chapter  8
16 Pages

Physical education in the digital (postmodern) era

ByJuan-Miguel Fernández-Balboa

Education, be it perceived as an activity, an ideology, or a profession, should not be understood outside of its social, political, and historical contexts. Physical education ought to be seen in the same light (Laker 2000). In fact, each of the constituent knowledges of physical education derives from its own grand narrative. For example, performance pedagogy grows out of positivist science and social responsibility grows out of critical theory. Each has its own, self-promoting agenda and theoretical baggage. Historically, physical education has served three main functions; fostering health through the practice of certain physical activities, training bodies for strength and leadership in the battlefield, and preparing workers for more efficient and productive labor. These purposes, no doubt, have been framed by a dominant ideology whose validity must now be questioned (Penney and Chandler 2000). To project the future for physical education requires new conceptual frameworks and more holistic views. Examples of this are the connections among physical education, sport, and sociology (Sage 1997) or the intersections between traditional forms of physical activity, say in outdoor education, with those developing as a result of growing globalization ( Jarvie and Maguire 1994; Sicilia 1999).