The ebb and flow of curriculum construction in physical education: a Scottish narrative

Shirley Gray, Rosemary Mulholland, Justine Maclean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Within Scotland’s new curriculum, a Curriculum for Excellence, physical education (PE) has been relocated from ‘Expressive Arts’ to ‘Health and Wellbeing’. The repositioning of PE could result in a shift in the way PE is conceptualised. In order to understand this shift, we conducted in-depth, one-to-one interviews with 10 participants who contributed to the development of the new policy text for PE. The results from this study provide a narrative that describes the process of developing policy text for PE. Additionally, the participants described a process of consultation and debate, and referred to decision-making based on national initiatives linked to improving children's health. However, there was also evidence to suggest that the government controlled the process and that this control limited the extent to which the participants could make a genuine contribution to shaping the vision for PE. In making the process of developing curriculum text for PE more explicit, it is hoped that this study will encourage teachers and other key stakeholders to read the documentation that was produced in a critical way and have a greater understanding of the policy development process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-78
JournalThe Curriculum Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


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