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Exploring the Meaning of Physical Education in PE Curriculum
In Taiwan, although “Gender Education” is one of the critical issues addressed in Grade 1-9 Integrated Curriculum, and “Health and Physical Education” is one of the key learning areas, female students’ participation into sport is less than their male counterparts. Facing the afore-mentioned phenomenon, people tend to believe the difference between male and female bodily experiences is caused by gender-differentiated socialization processes, yet little has been discussed about and investigated the practices of PE teaching and policy legislations. The purpose of this article was to explore the gender-differentiated experiences in PE classes and to discuss the meaning of physical education within it, with the focus on female perspectives. The first section started from female students’ experiences in PE classes, and how their senses of physical competence and body image affected sport participation behavior. Secondly, it was argued that the discourse of “gender stereotype” rationalized the gender-differentiated bodily experiences through repeated production and reproduction of common sense discussions. The third section talked about the meaning of social construction in PE curriculum. The example of Title IX legislation in U.S. illustrates how gender-friendly facilitation enabled female participation into sport. It is concluded that in order to have diverse gender groups benefited from sport, it is important to build up enjoyable PE learning environment, with the support of policy legislation.
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