Neoliberalism and the future for a socio-educative physical education

2015-03-04T13:50:57Z (GMT) by John Evans
Background: This paper represents the Discussant’s response to the variety of papers presented to the AIESEP-ICSEMIS symposium entitled: School Physical Education Curricula for Future Generations: Global Patterns? Global Lessons? Glasgow, Glasgow 19–24 July 2012. Purpose: With reference to the symposium papers, this paper identifies some of the key features of neoliberalism and reflects on the very many challenges they present to Physical Education (PE) in schools and Initial Teacher Education in many countries across the globe. Findings: The paper highlights the overbearing attention given in government policies in many countries to sport and performance-based curriculum and the reductive distortions it effects in teachers’ and pupils’ thinking and their pedagogical transactions. Conclusions: Overgeneralised observations with regard to the practices described in the papers of this edition are unhelpful, while crystal ball gazing, questionable, even in our turbulent, socio-economic circumstances and proffering ‘one-size-fits-all solution’ to them across the globe, might be regarded as particular anathemas. Notwithstanding, this paper suggests that together the perspectives represented in this journal invite serious discussion as to the potential future, and future potential, of PE wherever it occurs. The final analyses call for the protection and celebration of Education in PE and pursuit of culturally sensitive socio-educative principles, eschewing neoliberalism’s reductive ideals.