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Is physical education relevant? Interpersonal skills, values and hybridity

Discussion surrounding the relevance of the document Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum has focused on a range of areas. While some writers claim it has the potential to be emancipatory and the inclusion of interpersonal skills and values is important and meaningful, others have levelled criticisms that the document is trying to do too much and has a middle class agenda. This article reports part of the findings of a small study which explored how some Maori and Pasifika students viewed their experiences of physical education in one major urban New Zealand high school. The experiences of these students are related to Besley's notion of hybridity. Her argument suggests that young people actively negotiate and make critical decisions about what they think is relevant to them. The students believed physical education has provided them with opportunities to develop and practice care for others and to learn and apply interpersonal skills as well as to gain confidence and apply their skills in situations outside the school setting. The study argues the need for curriculum to connect with the wider lives of students and any degree of connection can only occur if students are given a voice in the curriculum implementation process.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Fitzpatrick, K., & Pope, C. (2005). Is physical education relevant? Interpersonal skills, values and hybridity. ACHPER Healthy Lifestyles Journal, 52(3), 24-29.
Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation
This article has been published in The ACHPER Healthy Lifestyles Journal. Used with Permission.