Educational codes and inclusivity in physical education

Year: 2005

Author: Penney, Dawn, Evans, John, Taggart, Joanne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Pedagogies, policies and politics all have a bearing upon the educational codes (Bernstein, 1990) that are, and potentially may be expressed in physical education. In each of Bernstein's fields of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, issues and interests relating to education, sport and health influence the expression and relative dominance of performance, perfection and competency codes (Evans & Davies, 2004). Ultimately codes combine to define and position certain students as winners or losers, and determine the abilities and subjectivities that will be recognised and celebrated - or not. This paper identifies the new post compulsory Physical Education Studies course of study in Western Australia as a text informed by and featuring competency codes, reflecting underpinning concerns to ensure inclusivity in post compulsory education in Western Australia. The paper discusses processes of interrogation revealing the presence of performance, perfection and competency codes within and beyond the course of study, and responses made during development in order to retain a competency orientation. The need for ongoing monitoring of learning, teaching and assessment during initial implementation of the course of study to explore the expression of codes in practice, is discussed.