Effects of purposeful negotiation of the physical education curriculum on one teacher and a middle school minority class (girls, boys, and mixed-gender)

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

Previous research has indicated that more democratic approaches to teaching in the physical education classroom build equity and create the necessary space for students to develop their voice in the physical education curriculum. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of purposefully negotiating the physical education curriculum on one teacher and a middle school class. Participants were three middle school teachers with varied teaching experience and a single middle school class for each teacher of either girls, boys, or mixed genders. Three theoretical perspectives guided data collection and analysis: critical feminism, hegemonic masculinity, and critical tradition. Data were collected through a variety of qualitative techniques: non-participant observation, stimulated recall interviews, reflective journal, formal interviews, informal interviews, focus group interviews, and critical incident reports. Analytic induction and constant comparison were used to analyze the data. Findings revealed that more professional development needs to be provided with ongoing mentor support to effectively incorporate democratic approaches in the physical education classroom. Further, the first study’s results indicated that, in an all-girls class, negotiation empowered and motivated the students to participate, as well as encouraging the lower skilled girls to participate in the process equally with higher skilled girls. The second study’s results were similar, reinforcing the suggestion that hegemonic masculinity can be partially negated through participation in a negotiated curriculum and that higher skilled boys can reconnect with their lower skilled peers. The third study showed that curriculum negotiation can be successfully implemented in mixed gender classes, allowing lower skilled boys and girls to reconnect with the curriculum. This research reinforces that building student voice and creating space for a symbiotic relationship between the teacher and students is a critical component in enhancing student engagement.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Kinesiology, Pedagogy, Physical education