Scientific Programme

Psychology, Social Sciences & Humanities

OP-SH02 - Physical Education and Pedagogics

Date: 05.07.2023, Time: 11:30 - 12:45, Lecture room: 361


Chair TBA



ECSS Paris 2023: OP-SH02

Speaker A Alexander Jansson

Speaker A

Alexander Jansson
Sports Sciences , 1 & 2 Department of Sports Sciences
"Deteriorating equivalence in physical education in Sweden? Using sibling correlation to estimate the effect of family background on grades in physical education between 2000 – 2017"

Introduction In physical education (PE), equivalence is a central goal in welfare states around the world. In Sweden, this means that the subject of PE should be equal and that schools are to compensate for students’ different backgrounds, such as family background, socioeconomic and migration background. However, even if equivalence is a central goal, little is known about how equivalence in PE in Sweden has changed both during the last decades and in comparison to the students’ average grade from all school subjects (so-called merit value). One well-established approach to examine equivalence in educational research is to analyze the correlation between full siblings’ grades. Although this is a valuable approach to examine equivalence, no studies have used it in PE (Jansson et al., 2022). Using this approach, the aim of this study is to analyze how equivalence in PE in Sweden has changed, both over the last two decades and in relation to the students’ merit value. Methods This study includes the total population of students (N=6,961,173) that were enrolled in Swedish schools between 2000-2017 in school year 6 and 9. The method is based on analyzing the correlation between full siblings that are born within a three-year period and their annually standardized grades in PE and merit value, using variance decomposition. One main advantage with this measure is that it considers all the aspects that full siblings share (e.g., socioeconomic, upbringing, living conditions and parenting). The analysis provides information about the extent of the total variation in PE grades and merit value that are explained by the family background of the students. Results In relation to the total variation in students’ grades in PE and merit value, the proportion explained by variation between full siblings has increased between the years 2000-2017. Consequently, the results indicate that the importance of students’ family background, over the past two decades, has become more important for both students’ grades in PE and their merit value. However, the importance of family background has increased considerably more for students grades in PE, compared to their merit value. Furthermore, the largest increase in sibling correlation is found within the group of students born abroad. Discussion Preliminary findings indicate that equivalence in PE in Sweden has deteriorated between 2000 and 2017. Possible explanations are that: 1) schools, and in particular PE, has become worse at compensating for students with different backgrounds (e.g., socioeconomic); and 2) the students have become more heterogeneous, and as such making it more difficult to compensate for students’ different backgrounds. Jansson, A., Sundblad, G., Lundvall, S., Bjärsholm, D., & Norberg, J. (2022). Students’ perceived learning in physical education: variations across students’ gender and migration background in Sweden. Sport, Education and Society, 27(4), 421-433.Doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2021.1878129

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ECSS Paris 2023: OP-SH02

Speaker B Johan Högman

Speaker B

Johan Högman
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Educational Studies
"The perceived function of physical activity during the school day among Swedish primary school children"

Introduction Alarming reports of decreasing levels of physical activity (PA) among children has led to more interventions targeting children, not least in school. Such intrusions into children’s lives are considered justified based on adults’ knowledge about future risks that accompany lack of PA. However, children are not only future adults; they are also individuals with rights. There are studies highlighting children’s perspectives, but these have mainly focused on children’s experiences of PA. Much less explored are the functions children attribute to PA. The purpose of the study was therefore to investigate how a group of primary school children in Sweden characterise their use of PA during the school day. Methods The study builds on qualitative data from 15 focus groups with a total of 63 participating children aged 8-13 years. Participants were recruited from schools in four different locations in central Sweden. The analysis, which was carried out using reflexive thematic analysis, was based on the phenomenological idea of corporeality as a spectrum between corporeal objectivity and subjectivity. Results Three overarching themes were constructed to illustrate how children characterise their use of PA in the school context: PA for a healthy body (the body as object), the body calling for attention (the body as subject) and the moving body and the healthy mind (between subject and object). When the body was presented as an object, the children’s statements about the use of PA reflected discourses about the importance of movement for their health, in the short and long term. When the body was discussed as a subject, the children stressed how movement became their response to bodily sensations such as “ants in their pants” that arose during extended periods of sitting still. In the children’s descriptions of needing to move in order to, for instance, “clear their thoughts” or “not go crazy”, the body was located in the space between object and subject. Discussion Results show that children perceive that PA can be used both to satisfy their direct bodily desires and to promote their health, cognition and well-being. The children in the study are in a period of life where one foot is clearly planted in a child’s physicality, where they are reminded through their bodies of the need for movement in order to develop. The second foot, meanwhile, is stepping through a socialization process in which the body is increasingly regarded as needing care and discipline. A consequence of interventions focusing too heavily on the body as an object is that children risk being alienated from their bodies, thus preventing them from learning to use their bodies to interact with the environment. In light of the increased need for efforts to promote children’s PA, it is important to create conditions for PA that affirm children’s bodily subjectivity.

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ECSS Paris 2023: OP-SH02

Speaker C Lucas Abel

Speaker C

Lucas Abel
German Sports University Cologne, Institute of Professional Sport Education and Sport Qualifications
"Pupils’ perspectives on Racism and Anti-racism in Physical Education: Findings and Recommendations from a Systematic Literature Review"

Introduction Sport in all social forms is characterized by racist structures and incidents, also experienced by children and youth. Physical education (PE) can be an area to fight racism but can also be an environment where racism is (re)produced. The perspective of pupils is crucial in teaching research as they are the primary individuals experiencing teaching and learning. As a result, they can offer valuable insight into both successes and challenges encountered. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review to find out the extent and quality of national (German) and international publications on racism and anti-racism in PE, considering pupils’ perspectives. Methodology The procedure of the systematic review, following the PRISMA standard, had a four-step approach: (1) Searching for publications in 11 electronic databases with 12 keyword combinations, in German and English. (2) Selecting studies based on five inclusion criteria a) peer-reviewed journals b) English or German full texts; c) participants were pupils, teachers, or researchers; d) publications involved racism or anti-racism in PE e) considering a pupils’ perspective. (3) Quality assessment using Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) and Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) and, thus, (4) descriptive analysis and thematic analysis (i.e., template analysis and elements of reflexive thematic analysis). Results A total of 5213 publications was found of which 16 qualified for inclusion. Two of them had a theoretical approach, 13 used qualitative methods, and one source had a mixed-method approach. All publications came from English-speaking countries and different approaches on how to define racism were found. Every publication could be attached to the top two out of three quality categories using CASP and MMAT. During the thematic analysis, five themes could be constructed, of which the 2 most prominent are now presented here: (1) “Racism in PE: What pupils experience”. Pupils report their (racist) experiences of discrimination in PE, sport, and everyday life. These are often classified by the researchers as racial stereotypes and prejudices, everyday racism. (2) „What PE teachers can/should do?” The articles contain ideas and demands on how teachers can meet the challenge of racism in PE. These range from concrete recommendations for teachers to demands for nationwide teacher training and curriculum reforms. Discussion Enlightening international literature was found, but despite Germanys historical responsibility in this matter, no national (German) publication was found. Since the global phenomenon of racism differs locally, it seems necessary to conduct a survey with pupils in Germany as well, to identify their racist experiences, racist knowledge, and anti-racist potential, too. This would allow to formulate demands on teacher training and politics in Germany.

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ECSS Paris 2023: OP-SH02