Lessons from the field: The transformative potential of occupational movements to shape physical education

Lambert, K. (Contributor)

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic lecture/debate/seminar


It seems clear that our shared future societies and occupational contexts are becoming increasingly underscored by and through a variety of complex global and local discourses. In education such discourses promote sameness and linearity at the expense of creativity and innovation, and in physical education determine what we think we should do pedagogically in relation to health, wellbeing and movement. Enhancing future learning in and through physical education in response to our changing world requires transforming our teaching practices today. It is therefore timely to re-consider the future role of physical education as a mechanism to counter one-size-fits-all models of education, focus on high stakes testing and the loss of individual interest in valuing movement for life. This paper seeks to progress this cause by sharing a set of practical movement activities, teaching and learning experiences, units of work, lesson plans, and ways of working with young women that are focussed on valuing movement for lifelong occupational purposes. The paper reports upon qualitative and quantitative data collected via focus group interviews, participant observation and visual methods, document collection and surveys from thirty nine (n=39) young women who attended one of three (n=3) fire fighting camps for girls in North America in 2017. Results about the types of activities conducted at the camps, the impact of the camps, and the experiences of the young women as well as their own ideas about what might work for other young women in physical education are provided. These inform the development of a set of sample occupationally driven teaching and learning activities/lesson activities that could be incorporated into any physical education class. It is suggested that looking outside physical education opens up the discipline to innovation and can in doing so inspires and informs change beyond the one-size-fits-all model. Such an approach has the potential to inform new and different kinds movement pedagogies that are also capable dealing with the dis-engagement of young women from movement by seeking to address their future lifelong occupational movement needs.
Event titleInternational Association for Physical Education in Higher Education 2018
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburgh, United Kingdom