Category Archives: Presentations and talks

Conference abstract: PETE knowledge of sociocultural and social justice issues: the value of personal and professional experience in building a knowledge base

This is the abstract for a forthcoming presentation to be presented at the British Educational Research Association annual conference, September 2017. It is from the Social Justice in PETE project.

Joanne Hill and Jennifer Walton-Fisette

Discussions about the requisite knowledge base for pre- and in-service teachers of Physical Education (PE) have included the ability to teach about socio-cultural issues or in line with social justice educational values (e.g. equity, democracy). Limited research; however, on the knowledge base that their Physical Education Teacher Educators (PETEs) have and draw upon during teacher education in university has been conducted. Indeed, there has been little research into teacher educators’ own professional development, despite their role/investment in the professional development of both pre-service and in-service teachers.
The focus of this paper is how PETE and Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy (PESP) university faculty have come to their knowledge and understanding of sociocultural issues and issues of social justice. The guiding research questions were:
1. What do PETEs know about socio-cultural issues and social justice?
2. How was this knowledge constructed?
3. What knowledge do they draw upon in their teaching?
4. What examples, what sources of knowledge, do they use? Where do their examples come from?
Vygostky’s social constructivist learning theory, specifically the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) was used to frame this research study.
Over 70 PETE and PESP faculty from the USA, New Zealand, UK, Sweden, Australia and Ireland engaged in an in-depth interview, completed a demographic survey on their social identity and professional experiences, and shared materials from their PETE and PESP programmes, such as course handbooks and assignment instructions.
This knowledge construction includes personal and professional lived experiences, formal study or qualifications, and experiences in the field (i.e., with pre-service teachers and/or in schools). Some PETE and PESP faculty reported little knowledge of socio-cultural issues and, usually, little inclusion of this content in their programmes. Many of those who expressed a commitment to teaching about and for social justice had personal and professional experiences that had caused them to recognise the need for educating their students about sociocultural issues. For instance, some had encountered marginalisation and discrimination based on their identity, or their personal politics motivated them to teach for and about justice and equity. These personal experiences could be used as content or initiate reflection in PETE and PESP classrooms. This study prompts consideration of the professional development needs of teacher educators on sociocultural issues and about social justice that goes beyond acknowledging their existence and moving towards changes in pedagogical practices in PETE and PESP programmes.

I will present at BERA on 7th September 2017, 2pm, at the University of Sussex.

Advertisements

Conference abstract: Gendered physical activity representation in physical education textbooks and children’s colouring books

This is the abstract for a forthcoming presentation: Gendered physical activity representation in physical education textbooks and children’s colouring books to be presented at British Educational Research Association annual conference, September 2016. It is from the Colouring Books project.

Joanne Hill and Vladimir Martinez-Bello

Curricular materials, including textbooks and children’s picture or colouring books, are vehicles of ideas and values that may contain sexist messages. Colouring books are of especial interest as children are prompted to engage creatively, while textbooks for physical education communicate accepted ideas about physically active bodies to students of the subject. Colouring books often depict gender-stereotypical activities: women and girls in static positions, and boys and men in physical activities (Fitzpatrick & McPherson, 2010). In textbooks, male characters may predominate and be represented in a wider range of outdoor competitive sports, whereas girls are either invisible or presented in selected indoor sports (Tàboas-Pais and Rey-Cao, 2012; Ullah and Skelton, 2014).

This research analyses representations of female and male bodies in materials available in the UK: specifically, physical education textbooks and children’s colouring/doodling books (the latter were books created for girls and books created for boys).

The first phase of this research utilised quantitative content analysis to examine the similarities and differences of the characters in three UK colouring/doodling books for girls and three for boys across the categories of gender, age, space, and physical activity domains. There was a trend for more male characters to be represented in physical activity. Subsequent qualitative analysis asked, in pictures portraying physical activity, what messages are conveyed concerning masculine and feminine bodies, activities and relationships?

Over 200 images from six gendered colouring books and six physical education textbooks were collated and coded by two researchers, using discourse analysis, for the shape, clothing, and posture of bodies in physical activity; the types of activities they were engaged in; and positioning in the picture.

Qualitative analysis found that representations of physical activities were often gender-stereotyped, for instance boys were represented in bodybuilding with a muscular, macho physique while girls were represented in dancing or fitness, with slender bodies and submissive poses. Female characters were often depicted being helped by others or entertained, suggesting more passive roles; where female characters did display agency, representations often infantilised the characters. Male characters were more likely to have adventures, make discoveries and be leaders.

Not only greater visibility, but the form and context for gendered physically active bodies can be a marker of greater legitimacy in sport (Birrell and Theberge, 1994). This has implications for maintaining gender-sensitive physical education, suggesting a need for creating and using diverse images across all curricular materials.

