Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
MacPhail, A.
Irish Educational Studies
The story of representation (or not) in contributing to the development of a school subject curriculum
Optional Fields
physical education Ireland representation curriculum development

The aim of this paper was to gain an understanding of the views of a group

of physical education teacher educators on the purpose(s) of school

physical education and whether, how and why these views have

changed over time. Semi-structured individual interviews were carried

out with thirteen physical education teacher educators; a fourteenth

participant responded to interview questions in writing. Participants

were based in seven countries: Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New

Zealand, Switzerland and the USA. A relative consensus on the

overarching purpose of physical education was evident, centred on

physical education preparing young people for a lifetime of physical

activity. The framing of this shared purpose differed somewhat between

participants, re

flecting a range of perspectives on the value of physical

activity. Delineating the boundaries of their subject, participants

characterised obesity prevention and maximising in-class physical

activity as potential by-products rather than as goals of the subject. The

views of many had changed over time, in

fluenced by such factors as


ndings from research, societal expectations and a perceived need to

legitimise physical education within school and university contexts. We

note that many of the in

fluences acting on the views of the physical

education teacher educators are also known to affect practicing

teachers. This suggests a possibility, in the open re

flection of physical

education teacher educators on the interaction between their views and

the institutional and societal contexts within which they work, to

provide future teachers with alternative value pathways paved with

relatable explanations and shared experiences.

Grant Details