South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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Olympism, physical education and culturally responsive pedagogies

Ian Culpan


The ubiquitous forces of the globalisation of sport and other social constructs, such as economic and political, create cultural necessities for physical education (PE) to connect and celebrate diversity, yet at the same time, commit to contextualised educative and social purposes. The commitment is the need for an inclusive relevancy, particularly in terms of race, religion, gender, social class and philosophical beliefs and principles. This article reinforces the suggestion, a philosophical position on sport and Olympism, is applicable to PE. It is posited that Olympism provides a way forward for the celebration of diversity focusing on PE’s educative and social value. Journeys through scholarly pedagogical suggestions for Olympism education within PE are highlighted and the differentiation between the concept of Olympism and its conception are discussed. An argument is put that the concept of Olympism, to be relevant to PE, the conception of the concept must incorporate culturally relevant pedagogies. It explores and connects culturally relevant and responsive pedagogies with Olympism education within PE and concludes that bi-cultural principles contained within cultural responsive pedagogies for Olympism education,integrated into PE are applicable to multicultural settings as well.

Keywords: Olympism; Physical Education; Olympism Education; Culturally responsive pedagogies.

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