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In this paper, we reflect on models-based practices in physical education using a sociocritical lens. Drawing links between neoliberal moves in education, and critical approaches to the body and physicality, we take a view that models are useful tools that are worth integrating into physical education, but we are apprehensive to suggest they should redefine the purpose of physical education. In arguing this, we attempt to understand the particular effects of certain models on practice and students. We draw on the theoretical concepts of Deleuze, in particular his notion of ‘striated’ space to analyze SPARK-PE, HOPE, and Sport Education. We assert that some models can be useful tools for thinking about instruction, but models-based-practices are no substitute for a thoughtful and thorough physical education program.
The authors are with the Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.