Developing children: developmental discourses underpinning physical education at three Scottish preschool settings

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/582638
Title:
Developing children: developmental discourses underpinning physical education at three Scottish preschool settings
Authors:
McEvilly, Nollaig; Atencio, Matthew; Verheul, Martine
Abstract:
This paper reports on one aspect of a study that investigated the place and meaning of ‘physical education’ to practitioners and children at three preschool settings in Scotland. We employed a poststructural type of discourse analysis to examine the developmental discourses the 14 participating practitioners drew on when talking about ‘physical education’ at preschools, during semi-structured interviews. Three main discourses around the notion of developmentalism were identified during analysis of the adults’ interview data: (1) preschool children learn and develop through play; (2) preschool children should have choices and freedom; and (3) sometimes more structured activities are needed. The practitioners were heavily invested in developmental ‘truths’ about how preschool children learn and develop. They were in agreement that play is a vital element of preschool education, and that, consequently, children should be provided with opportunities for exploration and making choices. However, they also talked about sometimes ‘needing’ to restrict children’s freedom and provide more adult-led activities. Our findings illustrate the strength of developmental discourses at the three settings. We suggest that preschool practitioners, as well as policy-makers and researchers, should critically reflect on the effects of taken-for-granted developmental discourses, and move beyond thinking in terms of binaries such as ‘physical education versus play’ or ‘structure versus freedom’.
Affiliation:
University of Chester; California State University; The University of Edinburgh
Citation:
McEvilly, N., & Atencio, M., & Verheul, M. (2015). Developing children: developmental discourses underpinning physical education at three Scottish preschool settings. Sport, Education and Society. DOI:10.1080/13573322.2015.1114917
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Journal:
Sport, Education and Society
Publication Date:
20-Nov-2015
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/582638
DOI:
10.1080/13573322.2015.1114917
Additional Links:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13573322.2015.1114917
Type:
Article
Language:
en
Description:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal Title on publication date, available online: doi: 10.1080/13573322.2015.1114917
ISSN:
1470-1243
Appears in Collections:
Sport and Exercise Sciences

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorMcEvilly, Nollaigen
dc.contributor.authorAtencio, Matthewen
dc.contributor.authorVerheul, Martineen
dc.date.accessioned2015-11-25T10:47:27Zen
dc.date.available2015-11-25T10:47:27Zen
dc.date.issued2015-11-20en
dc.identifier.citationMcEvilly, N., & Atencio, M., & Verheul, M. (2015). Developing children: developmental discourses underpinning physical education at three Scottish preschool settings. Sport, Education and Society. DOI:10.1080/13573322.2015.1114917en
dc.identifier.issn1470-1243en
dc.identifier.doi10.1080/13573322.2015.1114917en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10034/582638en
dc.descriptionThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal Title on publication date, available online: doi: 10.1080/13573322.2015.1114917en
dc.description.abstractThis paper reports on one aspect of a study that investigated the place and meaning of ‘physical education’ to practitioners and children at three preschool settings in Scotland. We employed a poststructural type of discourse analysis to examine the developmental discourses the 14 participating practitioners drew on when talking about ‘physical education’ at preschools, during semi-structured interviews. Three main discourses around the notion of developmentalism were identified during analysis of the adults’ interview data: (1) preschool children learn and develop through play; (2) preschool children should have choices and freedom; and (3) sometimes more structured activities are needed. The practitioners were heavily invested in developmental ‘truths’ about how preschool children learn and develop. They were in agreement that play is a vital element of preschool education, and that, consequently, children should be provided with opportunities for exploration and making choices. However, they also talked about sometimes ‘needing’ to restrict children’s freedom and provide more adult-led activities. Our findings illustrate the strength of developmental discourses at the three settings. We suggest that preschool practitioners, as well as policy-makers and researchers, should critically reflect on the effects of taken-for-granted developmental discourses, and move beyond thinking in terms of binaries such as ‘physical education versus play’ or ‘structure versus freedom’.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherTaylor & Francisen
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13573322.2015.1114917en
dc.subjectDevelopmental discoursesen
dc.subjectphysical educationen
dc.subjectpreschoolen
dc.subjectScotlanden
dc.subjectFoucaulten
dc.titleDeveloping children: developmental discourses underpinning physical education at three Scottish preschool settingsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Chester; California State University; The University of Edinburghen
dc.identifier.journalSport, Education and Societyen
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