University of Limerick
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Youth voices in physical education and sport: what are they telling us?

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posted on 2014-12-01, 19:02 authored by Ann Mac PhailAnn Mac Phail
Chasing a ball around a pitch seems pretty futile to me. In basketball or a sport like that, someone jumps up for a ball and, even if they don t catch it, everyone cheers. All very strange! It s at these times that I really do feel as if I come from another planet and, to be quite honest, I like mine better. Beam me up, Scotty! ( ) Now I am in secondary school, this sports issue is even worse. I am in a private school and here it seems we are now expected to love talking about rugby or golf. Well, whoopee doo I would rather watch paint dry. Quite literally. The thought of doing games really makes me feel ill, I can t even think about sleeping at night when I have games the next day. I can't concentrate on the lessons before as my worst nightmare is slowly approaching. When it is time for the lesson, I genuinely do feel sick and have a headache from all the worrying. Of course I am told that I will be able to run it off or just ignored completely. It is my worst time at school and I have done all I can to avoid it (Jackson, 2002, p. 130). Introduction The opening extract is from Luke Jackson, a thirteen-year-old boy who has Asperger s Syndrome which results in heightened sensitivity to particular physical activity environments. Although it is negative, and clearly there are many young people who feel differently, the extract does encourage us as teachers or coaches to critically review our awareness of the views and attitudes held by children and young people in physical education and sport. Young people s attraction to and engagement with physical education and sport is complex, varying from those who embrace being physically active whenever the opportunity arises to those who are negative about both. Moreover, youth voice in physical education and sport is compounded by young people s construction of what these activities entail, and also the current positioning of each young person in the context of their family and friends, community and popular culture (MacPhail, Collier & O Sullivan, 2009). By listening to and reporting what young people tell us about their experiences of (learning in) physical education and sport, this chapter recognizes young people as diverse and complex learners with a multiplicity of needs and interests. Listening and hearing in this way has implications for teachers and coaches, and these are considered throughout.



Sport Pedagogy: An Introduction for Teaching and Coaching, Armour, Kathleen, (ed);section 2, chapter 8


Prentice Hall




"This is an Author's Original Manuscript whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Sport Pedagogy: An Introduction to Teaching and Coaching 2011 ┬ęcopyright Taylor & Francis



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