using affect theory to uncover how teenage girls' experiences are entwined in constant intra-action with matter as they move through their PE lessons.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Sociological Association
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021
EventBSA Conference 2021 70th Anniversary Remaking the Future -
Duration: 13 Apr 202115 Apr 2021


ConferenceBSA Conference 2021 70th Anniversary Remaking the Future


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