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Physical Education in Trinidad and Tobago: Dilemmas of and Opportunities for Movement across a Contested Field

Neckles, Themesa Y. (2013) Physical Education in Trinidad and Tobago: Dilemmas of and Opportunities for Movement across a Contested Field. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis is mainly concerned with gaining critical insights into the development of physical education in Trinidad and Tobago, by drawing on the personal and professional lives of six physical educators. It draws upon a critical approach to qualitative research to portray experiences of physical education within a colonial and postcolonial society. The thesis adopts a critical life history approach to study the case of physical education in schools in the context of a small island state. This approach uses ‘storying’ and methods which critically reflect on these stories to interrogate the life histories of six physical educators in order to provide invaluable accounts of their experiences of physical education as students, teachers and administrators. The new understandings that emerged from this enquiry illustrate a central concern about the contested nature of the term physical education and the quality of experiences that individuals gain from the practice of physical education teachers in schools. The empirical findings also present concerns about the influence of global perspectives on physical education in schools. In particular, emphasis is placed on the historical shifts in policy and practice occurring in education in general and physical education in particular at the school, national, regional and international levels. The research uses excerpts from a collection of personal stories deemed significant by the researcher and the teller of the story, in terms of their contribution to policy development, to show how the historical challenges that physical education faced as a subject, continue to shape current practices of physical education in schools. The thesis presents a critical historical account of physical education in Trinidad and Tobago. The perceptions and attitudes of policy makers, parents, teachers and school administrators globally continue to challenge the legal status of the subject that it is compulsory. This account shows how this twin-island state of Trinidad and Tobago has the capacity and aspiration to reconceptualise how we understand, experience and practise physical education, despite the global challenges. This case study demonstrates how a democratic process towards mass participation in physical education can provide meaningful movement experiences at the level of the school, in order to establish a culture in which lifelong physical activity engagement is encouraged and maintained within a society that favours and embraces freedom of choice and equal rights for all. The thesis also shows evidence of a personal and academic journey, similarly understood in terms of critical incidents.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.595229
Depositing User: Miss Themesa Y. Neckles
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2014 11:47
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 11:04
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5594

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