Equity and inequity amidst curriculum reform

Authored by: Shaun D. Wilkinson

Routledge Handbook of Physical Education Pedagogies

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138820999
eBook ISBN: 9781315743561
Adobe ISBN: 9781317589518


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Equity and inequity have long been a focus of attention in physical education (PE) and are matters often at the fore in discussions about curriculum reform (e.g. Australian Government, 2014; Daipi, 2004; Department for Education [DfE], 2014). Inequities in education, sport, health and/or wider society may all underpin calls for curriculum reforms in education as a whole, or in PE specifically. In parallel, curriculum reforms continue to be critiqued in terms of their direct and indirect consequences for equity (e.g. Curtner-Smith, 1999; Penney & Evans, 1999). Talk of developing and enacting PE curriculum in ways that will advance and support greater equity is, therefore, not new. Such talk remains, however, characterised by the use of a variety of terms that have different meanings in international educational policy discourse, and that highlight that equity is not straightforward to address. This chapter therefore opens by examining key terms and constructs. Discussing equity, equality and inclusion reaffirms the need to interrogate the particular understandings of terms, and the social and political agendas that are reflected in curriculum reforms and curriculum research in PE.

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