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Using discursive strategies, playing policy games and shaping the future of physical education


Swabey, K and Penney, D, Using discursive strategies, playing policy games and shaping the future of physical education, Sport, Education and Society, 16, (1) pp. 67-87. ISSN 1357-3322 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/13573322.2011.531962


This paper presents a critical analysis of the representation of physical education (PE) in the 1992 Senate inquiry into 'Physical and Sport Education' in Australia. Analysis focuses specifically upon how and why a new professional discourse, fundamental motor skills (FMS), gained a privileged position in the inquiry, the inquiry report and in subsequent PE policy and practice across Australia. This paper examines the complex policy processes and power-relations underpinning the progressive legitimisation of the FMS discourse, and identifies subtleties and variations in the expression of the discourse. Attention is drawn to the strategic appropriation of established professional discourses and utilisation of crisis discourses in establishing and gaining support for the FMS discourse. The analysis reaffirms policy arenas as sites of contestation but highlights that they are simultaneously sites of possibility for PE professionals who are prepared and able to use discursive resources in strategic ways. The contemporary relevance of the discourses privileged in 1992 and lessons to be learned from events surrounding the Senate inquiry are discussed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:education, policy, fundamental motor skills, discourse
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Physical education and development curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Policies and development
UTAS Author:Swabey, K (Professor Karen Swabey)
ID Code:68995
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2011-04-14
Last Modified:2018-02-09
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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