Understanding young Chinese Australian's (dis)engagement in Health and Physical Education and school sport

Pang, Bonnie and Macdonald, Doune (2015) Understanding young Chinese Australian's (dis)engagement in Health and Physical Education and school sport. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 21 4: 441-458. doi:10.1080/17408989.2015.1043257

Author Pang, Bonnie
Macdonald, Doune
Title Understanding young Chinese Australian's (dis)engagement in Health and Physical Education and school sport
Journal name Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1740-8989
Publication date 2015
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/17408989.2015.1043257
Volume 21
Issue 4
Start page 441
End page 458
Total pages 18
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: School Health and Physical Education (HPE) and sport has increasingly become a complex cultural contact zone. With global population shifts, schools need policies and strategies to attend to the interests and needs of diverse student populations. School HPE and sport is a particularly significant site as it is a touchpoint for a range of cultural values and practices related to physical activity, the body, health and lifestyle proprieties.

Purpose: While there is a high Chinese student population in Australian schools, little research has been undertaken to understand their needs, experiences and perceptions in schools HPE and sport. In addition, research in the physical activity field is accentuated by paradigms that assume and perpetuate the binary notion of cultural beliefs and practices such as ‘West’ versus ‘East’ and in association with ‘Normal’ versus ‘Problematic’ lifestyles in relation to physical activity. We argue that, without conceding the epistemological understanding of ‘difference’, policies and practices that promote diversity can remain socially unjust and superficial.

Research design: This paper focuses on two schools in Queensland. The data collection process was underpinned by critical and interpretive ethnographic methods. The participants in Sage College consisted of seven girls of whom three were in Year 8, three in Year 9 and one in Year 10. At Routledge State High, a state-owned, secular and coeducational secondary school, the cohort consisted of two girls in Year 8, one girl and two boys from Year 9.

Results: This paper draws on Bourdieu's concepts of habitus, capital, field and doxa and the Chinese Confucianism philosophy of ‘Complementary difference’ to understand the various perceptions and experiences of young Chinese Australians in schools HPE and sport. Results invite us to seek an understanding of students’ subjectivities and disrupt the binary differences in cultural values and attributes to promote multicultural education.

Conclusion and recommendation: Moving beyond the Australia's Anglo-Celtic centred HPE and the limitations of a Western view of exclusive opposites, this paper makes an original contribution to knowledge by presenting a ‘heuristic of difference’ model that accommodates Western and Chinese perspectives in Australian HPE research.
Keyword Young Chinese
Health and Physical Education, Bourdieu
Confucianism complementary difference
Multicultural education
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Created: Wed, 20 May 2015, 14:45:39 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences