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Boys and Physical Education - A Study of Boys’ Experiences of Single-Sex and Co-Educational Physical Education
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Education.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The role of schools as agencies in the social construction of gender has been well researched and efforts to design the most appropriate learning environment often lead to discussions of single-sex versus co-educational schooling. Physical education is a subject where content and grouping arrangements can contribute to stereotypical expectations and assumptions about gender appropriate role-play. Typically, when gender is raised as an issue in physical education, attention is often directed towards the problems encountered by the girls and their evident alienation and lack of participation in physical education classrooms. To date, few studies have focused on boys’ experiences and whether their needs are met in the various forms of physical education.

The aim of this study was to investigate boys participation in and experiences of physical education in single-sex and co-educational classes in order to examine how this is affected by the two different groupings of genders and whether any discrepancies in participation and experiences could be identified within groups of boys. The results show that in both physical education settings there exists a group of boys who are not enjoying their physical education since it is too closely associated with the dominant definitions of masculinity. These boys clearly express their dissatisfaction with what activities they get to do and how they often turn into being overly aggressive and competitive. It was also identified that this group of boys was somewhat greater in the single-sex compared to the co-educational format.

The results of this study therefore demonstrate that there is a great need to start recognising the different needs amongst boys (and girls) and that the image of boys and girls as two homogeneous groups aligned with stereotypical perceptions of activities and behaviours of which they are capable and in which they should be engaging, needs to be challenged

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
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Social Sciences Pedagogy
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-45606OAI: diva2:844302
Available from: 2015-09-10 Created: 2015-08-05 Last updated: 2016-02-22Bibliographically approved

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