Girls, Gender and Physical Education: An Activist Approach, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Girls, Gender and Physical Education

An Activist Approach, 1st Edition

By Kimberly L. Oliver, David Kirk


118 pages

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In this powerfully argued and progressive study, Kimberly Oliver and David Kirk call for a radical reconstruction of the teaching of physical education for girls. Despite forty years of theorization and practical intervention, girls are still disengaging from physical education, dropping out of physical activity, and suffering negative consequences in terms of their health and well-being as a result. This book challenges the conventional narrative that girls are somehow to blame for this disengagement, and instead identifies important new ways of working with girls, developing a new pedagogical model for ‘girl-friendly’ physical education.

The book locates our understanding of the experiences of girls in physical education in the broader context of young people’s multifaceted engagements with popular physical culture. Adopting an activist perspective, it outlines a programme of action informed by principled pragmatism and based on four critical elements: student-centred pedagogy; critical study of embodiment; inquiry-based physical education centred-in-action, and listening and responding to girls over time. It explores the implications of this new thinking for teaching, research, PETE and policy, and outlines a future agenda for work in this area.

Offering a profound theoretical critique of contemporary research and practice, as well as a new programme of action, Girls, Gender and Physical Education is essential reading for all researchers, advanced students and practitioners with an interest in the issues of gender, equity and inclusion in physical education.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The same old story: the reproduction and recycling of a dominant narrative in research on physical education for girls 3. Student Centred Pedagogy 4. Pedagogies of Embodiment 5. Inquiry based education centred in action 6. Listening and Responding Over Time 7. Possibilities for research and physical education from an activist perspective

About the Authors

Kimberly L. Oliver is a Professor of Physical Education Teacher Education in the Department of Kinesiology and Dance at New Mexico State University, USA where she directs the Physical Education Teacher Education Program. Working in the traditions of feminist, critical and activist research and pedagogies, her interest is in learning how teachers can assist girls in exploring, critiquing, and transforming personal and cultural barriers that limit their health and physical activity opportunities. More recently, Oliver has moved into studying the impact that a field-based, student-centered and inquiry-oriented methods course has on pre-service teachers’ abilities to be student-centered physical educators. She has published widely in both physical education and general education journals

David Kirk is currently Professor and Head of the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde, UK. He is an educational researcher with teaching and research interests in educational innovation, curriculum history, and physical education and sport pedagogy. Kirk is founding editor of the peer reviewed journal Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy (Routledge) and editor of the book series Routledge Studies in Physical Education and Youth Sport. He has previously held academic appointments at universities in England, Australia, Ireland and Belgium and is currently Honorary Professor of Human Movement Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia. He has published widely on physical education and sport pedagogy and published Physical Education Futures (Routledge) in 2010

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Physical Education and Youth Sport

The Routledge Studies in Physical Education and Youth Sport series is a forum for the discussion of the latest and most important ideas and issues in physical education, sport, and active leisure for young people across school, club and recreational settings. The series presents the work of the best well-established and emerging scholars from around the world, offering a truly international perspective on policy and practice. It aims to enhance our understanding of key challenges, to inform academic debate, and to have a high impact on both policy and practice, and is thus an essential resource for all serious students of physical education and youth sport.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Physical Education