Conference abstract: Twitter as youth voice: How do social media enable us to listen to young people?

This is the abstract from a conference presentation (presented at the British Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, September 2014). This was a follow-up to the published chapter Casey, Hill and Goodyear (2014) “PE doesn’t stand for physical education, it stands for public embarrassment” Voicing Experiences and Proffering Solutions to Girls’ Disengagement in PE, https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781475808308

Joanne Hill, Ashley Casey and Victoria Goodyear

With a concern around the quality and rigour of change knowledge for girls’ (dis)engagement in physical education (Oliver and Kirk, 2013), teachers and researchers are increasingly concerned with listening to young people’s inputs in working towards relevant and enjoyable learning experiences (Thompson, 2008). Youth voice is usually understood through verbal and/or visual methods and with small groups (Azzarito and Kirk, 2012; O’Sullivan and MacPhail, 2010).
The purpose of this study is to explore how Twitter acts as a virtual space to listen to youth voice and understand the construction of identities.
Yet with the rapid emergence and global use of social media (Fullan, 2013), sites such as Twitter may offer an alternative way in which to listen to a broad range of youth voices. Indeed, through tweets and retweets youth (and others) can express their voices publicly and in doing so, construct their identities in a virtual space (Abiala and Hernwall, 2013; Marwick and boyd, 2011). Formats including social media have been identified as fruitful sources in digital sociology (Murthy, 2008), although the extent to which Twitter specifically can be used for accessing and understanding youth voice is less known.
Using the application twitonomy, we harvested tweets from girls containing the phrases “I hate PE” and “I love PE”. Analysis occurred through a triad test (Ryan and Bernard, 2003). Each of three researchers independently read the tweets, coded them, and then shared their codes with each other. Subsequently, we created an imaginary blog by a student, representing a collective voice. This blog enabled the voices to be shared without identifying any specific Twitter user.
The initial interpretations from the data were used to continue discussions around ways to enhance student-centred curricula by listening to what girls have to say about PE. By using tweets as the data source, elements of naturally occurring talk between tweeters and their (imagined) audiences could be accessed. Tweeters’ positioning of themselves as students who love or hate PE, contributes to a cyber identity that may or may not reflect how they actually engage in PE / produce an identity as student. We raise questions around the use of Twitter as a source of an authentic voice and consider the ethical dilemmas in using Twitter as a means to understand identity construction.

Conference abstract: Girls’ meanings of their physically active bodies at the intersections of gender, race and age

This is the abstract from a conference presentation (presented at the British Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, September 2014). The work is from my PhD research.

Joanne Hill

The physical education (PE) experiences of girls of a South Asian heritage, in the UK, have recently been of some focus in working for inclusive or gender-sensitive PE programmes (e.g. Azzarito and Hill, 2013; Stride, 2013). They are often constructed as inactive, their gendered and racialised bodies rendered invisible against a white feminine norm. The voices of those young people who might be othered are increasingly valuable in working towards relevant and enjoyable learning experiences. This project in part attempts to offer further contextualised research on how girls construct themselves as active as they make sense of their physical selves as they intersect with gender, ethnicity and age.
The focus of this enquiry was to co-produce visual and verbal accounts of girls’ physical activity and embodied selves as they make meaning of physical activity in and out of school.
This research used a visual ethnographic framework. Students aged 13-14 in one school with an ethnically diverse population in the UK were provided with a digital camera and invited to create a two-week long photo set of the physical activities they engage in, where and with whom. Group interviews followed, during which the participant-photographers explained their photos’ meanings to each other and to the researcher (Harper, 2002). This paper concentrates on four girls’ visual narratives.
Theoretically, the paper recalls that we position ourselves in relation to the multiple narratives that are available to us, such that we have multiple embodied selves across different spaces (Cox and Thompson, 2000; Garrett, 2004).
The girls variously constructed themselves as active or able amongst different activities, physical cultures and peers. Notable themes included negotiating gender relations and normalised (South Asian) girlhood; remaining active during transitions from girlhood to young womanhood; reclaiming team games as a choice in PE; and a desire for “free” or unconstrained activity in public spaces. These girls, representing an othered group, used their visual narratives to show themselves as active agents in creating meaning for PE and physical activity. By seeing and listening to these girls’ narratives, teachers and researchers can contribute to positive engagement in PE programmes that take into account their choices and identities.

Conference abstract: Girls’ visual and verbal constructions of valued bodies

This is the abstract for a forthcoming presentation: Girls’ visual and verbal constructions of valued bodies: engagement in physical education at the intersections of gender and race

Joanne Hill

Girls can find themselves “othered” in physical education (PE), in relation to discourses of valued bodies that intersect with gender, race and body size to render ethnic minority and fat girls’ embodied experiences invisible against a white male sporty norm. This project adds to work towards inclusive or gender-sensitive PE programmes by engaging girls in creating visual and verbal accounts of how they negotiate valued bodies in PE to form their own sense of self as active or inactive.

