18 SES 09, Examining Environments in Physical Education and Youth Sport
Every day thousands of children enter school ready for physical education (PE) classes. An inevitable part of PE is that the children also enter the changing-room. Research on pupils’ experiences of PE is mainly related to the activity part of PE, and studies show that PE is a subject many pupils seem to like (Moen, Westlie, Brattli, Bjørke & Vaktskjold, 2015; Munk & von Seelen, 2012; Stensaasen, 2006). How the pupils experience the changing-room as part of PE is more or less still a ‘black box’, since little research has been devoted to the changing-room. However, some studies have been conducted (Couturier, Chepko and Coughlin, 2005, 2007; Fisette, 2011; O’Donavan and Kirk , 2007; Moen, Westlie & Skille, 2017; Woodruff and Curtner-Smith, 2007).
Our literary review reflects a lack of research into the changing-room, especially studies drawing on national samples of pupils experiences in the changing-room, as well as Scandinavian studies. Hence, in accordance with O’Donovan, Sandfjord and Kirk’s (2015) call to ‘open up the changing-room as a space for research’ (p. 64). This presentation seeks to acquire a glimpse into this ‘black box’. Drawing on a survey of PE among a national representative sample of 5th – 10th grades students in Norway, and following O’Donovan et al. (2015), we use Bourdieu’s field theory (1990) to ‘identify the changing-room as a juncture between a number of fields‘ (O’Donovan, et al., 2015. p. 57). As the experiences in the changing-room touch upon a definition debate of what is what in PE, we supplement Bourdieu’s field theory with Goodlad’s (1979) curriculum theory including the five curriculum levels: the ideological, the formal, the perceived, the operational and the experiential.
More broadly, we aim at contributing to especially three aspects of the limited knowledge base into PE changing-rooms; first, bring knowledge on how all pupils in a nation experience the changing room (a national survey), second, contribute with knowledge from a Scandinavian context, and third, discuss the findings both sociologically and pedagogically. We do so primarily by seeking an answer to the following research question: How do Norwegian students’ grades 5–10 (10 to 16 years old) experience the changing-room situation in relation to PE classes? On that basis, we further discuss how knowledge of students’ experiences in the changing-room are relevant to curricula development in PE.
The changing-room situation in PE in Nordic countries and beyond
In Norway, pupils use the changing-room for changing clothes before and after the PE class as well as to shower after class. Related to showering, law state that the schools in Norway cannot force pupils to shower (Udir, 2014). However a recent study by Moen et al (2017) found that most pupils shower in relation to PE. Colleagues in Iceland and Denmark report that this is also the case in their countries; however, we do not have data to support these statements. Based on international observation through participation of two of the authors, we are aware that showering after PE class is unusual is many countries such as, for example, New Zealand and the USA, among others. On the other hand, we also know that in countries like Great Britain and Sweden, some schools practice showering after PE while others do not. In Sweden and Denmark there are no laws regulating showering in relation to PE. Despite these different practices when it comes to showering, also in Nordic countries, the overall relevance of this paper lies in the fact that more or less all children use the changing-room (in one way or another) in relation to PE. Moreover, the paper contributes to a discussion of curriculum through the application of field theory.
Sample To reach the aim of the overall study about a national knowledge base on PE, we have based the sampling process on ‘The Norwegian Primary School Information System’ (our translation, https://gsi.udir.no/), and the seven national regions reported by Statistics Norway (http://www.ssb.no/). We have mainly used random sampling strategies supplemented with probability sampling due to geographical and topographical conditions (Norway is a country with long distances between urban settlements). The sample consists of 42 primary and secondary schools, and a sample population of 3644 students. While 418 students were not present on the day of the survey, 3226 students completed the questionnaire, a response of 88.5%. There are the same amount of girls and boys in the sample, although a few more students from secondary (1666) than primary schools (1560). In the further presentation we distinguish between the primary school (grades 5–7), and secondary school (grades 8–10). Questionnaire and data gathering The questionnaire was developed in accordance with the national curriculum in PE from 2015 (Udir, 2015) as well as a recent media debate in Norway related to PE in general, and the changing-room in PE in particular. The questionnaire contains seven sections: 1. About you 2. Why PE? 3. The content of PE lessons 4. Teaching and learning in PE 5. Other questions about PE (hours of PE, changing clothes, showering, changing-room experiences and absence) 6. Your opinion about PE 7. Your opinion about health. In this presentation, we focus on questions from the section ‘Other questions about PE’, and more specifically questions about changing clothes, showering and changing-room experiences. Data collection was undertaken in winter/spring 2016; the students filled in an electronic questionnaire during school hours. To reassure the same implementation for all classes taking part in the study, one person from the research team was present in all 42 classes participating in the study. Students in need of reading assistance got help from their teacher or an assistant. The students spent approximately 20 minutes answering the entire questionnaire. Older students used less time to complete the questionnaire. Data analyses The results are based on descriptive analyses in crosstabs using SPSS software. Chi square tests were used to identify significant differences between groups. To identify questions presented for further analysis, we used factor analysis and substantial analyses based on research questions and theoretical framework.
