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ERIC Number: EJ1109477
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
"Reflective Co-Education" or Male-Oriented Physical Education? Teachers' Views about Activities in Co-Educational PE Classes at German Secondary Schools
Kastrup, Valerie; Kleindienst-Cachay, Christa
Sport, Education and Society, v21 n7 p963-984 2016
As much as the principle of co-education may appear to make sense in physical education (PE) lessons, trends in its development have emerged over the past years, especially in secondary schools, which were certainly not intended by the pedagogical programme of "reflective co-education", which stands for respect for equality "and" difference in co-educational PE classes. Although this programme has been anchored in the curricula of various federal states in Germany for around 15 years, the prevailing practice even today, and documented in many empirical studies, is that so-called "male-oriented" activities (e.g. games) predominate in PE classes while "female-oriented" activities (e.g. dance, aerobics, gymnastics or health-related exercises) are scarcely ever taught. The purpose of this contribution is to examine (1) the extent to which male (as well as female) PE teachers actually make such a one-sided selection of activities; (2) the reasons they give for this practice and the way they perceive and judge it; and (3) how they communicate this selection to each other and to their pupils. Seventy-one PE teachers (of both sexes) were asked about these questions in problem-centred interviews. The main result of the study is that both male and female PE teachers almost exclusively do "male-oriented" activities (like games and other competitive activities) in mixed-gender classes, although they give different reasons for doing so. By contrast, so-called "female activities" are avoided. The observable implications are that PE lessons have increasingly become dominated by male patterns of physical activity and that a hierarchy is constructed between so-called "male activities" and "female activities" in PE. As a result, a key objective of "reflective co-education" has not been achieved. Female PE teachers suffer considerably under these conditions. It can be observed that many of them are either planning to reduce their hours in, or even give up, teaching PE (or have already done so).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: West Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A