The idea of physical education: a memetic perspective

Tinning, Richard (2012) The idea of physical education: a memetic perspective. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 17 2: 115-126. doi:10.1080/17408989.2011.582488

Author Tinning, Richard
Title The idea of physical education: a memetic perspective
Journal name Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1740-8989
Publication date 2012-04
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/17408989.2011.582488
Volume 17
Issue 2
Start page 115
End page 126
Total pages 12
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Despite dire predictions of its demise, physical education continues to survive across most countries of the world. Moreover, the form of its survival is remarkably similar across cultures. Why has physical education survived as a cultural practice and why is its form so similar given the marked differences that exist between many cultures?
Purpose: This paper pursues this question through a consideration of physical education as a ‘meme’. A meme, a term first coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The selfish gene, is the cultural equivalent of a gene and is claimed to be the unit of cultural transmission. Memes are selected in a process not unlike biological selection. Some memes thrive and others die off or become unused. If we consider physical education to be a meme, then what is it about physical education that has been so successful in reproducing itself? Although far from uncontroversial, the study of memes, called memetics, might have the potential to be rather more than merely polemic or playful for understanding the future survival of physical education.
Research design: In particular this paper provides a memetic analysis of Kirk's claim that there has only been one major shift in the idea of the idea of physical education since its inception as a school subject; namely from physical education as gymnastics to physical education as sport techniques.
Conclusions: This paper concludes by suggesting that the next shift in idea of the idea of physical education might be oriented around obesity prevention rather than sport.
Keyword Physical education
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 21 Nov 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 26 Feb 2012, 15:57:28 EST by Deborah Noon on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences