“We Know What We Like to Do:” Effects of Purposefully Negotiating the Curriculum on the Girls in One Middle School Class and Their Teacher

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Purpose: In this paper, we describe the study of one teacher as she attempted to purposefully negotiate the curriculum (e.g., goals, content, tasks, and evaluation) with one of her middle school classes. We used key concepts, constructs, and ideas from hegemonic masculinity and feminist theory to guide us in this endeavor. Method: We used seven qualitative techniques to gather data during an 18-lesson unit taught by the teacher Joanne to 37 girls. We employed standard interpretive methods during the analysis. Findings and Conclusions: Both high-skilled and low-skilled passive girls became more motivated to take part in physical education, although low-skilled girls generally had less voice in the negotiation process than their high-skilled peers. Key reasons for Joanne’s success were her skill, the support provided by the school’s leadership team, and the fact that the unit took place within a single-sex class. Conversely, the unit was constrained by Joanne’s and the girls’ socialization and Joanne’s focus on state and local standards.

Guadalupe is with Gwinnett County Public Schools, Suwanee, GA. Curtner-Smith is with the Department of Kinesiology, College of Education, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Curtner-Smith (mdsmith@ua.edu) is corresponding author.
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