Embedding a critical inquiry approach across the AC:HPE to support adolescent girls in participating in traditionally masculinised sport

LCJ 21 front cover

Nadia Bevan & Jennifer Fane

LCJ: Special Issue: 2017 30th ACHPER International Conference, 21, pp. 138-151
https://doi.org/10.18793/LCJ2017.21.11

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Citation
Bevan, N. & Fane, J. (2017). Embedding a critical inquiry approach across the AC:HPE to support adolescent girls in participating in traditionally masculinised sport. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts [Special Issue: 2017 30th ACHPER International Conference], 21, 138-151. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18793/LCJ2017.21.11

 

Abstract

Comparison rates between adolescent boys’ and girls’ sport involvement highlights the significant rate of adolescent girls’ cessation of sport participation during their high school years. Despite adolescent girls’ lower rates of participation in sport, Traditionally Masculinised Sports (TMS) have witnessed the highest uptake of female sport participation in comparison with traditionally feminised sports and gender neutral sports. With TMS becoming an increasingly popular option for women and girls’ sport participation, the expansion of opportunities for women and girls to participate in TMS may offer new avenues for increasing the rate of female sport participation during adolescence. As schools are a setting in which adolescents spend a significant amount of their time, and whose curricular mandate is to engage young people in sport and physical activity, investigation into high school settings and their impact on female sport participation in TMS is timely.

This paper explores the role in which embedding a critical inquiry approach to sport and the gendered nature of sport participation across the national Australian Curriculum Health and Physical Education (AC:HPE) (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013) learning area may support girls’ continued sport participation throughout their high school years. It reports on a study which investigated adolescent girls’ (n=34) experiences of participation in the TMS of soccer, cricket, and Australian Football. Thematic analysis of the data uncovered key themes relating to the role of schools in enabling or creating barriers for female sport participation. Key themes evident within the data, such as gendered norms and expectations, opportunities for participation, and the under representation of women in TMS are discussed in relation to key ideas embedded in the AC:HPE curriculum (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013). The findings suggest ways in which barriers to female sport participation can be challenged using critical inquiry approaches embedded in the AC:HPE curriculum (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013) and the school and learning environment.

 

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