Making a difference? Education and 'ability' in physical education

Evans, John (2004) Making a difference? Education and 'ability' in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 10 1: 95-108. doi:10.1177/1356336X04042158

Author Evans, John
Title Making a difference? Education and 'ability' in physical education
Formatted title
Making a difference? Education and ‘ability’ in physical education
Journal name European Physical Education Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1356-336X
Publication date 2004-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1356336X04042158
Volume 10
Issue 1
Start page 95
End page 108
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Subject 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Formatted abstract
This paper brings a speculative, sociological perspective to the nature of ‘ability’ in physical education (PE) and asks why this aspect of embodiment, with notable exceptions, has received so little critical attention in the professional discourse of PE and associated research in recent years. It is suggested that thinking about ‘ability’ has become a taken for granted absent presence in the discursive practices of PE in the UK that variously helps configure attitudes towards the body, a sense of status, value, distinction, inclusion/exclusion and embodied self. Drawing on ideas from the theoretical work of Bernstein and Bourdieu the paper raises a number of issues about the ways in which ‘ability’ is constructed within the disciplines that feed the various subcultures of the PE profession, influencing teaching in schools and teacher education. The paper suggests that unless greater attention is given to ‘physical education’, rather than the interests of sport and health, the profession is unlikely to make an impact either on the ‘abilities’ or other culturally informed differences that children and young people bring to schools.
Copyright © 2004 North West Counties Physical Education Association and SAGE Publications
Keyword ‘Ability’
Physical education
Sport and health
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes Article abstract also in French and German. Previously presented and published:

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Created: Tue, 30 Mar 2010, 13:38:48 EST by Jon Swabey on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences