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ERIC Number: EJ830260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Aug
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
"Please Mr. Hay, What Are My Poss(Abilities)?": Legitimation of Ability through Physical Education Practices
Hay, Peter J.; Lisahunter
Sport, Education and Society, v11 n3 p293-310 Aug 2006
This paper provides two vignettes that draw on data from projects that interrogate how a student can be positioned by practices within physical education (PE) and directed by the PE teacher in relation to their valued or legitimated ability. Through the use of Pierre Bourdieu's conceptual tools of field, habitus and capital we investigate the complex legitimation processes that shape student poss(abilities) and that are situated in the space of the PE class. The first vignette is from the perspective of a student and draws on data from interviews, a journal, questionnaires and photos of her PE experiences in upper primary and lower secondary school. The second vignette focuses on teacher practices and his constitution of the field of a PE class highlighting the significance of teacher perspectives of "ability" in informing assessment in senior secondary PE. Using these examples we discuss the symbolic violence that works against each student by positioning them as "less able" or "unable" despite their participation in a "learning" context. We argue that by not attending to the possible abilities of students that could have been recognized, developed and legitimated, and through the misuse of capital assignment by teachers, PE may well be counterproductive to students' ongoing engagement with the subject area and the espoused potential upon which such a subject area justifies itself. (Contains 1 table and 5 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A