Why is our PE teacher education curriculum white? a collaborative self-study of teaching about ‘race’ in PETE programmes
physical education teacher education
Subject Categories::X142 Training Teachers - Higher Education
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Other Titles‘Race’, Youth Sport, Physical Activity and Health Global Perspectives
AbstractWhy is my curriculum white? is a student-led movement that has questioned the centrality of white perspectives in higher education. Originating in the United Kingdom (UK) with an event and film produced by students at University College London (UCLTV, 2014, https://youtu.be/Dscx4h2l-Pk,), the movement suggests that white theorists and viewpoints have been privileged over Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) or postcolonial scholars. They raise concerns that a white focused curriculum has a universalising effect, making white-specific theories appear to speak about all human experience. According to this movement, if universities are to be as inclusive as they claim, they are challenged to develop curricula that reflect this, as opposed to focusing on diversity, which has tended to be framed in relation to the numbers of BME staff and students and celebrated as a proxy for equality (Archer, 2007; Husain, 2015; Pilkington, 2016). Higher education institutions (HEIs) are not neutral, but reproduce implicit perspectives on reading lists, the sequencing of issues, and consistent messages (Cochran-Smith, 2000). We could also add, how students’ needs are addressed, and how these needs are dealt with, as well as HEIs’ expectations of (BME and disadvantaged) students’ engagement and success. We propose that explicit and hidden curricular material and delivery may contribute to maintaining the status quo, thus racial inequalities; and despite equal opportunity attempts (such as the Widening Participation agenda in the UK), BME students are less likely to be awarded 2:1/1st degrees compared to their white peers; they have higher rates of underachievement, drop out, exclusion, unemployment, and incarceration (Lander, 2016; Pilkington, 2016).
CitationHill J, Walton-Fisette J (2019) 'Why is our PE teacher education curriculum white? a collaborative self-study of teaching about ‘race’ in PETE programmes', in Dagkas S, Azzarito L, Hylton K (ed(s).). ‘Race’, Youth Sport, Physical Activity and Health Global Perspectives, edn, Abingdon: Routledge pp.30-42.
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