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ERIC Number: EJ881012
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
Evidence for the Social Construction of Ability in Physical Education
Hay, Peter J.; Macdonald, Doune
Sport, Education and Society, v15 n1 p1-18 Feb 2010
This paper reports on a study investigating the empirical substance of Evans' proposed social construction of ability. Data were collected through text analysis of a Senior physical education (PE) syllabus, semi-structured interviews and participant observations of students and teachers in two senior secondary school contexts (one school situated in a low socioeconomic area; and the other school, an "elite" co-educational private school) across 20 weeks of the school year at key junctures in the schools' PE curriculum plans. The data and analysis support Evans' social construction of ability proposition. Students' abilities were observable as a complex construction dependent on the constitution of the field of practice and the students' possession of physical, cultural and social capital operational in and through habitus. Within this construction process high-ability students were privileged in terms of achievement possibilities while low-ability students were marginalised in terms of access to contexts in which capital may be acquired and/or displayed, resulting in their enduring low-ability identification. The findings offer an alternative perspective to prevailing notions of ability and challenge educators to reconsider how the potential of students in and beyond PE is viewed. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia