Due to the expansion of the inclusive education movement around the world, diversity is (again) coming into the spotlight. Based on the notion of equitable education as a fundamental right, inclusion in education policy is triggered by discussions about immigration caused by political conflicts (IOM, 2019), and the demand for adapted education for children with disabilities within a general educational setting (UN, 2006). An inclusive education philosophy advocates for holistic development and enhances children’s opportunities to achieve educational goals. As with all other subjects taught in schools, physical education (PE) must also answer the question of how to address students’ diversity or in other words, how to be as inclusive as possible. However, recent research highlights tensions between the educative/inclusive and physical dimensions of PE (Mihajlovic, 2019; Giese & Ruin, 2018).
Typically, these tensions appear in the conceptualization of performance and assessment. Addressing equitability and performance diversity marks one of the fundamental challenges of pedagogical practice and educational research and is controversially discussed in the context of education, inclusive PE (Giese & Meier, 2022) and sports pedagogy (Hay & Penney, 2012). Especially in the field of sports, so-called performance narratives are predominant and interwoven into basic assumptions of sports pedagogy. From an ableism-critical perspective, such basic assumptions can foster exclusion and systematically prevent the recognition of performance diversity. Adopting the perspective of Disability Studies and its critique of ableism, we unravel the ways in which performance and assessment emerge in two recently discussed approaches in sports pedagogy (cognitive activation, standardized curricula).
Giese, M., & Meier, S. (2022). Leistung und Inklusion. Ein Debattenbeitrag über „die Überflüssigen“ in der sportpädagogischen Theoriebildung. In N. Gissel & D. Wiesche (Hrsg.), Leistung aus sportpädagogischer Perspektive (in press). Springer VS.
Giese, M., & Ruin, S. (2018). Forgotten bodies – an examination of physical education from the perspective of ableism. Sport in Society, 21(1), 152-165. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2016.1225857
Hay, P., & Penney, D. (2012). Assessment in Physical Education: A Sociocultural Perspective. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203133163
IOM [International Organization for Migration] (2019) World Migration Report 2020. International Organization for Migration, Geneva. Available at: https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/wmr_2020.pdf
Mihajlovic, C. (2019). Perceptions of the Finnish National Curriculum and Inclusive Practices of Physical Education. Curriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education, 10(3), 247-261. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/25742981.2019.1627670
UN [United Nations] (2006) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New York, NY: United Nations.