Viewpoints and Education on Gender and Equality Issues when Teaching Physical Education
Keywords:teaching physical education, student-teachers, physical educators, gender equality
The purpose of the present inquiry was to explore physical educators’ views and education on gender issues with reference to teaching in mixed gender physical education classes. A total of 152 people with α mean age of 37.62 (SD = 10.44) years participated in the study. Forty-four of them were male and female 4th-year university students and 108 were male and female physical educators teaching in Greek schools. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected. The male and female participants did not differ in their views on girls’ and boys’ performance in PE class (p > .05). The analyses revealed that 48.6% of the participants believed that a physical education class was running more effectively in mixed gender mode, while for 26.9% of them the class was more effective when run in a single-sex mode, mostly due to the students’ differences in skill level, physical characteristics, and interests. The difficulties they reported facing in everyday contact with the students during classes predominantly involved communication, discipline, lack of participation, and skill level issues. Fifty-five percent reckoned that the knowledge and experience obtained through their academic education was inadequate; whereas additional knowledge on socioeducational issues of teenagers, gender psychology, and coping with gender differences in class would be helpful. These findings are discussed with an emphasis on the role of school physical education on the development of equitable students and future citizens.