Traditional Asian Games, Doing Critical Pedagogy and the Knowledge That Actually Counts in Australian Physical Education Teacher Education

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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John WilliamsUniversity of Canberra

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Shane PillFlinders University

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Purpose: Self-study is used to report Author 1’s attempts at introducing Asian games in teaching a new unit as part of physical education teacher education at an Australian university. Method: Author 1’s diary and reflective journal extracts as well as contemporary and historical documents were our data sources. Critical incidents were identified from Author 1’s accounts and analyzed using the extant literature and figurational sociology. The authors’ documents were analyzed using content analysis. Results: Limited information uncovered about these games in initial unit planning, subsequent searches for this paper and possible misrepresentation of one game, all served to reinforce normative knowledge. Such reinforcement simultaneously obstructs the decolonization of physical education curricula. Conclusion: Eurocentric knowledge appears to prevail as the knowledge that most matters in the physical education context we studied. Over the course of several deliveries of the unit described here, Author 1 experienced a shift in his pedagogy from “telling” students they should do critical pedagogy, to explaining how he does it in his own teaching.

Williams is with the University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia. Pill is with the Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Williams (john.williams@canberra.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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