Performance pedagogy at play: Pupils perspectives on primary PE

2018-11-30T14:42:19Z (GMT) by Julie Stirrup
Physical education (PE) in England, has historically been and is increasingly seen as a subject in which political agendas can and are being enacted (Penney, 2008) as health, sport and /or leisure agendas compete for space against educational aspirations (Houlihan and Green, 2006). Against this backdrop, in 2012, the UK Government announced the launch of ‘Primary PE and Sport Premium’ (PPESP) funding (amounting to £450 million) for English primary schools, initially for three years (although later extended). Drawing on the theoretical work of Basil Bernstein, particularly his concepts, ‘pedagogic device’ (PD) and ‘classification’ (c) and ‘framing’ (f), this paper sets out to explore how, in a neo liberal outsourced world of primary physical education (PPE), pupils construct knowledge of PE. The analyses illustrate how a performance pedagogy appears to dominate the school setting this research took place in. There was a clear focus on sport rather than PE which in turns impacted how pupils saw PE and construct understandings of ability linked to PE, raising questions over the future direction of the subject.