Female physical educators in all boys' schools - opportunities for enhancing social interactions?
Mooney, Amanda and Hickey, Chris 2011, Female physical educators in all boys' schools - opportunities for enhancing social interactions?, in 27th ACHPER International Conference Edited Proceedings - 'Moving, Learning & Achieving', Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Hindmarsh, S. Aust., pp. 273-281.
The significance of physical education (PE) and sport in a boys’ school has long been highlighted as a device for the privileging of hyper-masculine identities (tough, stoic & assertive) at the expense of marginalised masculinities and femininities. The propensity for some “members of male sporting clique’s to engage in practices of bullying, shaming, violating and excluding” (Hickey, 2008, p. 148) raises important questions about how the practice of boys’ PE and sport can sometimes lead to unhealthy and damaging social interactions between different types of boys. In response to this rhetoric, some boys’ schools have acted to employ female PE teachers to disrupt “concern about the codes of unity, entitlement and privilege that can be forged among groups of boys whose identities are strongly aligned with sporting forms of hyper-masculinity” (Hickey, 2008, p. 148). Given this potential, we suggest that there is something unique or different about working in spaces or contexts around boys’ physicality. More specifically this paper raises questions about the particular implications for a PE teacher’s professional work, particularly as a female PE teacher.
In current educational climates the performance of boys in social and educational contexts attracts considerable concern. Better understanding the contributions and capacities of female PE teachers in all boys’ schools, (as localised social and political environments in which gendered identities are formed) is warranted. Professional identities and “the meaning of gender is negotiated in everyday interactions” (Priola, 2007, p. 23) implicating the culture of all boys’ schools as significant in the development of ideas around effective, gender inclusive, pedagogical practices. Drawing on case study data, this paper seeks to explore how notions of effectiveness about boys’ PE are formed, with intent to make visible the extent to which female PE teachers influence dominant gendered practices of social interaction in all boys’ PE settings.
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Field of Research
130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
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