A stalling influence? Structures and 'reform' in Physical Education

Year: 1996

Author: Penney, Dawn

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Drawing on research in both the United Kingdom and Australia this paper identifies dominant discourses and prevalent practices in physical education as signaling an absence of change in much of the contemporary 'reform' of physical education. It pursues the reasons underlying this, centring attention on political and ideological influences and the institutional contexts in which developments are occurring. Bernstein's concepts of voice, message and the principles of classification and framing are used in examining the relationship between institutional structures and the potential for and direction of curriculum development in relation to both schools and teacher training institutions. Attention is drawn to present contradictions between institutional structures and progressive discourses in physical education, and the arguable need for significant structural changes if the continued reinforcement of 'traditional' definitions and biases within physical education is to be halted.