Government and physical education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Government is involved in physical education primarily in two ways, through legislating for national curricula for schools and through the development of sport policy. Behind this relatively simple statement, however, lies a tangled web of complexity. Complexity is an enduring feature of the governance and organisation of sport in the UK generally, and of physical education’s relationship to sport more specifically (Green, 2008). Within such complexity, debates are bound to take place.

In this chapter, we will explore some of the lines of debate that constitute the tangled web of the relationship of government and physical education. One line of debate centres on what we mean by ‘government’ and ‘physical education’. As we reflect on this issue and the questions it raises, other lines of debate emerge. Some of these criss-crossing lines are: the ‘relative autonomy’ of educational systems, the operation of power and vested interests, participation versus elite sport, neoliberal practices in education and sport, the role of academic research in policy development, and the obdurate challenge of educational change. In order to follow these lines of debate, we can draw on insights offered by fields such as sport policy, educational policy sociology, and curriculum studies.

The chapter follows these debates and the cross-cutting and inter-related insights to them offered by these fields of study. After a brief definition of the core notions of ‘government’ and ‘physical education’, the chapter considers in turn the two main points of connection, national curricula and sport policy. For the sake of coherence in the chapter, the examples and evidence are from the UK, with a particular focus on developments in England. Readers who do not have experience of the UK are invited to consider the extent to which events in other countries do or do not follow the patterns outlined here.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationDebates in Physical Education
EditorsSusan Capel, Richard Blair
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Chapter1
Pages3-17
Number of pages15
Edition2nd
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Nov 2019

Fingerprint

physical education
sports policy
Sports
curriculum
field of study
educational policy
educational system
development policy
sociology
elite
autonomy
governance
participation
event
school
evidence
education
experience

Keywords

  • physical education
  • government
  • national curriculum
  • sport policy

Cite this

Kirk, D. (Accepted/In press). Government and physical education. In S. Capel, & R. Blair (Eds.), Debates in Physical Education (2nd ed., pp. 3-17). Abingdon.
Kirk, David. / Government and physical education. Debates in Physical Education. editor / Susan Capel ; Richard Blair. 2nd. ed. Abingdon, 2019. pp. 3-17
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Kirk, D 2019, Government and physical education. in S Capel & R Blair (eds), Debates in Physical Education. 2nd edn, Abingdon, pp. 3-17.

Government and physical education. / Kirk, David.

Debates in Physical Education. ed. / Susan Capel; Richard Blair. 2nd. ed. Abingdon, 2019. p. 3-17.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Kirk D. Government and physical education. In Capel S, Blair R, editors, Debates in Physical Education. 2nd ed. Abingdon. 2019. p. 3-17