Monday, July 8, 2013

Partner Article: Gender Diversity

Partner Project: Sam Anguiano and Paige Johnson

Gender Diversity in Physical Education

Since the effect of Title Nine in 1972, physical education has been mandated to integrate coeducational classes.  Since that time, both male and female students have received physical educational classes together in many schools.  According to the authors, Osborne and et al. question if coeducational physical education classes foster an effective learning environment.  According to our research of gender diversity, teachers and students, especially girls participate better in single-sex physical, enjoy PE more, have higher level of perceived athletic competence especially in physical education classes starting in the middle aged school years to high school.  Overall, the goal of physical education, whether it be taught in a single-sex or coeducational environment, educators should focus on fostering students lifelong pursuit to be physically active.

After much review of our articles concerning gender diversity in physical education, we feel that coeducational physical education classes are appropriate in the lower elementary levels (K-5); however, single-sexed classes start to become more appropriate at the start middle school as children move into adolescence, especially for girls.  According to Hannon and Williams (2013), through their research of literature they found that girls are more likely to have more  teacher- to student interactions in single-sexed classes as compared to girls in coeducational classes.  The study added that girls also have more participation in male dominate sports; such as flag football, ultimate Frisbee, and soccer in single-sexed classes when they are in single-sex classes. 

According to Davis and Nicaise (2011) who focused on gender differences of fourth grade students in correlation to their perceived athletic competence (PAC) and enjoyment of physical education class (PE). The researchers noted that previous studies show that girls idea of PE enjoyment decrease upon adolescence. In this study, boys enjoyment with PE remained stable, while girls enjoyment of PE declined as they approached their teenage years. This study noted that there is a direct correlation between a student's PAC and their enjoyment with PE, especially in girls. As noted in this study as well as others, girls typically have a lower PAC compared to boys. Future research on ways to improve a student's PAC is recommended as well as educators considering these factors; gender, PAC and enjoyment of PE to direct and assist in their teaching. 

1.  James C. Hannon & Skip M. Williams (2008): Should Secondary Physical Education Be Coeducational or Single-Sex?, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 79:2, 6-56
D  Davis, Nicaise, Virginia  Source:Journal of Classroom Interaction, v46 n2 p11-23 2011. 13 pp


  1. I really enjoyed reading your paper about Gender Diversity in our schools. I agree that more physical activity usually occurs when genders are separated. As a GPE teacher, I have watched many girls pretend like they do not know what they are doing, when boys are around. If I had my students work in small groups, I would sometimes allow them to work solely with their own gender (if they choose to). This almost always allowed for more focus on the specific skills and increased their level of physical activity. It is nice to see that there are articles to support this teaching style just in case someone were to question it.

  2. Paige,
    This article was very informative and brought to my mind many questions. I can understand the gender identity roles within the classroom and why some girls would not try as hard or work as well as when boys are present in the classroom. This topic I feel is really interesting because so many people have to work together to make it successful.

  3. This journal article begins with an example of a general physical education teacher having good intentions for her students with special needs, but soon felt unsuccessful when things did not go the way she planned. After consulting with the APE specialist, this teacher accepted the suggestions and decided to plan the inclusion activity and adaptations prior to including her students with special needs.
    The article emphasizes including students with special needs at the beginning of a lesson, where students feel included, a part of the larger group and experience success.
    Inclusion is simply including students in the general physical education class with appropriate adaptations and modifications for those students to succeed. According to the authors, universal design for learning promotes inclusion of special need students. “Imagine a learning environment where all students are engaged and challenged at a level that meets their learning needs; where content is presented in multiple ways and with multiple methods; and where diversity is celebrated and creativity encouraged.” (Lieberman, Lytle and Careq 2008)