Can korfball facilitate mixed-PE in the UK? the perspectives of junior korfball players

Gubby, L. (2018) Can korfball facilitate mixed-PE in the UK? the perspectives of junior korfball players. Sport, Education and Society. ISSN 1357-3322.

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Korfball was invented in a mixed Primary School in Amsterdam in the early 1900s (IKF, 2006; Summerfield and White, 1989). The main catalyst for the development of korfball was a need for a competitive mixed sport that relied on cooperation and meant boys and girls could participate on a level playing field (Summerfield and White, 1989). Previous research into gender in physical education (PE has found that young people gain gender-related understandings through PE (Azzarito, 2009; Azzarito and Solomon, 2009; Azzarito and Solomon, 2010; Chalabaev, et al., 2013; Wright, 1995). Thorne (1993) argues that to remove binary thinking and notions of hegemonic masculinity and femininity, PE lessons should promote equality between girls and boys, reflect cooperation and teamwork between all, and demonstrate to students that gender inclusivity is achievable.

This paper will consider findings from a larger ethnographic study, in order to discuss how junior korfball players understand gender within their individual PE settings. It will also seek to discover whether players believe gender discourses can be negotiated in PE through the use of korfball. Players frequently referred to the limitations of their current PE experiences and suggested that the mixed element of korfball could provide opportunities for boys and girls to come together in PE. Players described how the structure of the korfball game reflects a need to use both sexes, which could improve mixed PE lessons. Players also discussed preconceived ideas about boys’ games and girls’ games, which led to problematic actions and interactions in current mixed PE settings. Findings suggest that embodied practices which demonstrate the abilities of girls as well as boys, could lead to resistance of dominant discourses which reinforce gender difference and the physical inferiority of girls. They might provide a space which alters dominant discourse often reproduced in PE and sporting environments.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0201 Physical education
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0706.5 Sports sociology
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC1200 Inclusive education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC0065 Social aspects of education > LC0189 Educational sociology > LC0212.9 Sex differences in education
Divisions: Faculty of Education > School of Childhood and Education Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Laura Gubby
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2018 10:27
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 16:30

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00