ERIC Number: EJ1025979
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
"Are You Listening?": Adolescent Girls Voice How They Negotiate Self-Identified Barriers to Their Success and Survival in Physical Education
Fisette, Jennifer L.
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v18 n2 p184-203 2013
Background: Limited research has been conducted on student voice with students in physical education. Accessing and responding to student voice are relevant for researchers and physical education teachers to develop physical education programs that are meaningful and have a sense of purpose to the students themselves. It is through listening to student voices that researchers and teachers might learn how students navigate power structures, formulated by adults, which typically dominate physical education curricula and exclude students from the process of curricular decision-making and implementation and, ultimately, ownership of their own learning and movement experiences. Purpose: This study explored how secondary-school girls, through their voices, identified and critiqued their self-identified barriers to their engagement in and enjoyment of physical education and navigated these barriers and the unequal power relations they encountered to thrive or survive in physical education. Participants and setting: Participants were seven 9th and 10th grade girls in a coeducational physical education class in a rural high school located in the northeast region of the USA. Data collection: Data were collected from the following sources: (a) focus group interviews, (b) formal interviews with the adolescent girls, (c) descriptive field notes of the girls' physical education classes, and (d) informal conversations with the physical education teachers. Data analysis: Data analysis was conducted simultaneously with the data collection process throughout this study. Field notes were word-processed into narratives and the focus group and formal interviews were transcribed verbatim. The transcriptions and field notes were coded using content analysis and the constant comparative method. Findings: Interpretations include the participants' self-identified barriers to their engagement in and enjoyment of physical education and their critique of these self-identified barriers and how they navigated these barriers and the unequal power relations they encountered within physical education. Girls' self-identified barriers included "Proving themselves to the boys," "Girls are supposed to do girly things and boys are supposed to do boy-ee things," and "There's a risk of being embarrassed." Through discourse and critical inquiry, the participants were able to voice their self-identified barriers and individual lived experiences. Although the participants experienced these barriers, they were able to embody their comfort and enjoyment by navigating their participation within particular contexts and situations to thrive or survive in physical education.
Descriptors: Physical Education, Females, Gender Differences, Barriers, Success, Student Attitudes, Power Structure, Decision Making, Learning Experience, Movement Education, Ownership, Interviews, Focus Groups, High School Students, Content Analysis, Grounded Theory, Criticism, Self Efficacy, Discourse Analysis, Risk, Psychological Patterns
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Grade 9; Grade 10
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A