In today’s school climate of accountability, researchers in Physical Education (PE) pedagogy have contested current fitness curricula that aim to manage, control, and normalize young people’s bodies. This participatory visual research incorporated a Body Curriculum into a fitness unit in a secondary school (a) to assist young people critically deal with the media narratives of perfect bodies they consume in their daily lives, and (b) to examine how participants responded to a Body Curriculum. It was found that while participants rejected media fabrications of the “ideal body” and the “unhealthy” ideals they circulate in society, they recognized the difficulty of not being “caught up” in media storytelling. Participants’ views of their own bodies, however, were not malleable, but rooted in narrow, fixed heteronormative white ideals of “looking a certain way” to “fit” society norms of physical appearance and attractiveness. The benefits and limitations of implementing a Body Curriculum are recognized.
Laura Azzarito, Mara Simon and Risto Marttinen
Risto Marttinen, Dillon Landi, Dario Novak and Stephen Silverman
Purpose: We aimed to identify, categorize, and analyze published peer-reviewed research on teaching in physical education between July 1994 and December 2015. Methods: An exhaustive search was conducted on three databases (Education Resources Information Center, PE Index, and Web of Science), which produced 18,966 abstracts that were reduced to 1,023 articles that met the inclusion criteria through a review of abstracts and titles, and the second review of full papers. Articles were coded independently for numerous aspects of the research method by three coders, with multiple checks for interobserver agreement, all of which were above .85 interobserver agreement. Results: There was a great increase in the number of articles, methodological diversity, and research focus compared with a previous analysis. Research was published in 183 journals and by researchers in 45 different countries. Challenges in maintaining quality over quantity and the growth of the field are discussed. Conclusion: Research on teaching in physical education has grown greatly, and the field has matured.
Risto Marttinen, Dillon Landi, Ray N. Fredrick III and Stephen Silverman
Purpose: To explore teachers’ perceptions of incorporating digital technologies in physical education (PE) and how they influenced pedagogical practices. Method: Data were collected using qualitative methods (interviews, observations, and artifacts) and were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results: Teachers integrated wearable digital technologies in ways they thought would augment their PE programs, not replace them. It also was found that teachers’ ideologies of PE shaped the way they implemented wearable digital technologies. Finally, the material circumstances of schools affected the ways in which wearable digital technologies could be implemented in PE. Conclusion: Teachers were willing to integrate wearable digital technologies if they augmented (and did not replace) their preferred purpose of PE. Given this, ideologies of teachers influenced the role that technologies played in teaching and learning in PE.
Sharon R. Phillips, Risto Marttinen, Kevin Mercier and Anne Gibbone
Purpose: Existing research suggests that students’ attitudes toward physical education are positive through Grade 5, but become less positive as grade levels increase; this research is, however, missing student voice. The purpose of this study was to further understand why students’ attitudes have been shown to decrease. Methods: Twenty-six focus group interviews (students N = 65) were conducted over 2 years to discover what was influencing attitudes from fifth to eighth grade. Results: Three themes emerged: (a) curriculum leads to decreases in student attitudes (subthemes repetitive and boring, an overemphasis on competition, and fitness testing activities—what’s the purpose and why am I on display?), (b) social factors impact attitude: sweating and changing, and (c) physical education assumptions, the easy “A” (subthemes: perceptions of physical education teachers and the easy “A”). Conclusion: Allowing students to explain the reasons for decreases in attitudes contributes to improving the teaching and learning process.