Using the meaningful physical education features as a lens to view student experiences of democratic pedagogy in higher education

Article


Lynch, S. and Sargent, J. 2020. Using the meaningful physical education features as a lens to view student experiences of democratic pedagogy in higher education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy. https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2020.1779684
AuthorsLynch, S. and Sargent, J.
Abstract

Background: Higher education (HE) physical education (PE) can provide opportunities for students to develop meaning(s) and value(s) towards movement experiences. However, it is an under researched area in the educational sphere and little is known about what or how students find, meaningful movement. While there has been increasing interest in the features of meaningful PE, few studies have explored how they relate to students’ experiences of movement in the context of HE or, the meaning held for certain features such as ‘fun’. In seeking to address this gap, the purpose of this article was to explore what university students found meaningful in PE.

Method: Using data from a larger digital ethnographic study, this research featured six students studying a university PE class taught by an educator with a sociocultural perspective towards education and movement. Digital video narratives and reflective essays served as qualitative data and were analysed using collaborative thematic analysis.

Findings: Four themes are described in relation to students’ meaningful experiences. These are, (a) meaningful PE is fun and contains elements of delight, (b) meaningful PE is a combination of fun and challenge, (c) meaningful PE develops motor competency in personally relevant areas and (d) meaningful PE is a social and personally relevant experience. Our findings demonstrate the interlinking nature of meaningful PE features and, specifically, how they are embodied by HE students.

Conclusion: We argue that students can have meaningful PE experiences, even when educators do not plan for them. Furthermore, the features of meaningful PE, particularly in relation to ‘fun’, can extend to university settings. Moreover, sociocultural educators with a clear vision for classes can contribute to students developing foundational beliefs towards movement. This is exhibited through employing democratic pedagogies such as high levels of reflection and goal setting.

JournalPhysical Education and Sport Pedagogy
ISSN1740-8989
Year2020
PublisherTaylor & Francis for Association for Physical Education
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2020.1779684
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2020.1779684
Publication dates
Online12 Jun 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted11 May 2020
Deposited15 Jun 2020
Copyright holder© 2020 Taylor & Francis
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy on 12/06/2020, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2020.1779684.
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