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ERIC Number: EJ924710
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
An Analysis of the Ideological Work of the Discourses of "Fair Play" and Moral Education in Perpetuating Inequitable Gender Practices in PETE
Dowling, Fiona; Karhus, Svein
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v16 n2 p197-211 2011
Background: Physical education (PE) is a subject which has a long history of legitimising itself on the grounds of its contribution to pupils' social and moral welfare. It therefore seems probable that PE teacher education (PETE) might embrace recent calls for the need to re-moralise society due to the conditions of the late-modern age and not least the pleas for professional teachers to perceive their role within moral, as opposed to technical terms. It seems pertinent to ask whether PETE culture strives to nurture tomorrow's PE teachers within a philosophy which values inclusive, local learning environments which celebrate and respect the diversity of citizens in a democratic, late-modern society, even though it has traditionally been founded upon scientific functionalism and a positivistic pedagogy. Purpose: The study aimed to explore the extent to which PETE can be seen to nurture equitable learning environments, within a discourse of teacher professionalism which celebrates diversity, by using the lens of gender equity. Research design and data collection: Qualitative data have been generated from individual, in-depth interviews, group interviews and the content analysis of PETE curricula. The sample comprised eight PE teacher educators (two female, six male), 12 student teachers (three female, nine male), and five supervisory teachers (one female, four male) from three institutions of higher education offering PETE in Norway. Participants were asked questions such as "what do you see as being the most important knowledge in PETE?", "how would you describe a good, professional PE teacher?", "how do you interpret providing students with equitable learning experiences?", "what type of gender theory informs your PETE practice?", and "what does gender equity mean to you?" Local policy documents were collected from each institution, including PETE course outlines, overviews of compulsory literature, and PETE evaluation procedures. A critical hermeneutical analysis of the data drawing upon a range of theoretical perspectives and research findings on gender, moral education through the physical, and teacher professionalism, was used to explore the overriding research question. Findings: The analyses revealed that the concept of "fair play", combined with the prevailing gender discourses and dominant views of teacher professionalism in PETE, does considerable "ideological work" to sustain inequitable gender relations. The discourse of "fair play" draws upon actors' common sense understandings of the concept as opposed to theoretical perspectives, as does the hegemonic discourse of gender which is evident in the data. Rather than developing professional identities which celebrate diversity, PETE culture in Norway seems to continue a subject tradition of constructing teachers, student teachers and pupils as universal, disembodied, and de-contextualised subjects. Conclusions: The study alights us to the dangers of imposing "discursive closure" if PETE culture legitimates discourses about gender and morality which limit actors' understandings of the complexities of these phenomena. We advocate a PETE culture that emphasises plurality and acknowledges the inevitable power structures imbued in different ways of knowing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway