Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Canadian Scholars’ Press
352 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2016
Print ISBN: 9781551308944
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The physical education classroom can be a site of discomfort for young people who occupy marginalized identities, and a place where the normative beliefs and teaching practices of educators can act as a barrier to their inclusion. This timely edited collection challenges pre-service and in-service teachers to examine the pedagogical practices and assumptions that work to exclude students with intersecting and diverse identities from full participation in physical and health education.

The contributors to this volume—who consist of both experienced and emerging scholars from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand—approach their topics from a range of social justice perspectives and interpretations. Covering a variety of areas including (dis)ability, gender, sexuality, race, social class, and religion, Social Justice in Physical Education promotes a broader understanding of the sociocultural, political, and institutional practices and assumptions that underlie current physical education teaching.

Each chapter encourages the creation of more culturally relevant and inclusive pedagogy, policy, and practice, and the discussion questions invite readers to engage in critical reflection. Mapping a better way forward for physical and health education, this text will be an invaluable resource for courses on social justice, diversity, inclusive education, and physical education pedagogy.

Related Titles

Table of Contents


An Introduction to Social Justice in Physical Education: Critical Reflections and Pedagogies for Change
Lynn Randall and Daniel B. Robinson

Chapter 1: "I Guess People Are More Attracted to White People than Black People"
Shedding Light on Racial Prejudice, Misrepresentation, and (In)Visibility of Ethnic Minority Bodies
Laura Azzarito, Mara Simon, and Risto Marttinen

Chapter 2: Culturally Relevant Strategies for Inclusion of Hispanic Students in Physical Education
Luis Columna, Michelle Dolphin, and Lindsay McCabe

Chapter 3: Towards a Critical Discourse on the Black Experience in Canada and the United States
Implications for Physical Education
Brian Culp and Martha James-Hassan

Chapter 4: Girls and Physical Education: New Starting Points for Critical Pedagogy
Eimear Enright and Louise McCuaig

Chapter 5: Rethinking "Straight Pedagogy"
Gender, Sexuality, and Physical Education
Katie Fitzpatrick and Hayley McGlashan

Chapter 6: Looking Over Our Shoulders
Disability in Physical Education from a Critical Perspective
William Harvey

Chapter 7: Seeking the Fountain of Mental Health in Physical Education?
William Harvey, Marie Varriano, and Shawn Wilkinson

Chapter 8: Indigenous Bodies: Ordinary Lives
Brendan Hokowhitu

Chapter 9: Engaging with Issues of Social Class in Physical and Health Education
LeAnne Petherick

Chapter 10: (Un)Holy Spaces: A Consideration of Religious Minorities in Health and Physical Education
Daniel B. Robinson and Lynn Randall

Chapter 11: Exploring the Issues Faced by Immigrant Students in Physical Education
Amanda Stanec, Jennifer Bhalla, and James Mandigo

Chapter 12: Trans*, Intersex, and Cisgender Issues in Physical Education and Sport
Heather Sykes and Christopher Smith

Chapter 13: Critical Pedagogy, Physical Education, and Obesity Discourse
More Advocacy than Pedagogy
Richard Tinning, Rod Philpot, and Erin Cameron

Contributor Biographies

Daniel B. Robinson

Daniel B. Robinson is an Associate Professor of Education at St. Francis Xavier University. His current research interests include culturally relevant physical education, First Nations physical education, physical education teachers’ programs and practices, and action research related to gender and physical education.

Lynn Randall

Lynn Randall is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of New Brunswick. Her research centres on improving the quality of physical education programs offered to elementary and secondary public school students.


"This outstanding text presents unique and dynamic interactions between social justice and critical pedagogy. It fills a scholarly void in physical education and teacher education for both graduate and undergraduate students, which involves educating pre-service and in-service teachers, parents, and students. The authors—researchers and experts from a variety of specializations—inform and educate, creating a stimulus for critical conversation and action that will result in positive change in school physical education and in the lives of our youth."
—  Nancy Melnychuk, PhD, Professor Emeritus (PETE), Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

"Daniel Robinson and Lynn Randall describe the primary goal of Social Justice in Physical Education as the ‘empowerment of physical education teachers, their students, and most importantly, those who have traditionally been on the margins.’ By compiling a diverse range of topics associated with social justice, prepared by an impressive list of international physical education scholars, they are achieving their goal."
—  Sandra Gibbons, PhD, Professor and Physical Education Coordinator, Faculty of Education, University of Victoria

"This text represents yet another sturdy advance in the praxis of critical pedagogy, both in physical education and education . . . the authors postulate critical pedagogy from their own substantial scholarly and hands-on experience in novel ways that can be easily grasped and applied by practitioners and activists concerned with such issues. Furthermore, each chapter contains abundant scholarly references that can also be used by interested readers to further their own theoretical knowledge on this type of pedagogy."
—  Juan-Miguel Fernández-Balboa, EdD, Departamento de Educación Física, Deporte y Motricidad Humana, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)

Student Resources

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