Exploring teachers’ biographies and perceptions of girls’ participation in physical education

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40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Drawing on data from a life history study of 11 women, this article explores the ways in which a group of newly qualified female physical education (PE) teachers constructed the ‘problem’ of girls’ relatively low participation in PE. It is suggested that, while these women voluntarily expressed a desire to change the gendered nature of PE, during teaching their positions were most strongly oriented towards a discourse of liberal individualism constructing ‘girls’ as a problem in PE. The life stories highlighted the ways in which a discourse of liberal individualism came to be reproduced through a series of connections between their own schooling experiences as successful pupils in the PE system, which set them aside from ‘disinterested’ girls, and the experiential resources this later provided them with in constructing their own pedagogical positions as teachers. The article concludes by suggesting ways in which teachers may begin to move beyond seeing girls as ‘problems’ within PE by drawing on an understanding of physical culture and developing reflexive practices in teacher education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-240
Number of pages26
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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