This research drew on feminist poststructuralist theories that we embody multiple selves across different spaces, and used a visual ethnographic design. Students aged 13-14 in one school, with a predominantly South Asian population, were provided with a digital camera and invited to create a two-week long photo set of the physical activities they engage in, where and with whom. Group interviews followed, during which the participant-photographers explained their photos’ meanings to each other and to the researcher. This paper specifically draws together analysis on girls’ constructions of themselves as active and inactive, free or constrained, in different physical activity spaces within and beyond the school. Girls identified valued bodies as those that give significant effort in PE, rather than those that are sporty and competitive. They also discussed fit, fat and muscular bodies and femininity. Some girls resisted normative gender relations and racialised girlhood; they reclaimed team games and public spaces as enjoyable; and negotiated an active identity in relation to more sporty peers and images of high status athletes. Reflections are also made on the value of visual methods for engaging young people in inquiry on the body.

Dealing with hostility to progressive ideas in the classroom

This is the script of a talk I gave at an “Everyday Sexism” event at Loughborough University, 1st May, 2013

How can we deal with hostility to progressive theories when teaching and studying gender equality?

I am going to be talking about sexism in the classroom. The thoughts I’d like to share are specifically about how we teach and study such things as equality, feminism, and progressive ideas – where they come up in our modules, whether in social sciences, politics, arts… I am a teaching fellow in Sport and one of the things I teach is gender equality in sports and physical education.

My journey towards being an academic began when I got my Masters degree in Gender Studies. Among my fellow students, we all “got it” – we understood gender inequality, we identified it, analysed it, and denounced it.
This was a positive space to be a student of progressive ideas. I hope that there are many of you in this room today, whether you study gender inequality or just talk about it, who have spaces where you can identify and talk about gender inequality with people who “get it” just like you.

As I have become a university teacher however, I have come to recognise that sometimes progressive ideas are not the norm in the spaces in which we study and teach. Not everyone has had exposure to progressive ideas, not everyone understands gender inequality or denounces it. I’m going to give a few examples that colleagues of mine at other universities have told me, when they have tried to teach gender inequality, feminist ideas or just raise issues of sexism, in their classrooms.

The first thing I would like to say is that my feminism is intersectional. What that means is that I believe that our gender identities and experiences cannot be separated from our experiences of, for instance, sexuality, ethnicity or body size. So I am not just going to talk about sexism as affecting women, but as intersecting with how people are treated for their sexuality or their body size, for instance.

Sometimes there is passive hostility, such as when beginning a lecture by saying “I’m going to be talking from a feminist perspective” – and some students groan and bang their heads on the desk.

Sometimes there is disbelief, one lecturer in management told me. Women students have remarked to her that if women don’t like to be harassed in the workplace then they should just leave their jobs. “Being groped in the office is normal”. “If an office affair is found out, the woman should be sacked but the man should keep his job, because she enticed him”, some students said.

Sometimes there is a hint of evolutionary psychology. “Boys will be boys”, I hear when I teach inclusion in sports. “Boys are just more competitive than girls, that’s why they shouldn’t play sports together”. Just yesterday I was reading something about how teachers need to use different language when they speak to boys and girls just because of gender difference.

Then there are the times when sexism, or something similar, can be triggering or harmful either to the teacher or a student. A friend of mine who lectures in media, gender and sexuality at another university, gave a lecture on fat activism and health at every size to her students. In the discussion time afterwards, she encountered fat phobia, which she found personally triggering. She asks, how could she negotiate and challenge this fat phobia in her classroom in ways that were safe for herself and for her students?

This is just one perspective on sexism in the classroom. I do not mean to sound like I think that the only problem is with students. Certainly not. I have encountered professors who need to consider the ways in which their language can be exclusionary or plainly sexist. There are many students who have the drive to work to end discrimination and oppression, and many who want to understand it and are learning.

Sometimes there is shock. People sometimes just are unaware that sexism occurs in the everyday world – they have never come across it themselves. To me, sport is a very gendered arena, but some people just don’t see it that way, or they see gender difference as natural and normal. Sometimes it can be a very great hurdle to roll a century or more of knowledge on gender inequality into the type of knowledge that students can make something of in order to get their degree. Everyday sexism, fat phobia, homophobia – these things can affect our classrooms when we try to raise issues of equality, to theorise and analyse the world through a progressive or a feminist lens.