The results show that almost 7 of 10 students either agree or strongly agree that they experience being looked after by an adult when they are in the changing-room. This applies particularly to girls. More boys than girls seem to find showering unproblematic. The study shows that one of four students report that they are afraid that someone will take a picture of them. 6.4 % of the total sample reported that they had experienced being teased or bullied in the changing-room. Approximately three out of ten students find the changing-room noisy, and there is more noise reported in the boys’ changing-room than in the girls’ room. Four of ten reported that they have too little time to change/shower; this is more prominent among girls than boys. We further sought for differences related to the teacher’s gender in correspondent with the statements presented above. A larger proportion of the students report having male than female PE teachers. The only statement that showed significant difference was ‘I experience that an adult looks after us when we change/shower’. 59.6% of the students with a male teacher strongly disagree with the statement, while 53,5% of the students with a female teacher strongly disagree. We also analysed the statements by school level and found that all statements show differences in the level of response between primary and secondary school. These differences will be elaborated during the presentation. All in all, the vast majority of Norwegian primary and secondary school students find the changing-room situation satisfying and unproblematic. Nevertheless, the indication of differences, for example, and especially whether the students experience being looked after – establishes some interesting points for discussion regarding the fields relating to the changing-room and the curriculum.
Bourdieu, P. (1990). The Logic of Practice. Cambridge: Polity press. Couturier, L. E., Chepko, S. & Coughlin, M. A. (2005). Student Voices – What Middle and High School Students Have to Say about Physical Education. Physical Educator, 62(4), 170-178. Couturier, L. E., Chepko, S. & Coughlin, M. A. (2007). Whose Gym Is It? Gendered Perspectives on Middle and Secondary School Physical Education. Physical Educator, 64(3), 152-159. Fisette, J. L. (2011). Exploring how Girls Navigate their Embodied Identities in Physical Education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 16(2), 179-196. Goodlad, J. I. (1979). Curriculum Inquiry. The Study of Curriculum Practice. NY: McGraw-Hill. Moen, K. M., Westlie, K., Brattli, V. H., Bjørke, L. og Vaktskjold, A. (2015). Kroppsøving i Elverumskolen. En kartleggingsstudie av elever, lærere og skolelederes opplevelse av kroppsøvingsfaget i grunnskolen. [Physical Education in the Elverum schools: A survey of pupils, teachers and school leaders experiences of physical education] Høgskolen i Hedmark, Oppdragsrapport nr 2.-2015 Moen, K. M., Westlie, K. & Skille, E. Å (2017). Nakenhet som allmenndanning: Garderobesituasjon og kroppsøving slik norske grunnskoleelever opplever det. [Nudity as Education: Locker room in Physical Education and the Perspectives of Primary School Students]. Norsk pedagogisk tidsskrift. DOI: 10.18261/issn.1504-2987-2017-01-02 Munk, M & von Seelen, J. (2012). Status på Idrætsfaget 2011 (SPIF-11). Retrived from https://www.ucsyd.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/KOSMOS/Gamle_filer/fileadmin/user_upload/publikationer/SPIF-RAPPORT_e-version.pdf O’Donovan, T. & Kirk, K. (2007). Managing classroom entry: an ecological analysis of ritual interaction and negotiation in the changing room. Sport, Education and Society, 12(4), 399-413. DOI: 10.1080/13573320701600647 O’Donovan, T., Sandford, R. & Kirk, D. (2015). Bourdieu in the changing room. In W. lisahunter, W. Smith & E. Emerald (Eds.), Pierre Bourdieu and physical culture (pp. 57-64). London: Routledge. Stensaasen. S. (2006). Pupils’ Liking for Physical Education as a School Subject. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 111-126, DOI: 10.1080/0031383750190107 Utdanningsdirektoratet [Udir] (2014). Dusjing i skolen [Showering in school].Retrived from https://www.udir.no/regelverk-og-tilsyn/finn-regelverk/etter-tema/Laringsmiljo/Dusjing-i-skolen/ Utdanningsdirektoratet [Udir] (2015). Læreplan i kroppsøving [Curriculum in Physical Education]. Retrieved from https://www.udir.no/kl06/KRO1-04/Hele/Komplett_visning?print=1 Woodruff, E. A. & Curtner-Smith, M. (2007). Transitioning from elementary to secondary school: American students scary stories and physical education folklore. Sport, Education and Society, 12 (4), 415-430. DOI: 10.1080/13573320701600654
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