Inclusion within Swedish Physical Education? : Problematizing the ‘text’ surrounding physical education and the experiences of immigrant youth

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Inclusion within Swedish Physical Education? : Problematizing the ‘text’ surrounding physical education and the experiences of immigrant youth

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Publication Other
Title Inclusion within Swedish Physical Education? : Problematizing the ‘text’ surrounding physical education and the experiences of immigrant youth
Author(s) Knez, Kelly ; Ekberg, Jan-Eric ; Ericsson, Ingegerd ; Londos, Mikael
Date 2015
Editor(s) Radmann, Aage; Hedenborg, Susanna; Tsolakidis, Elias
English abstract
Interestingly, Swedish government based data suggests that young people from an ‘immigrant’ background are less likely to be represented among the top ‘scoring’ students within physical education, and more likely to be over-represented among the lower ‘scoring’ students. Whilst such data can be problematic and reductive in nature, it also raises important questions surrounding the implementation of democratic practices within physical education in Sweden, which self identifies as a country that has a long and established history of inclusiveness and equality across all sectors of society. Aim: The aim of this presentation is to look beyond government-based statistics and to problematize the ‘text’, based on policy documents and academic literature within physical education and the experiences of immigrant youth surrounding physical education practice, with a focus on the Swedish context. Methodology: Postcolonialism provides a useful framework to ‘borrow’ from, through which to consider how Eurocentric ways of knowing have shaped the historical developments, curriculum documents and current (dominant) pedagogical practices within physical education. This will allow us to problematize the physical education experiences of immigrant youth as presented through government statistics. Discussion and Conclusion: While research has shown that Swedish curriculum has a strong focus on movement and physical activity participation, and that it is less competitive and performance based when compared to other countries, there still remains a discrepancy between policy and practice. Swedish based research continues to highlight a tendency for ‘masculine’ (and we would add ‘western’) ball based team sports to dominate physical education lessons. Furthermore, while the physical education experiences of young immigrants is considered within contemporary research, a dearth of literature remains that actually explores the meaning and place of physical activity and physical education in the lives of young immigrants, from the young people themselves. In a country that strives for equality across society, gender perspectives continue to dominate, and while important, it must be acknowledged that not all ‘males’ and ‘females’ experience their gender in the same way. It is through exploring and questioning dominant practices within physical education that allow for a more complex understanding of the experiences of young immigrants in physical education. This line of questioning opens up spaces for new possibilities and avenues through which to move towards a more sustainable democratic physical education for the future.
Link https://dspace.mah.se/handle/2043/20001 (external link to publication)
Publisher European College of Sport Science
Host/Issue 20th annual Congress of the European college of sport science 24th - 27th June 2015, Malmö – Sweden : Book of abstracts
ISBN 978-91-7104-567-6
Pages 269
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Inclusion
Physical education and health
Immigrats
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note 20th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS), Sustainable Sport, 24-27 juni 2015 Malmö, Sweden
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/19698 (link to this page)
Link http://ecss-congress.eu/2015/15/ (external link to related web page)

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