Traces of discourses and governmentality within the content and implementation of the Western Australian Fundamental Movement Skills programme (STEPS Professional Development)

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Abstract

Over the last twenty years or more, a plethora of movement programmes have been adopted within primary physical education in the UK and across Australia. One particular programme, Fundamental Movement Skills (STEPS Professional Development), became of interest to the researcher during her dual role as the UK Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) consultant and a teacher educator. This resulted in an exploration of the Western Australian FMS STEPS Professional Development programme resources and related professional development files. Utilising a document analysis approach, in addition to semi-structured interviews with the programme writers, the pedagogical contexts and content of the FMS programme were able to be analysed and deconstructed. On closer examination, it also became clear that traces of governmentality and sports, health and education discourses were at work in the FMS programme per se. Interestingly, whilst health was illuminated as the dominant discourse behind the FMS programme's initial support and implementation at state level, sports and education discourses recurrently permeated the programme's generic content and related professional development. Contextualising and critiquing movement programmes in this manner before they enter the primary school gates is imperative in order to ensure that the quality of physical education provision is never compromised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEducation 3-13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

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governmentality
discourse
physical education
Sports
dual role
document analysis
health
primary school
education
writer
educator
examination
teacher
interview

Cite this

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title = "Traces of discourses and governmentality within the content and implementation of the Western Australian Fundamental Movement Skills programme (STEPS Professional Development)",
abstract = "Over the last twenty years or more, a plethora of movement programmes have been adopted within primary physical education in the UK and across Australia. One particular programme, Fundamental Movement Skills (STEPS Professional Development), became of interest to the researcher during her dual role as the UK Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) consultant and a teacher educator. This resulted in an exploration of the Western Australian FMS STEPS Professional Development programme resources and related professional development files. Utilising a document analysis approach, in addition to semi-structured interviews with the programme writers, the pedagogical contexts and content of the FMS programme were able to be analysed and deconstructed. On closer examination, it also became clear that traces of governmentality and sports, health and education discourses were at work in the FMS programme per se. Interestingly, whilst health was illuminated as the dominant discourse behind the FMS programme's initial support and implementation at state level, sports and education discourses recurrently permeated the programme's generic content and related professional development. Contextualising and critiquing movement programmes in this manner before they enter the primary school gates is imperative in order to ensure that the quality of physical education provision is never compromised.",
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