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

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Politics, policy and physical education

Karel J van Deventer

Abstract


To understand educational reform and the form that Physical Education (PE) takes on we need to understand how policy becomes practice and the nature of the political agenda at any particular time. The research problem focuses on the politics involved in the policy process within educational reform regarding PE as a school subject. The research was conducted by means of a literature study and therefore the methodology can be typified as qualitative research within the interpretative science paradigm. International issues on policy and politics related to PE was analysed to draw possible parallels to the South African context. An attempt was also made to determine why educational policy initiatives, since the establishment of South Africa's new democratic government in 1994, are not bringing any qualitative changes in the lives of the ordinary people. The ill health PE is suffering globally has two dimensions: a scientific crisis and a political crisis. Klein's (2003) argument rests in the first place on an analysis of the perceived frailty of PE at international level and secondly it concerns three trading zones which give rise to the state and status of PE. It is concluded that the academic content of PE not only depends on political engagements, theoretical points of view and institutional practices, but by embracing theoretical and practical issues in which content and context are moulded together.

South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 27(2) 2005: 143-157



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