I’d like to offer you next some questions that I have, that I wonder whether we, as a community of teachers and students, might work to answer to find best practice in studying issues of equality.
What responsibilities do lecturers have to educate on sexism and other inequalities? If we choose to do so, what are our responsibilities then?
By teaching and studying inequalities, do we risk creating spaces in the university that are potentially triggering? Spaces where students and staff with personal experience of sexism or fat phobia, say, encounter denial or hostility to their experiences?
Do we need our students to subscribe or to respect progressive ideas?
What strategies can we have to work towards safe, supportive and progressive spaces in our classrooms?
What are the best ways to ensure that the students who “get it” and those who don’t all gain the education they need to get through the course?
And as students, do we have responsibilities to call out our classmates? How can we do so safely?

I’d like to finish by saying that if it were not for studying inequalities at university, I wouldn’t have the feminist knowledge I have today, and I continue to grow through my engagement with the students I teach and the personal knowledge and experience they bring to our discussions of sexism, equality and inclusion in sport. I hope that these are ongoing conversations and I look forward to hearing answers to these questions that I’ve raised.

Conference abstract: Appreciative Inquiry In Physical Education Research: A Positive Movement Subculture Case Study

This is the abstract from a conference presentation (presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, April 2014). The work is from our Positive Movement Subcultures project, funded by a seeding grant from SSEHS, Loughborough University.

Joanne Hill and Rachel Sandford

This paper presents data from a qualitative case study into one positive movement subculture, in which we implemented a strengths-based methodological approach drawn from Appreciative Inquiry. We analyse what works to enhance engagement and investigate how practitioners and participants create shared values and gender-sensitive pedagogies within a LGBTQ-friendly and body positive space. Sport and physical education spaces have long been recognised as gendered and gendering, which has not supported positive experiences for all, especially those marginalised within gender-normative spaces.

The research was carried out in a dance school for adults, set up in London in 2012. The school offers beginners and improvers classes in a number of traditional dance styles, predominantly ballet but including also tap, Latin and swing. Twelve semi-structured interviews were carried out with dance practitioners and learners, using positive questions inspired by Appreciative Inquiry. These included, How/Why do you think this dance school is successful in engaging individuals in dance? What are your favourite aspects of the dance class? Discourse and thematic analyses were then undertaken to help construct narratives of the participants’ experiences and highlight elements of practice and culture within the classes that were felt to contribute to a positive environment for movement.

Analysis indicates four major themes contributing to a positive pedagogy: the practitioners committed to gender neutral language; looked where possible for adaptations that encouraged participation; emphasised that it is okay to fail; and worked for an environment in which participants felt safe. The studio space was adapted to assist participants who were uncomfortable watching themselves in the mirror. Emphasis was placed on individual learning progression, rather than perfection. Boundaries of acceptable practice and language were established from the start, not only to ensure welcoming spaces for fellow participants, but for oneself also: this meant committing to supportive comments and no criticism. This afforded a safe environment for LGBTQ participants to express their gender identity without fear. All participants were able to learn traditionally gendered elements of dance, such as en pointe which is typically taught to girls/women only. As a number of participants expressed their enjoyment of the dance school by highlighting the contrast to their negative memories of PE/school sport, there are elements identified in this paper that might encourage other movement spaces looking for positive and gender-sensitive pedagogical practice.

Peace Learner

Cultivating Peace and Nonviolence in the Field of Education

The Football Collective

Bringing critical debate to our game

genders, bodies, politics

writing by Alison Phipps

meaningfulpe.wordpress.com/

Learning About Meaningful Physical Education

PhDanger

The evolving tale of my PhD as it happens

BSSH South Sport and Leisure History Network

Serving London, the South East and East of England

srhe

The Society for Research into Higher Education

Teaching & Learning in Higher Ed.

Supporting teachers and reformers in higher education through encouraging serious engagement with the scholarship on teaching and learning.

Researching Academia

Personal website for Kate Sang

MargaretEdits

Advice & strategies for academic writers

Mr. Library Dude

Blogging about libraries, technology, teaching, and more

Sociology 101: Introduction to Sociology

Dr. Stephen J. Sills - UNCG Sociology

The Thesis Whisperer

Just like the horse whisperer - but with more pages

drowningintheshallow

Educational Blog with a focus on PE and Sport

visual/method/culture

by Gillian Rose

Conditionally Accepted

a space for scholars on the margins of academia

TILT

Techniques in Learning & Teaching: Where Transformative learning & scholarly teaching meet.

judgmental observer

film, tv, popular culture, higher ed, unicorns

Research Degree Voodoo

Uncovering the secrets, magic and taboos around succeeding in a Research Higher Degree

RESPECTING CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE

Learning from the past, redesigning the future

Dr Anna Tarrant

Diary of an early career academic

Weeks Centre Blog

All the latest from the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research

Parents 4 Education

Speaking out for the sake of our children's future

patter

research education, academic writing, public engagement, funding, other eccentricities.