'Go for it Girl' adolescent girls’ responses to the implementation of an activist approach in a core physical education programme

Cara Lamb, Kimberly Oliver, David Kirk

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This paper reports on the responses from adolescent girls to the use of an activist approach (Oliver, K. L., & Kirk, D. (2015). Girls, gender and physical education: An activist approach. London: Routledge) by their teachers over the course of one school year during their core physical education lessons. The study took place in four secondary schools in different areas of Glasgow city. Approximately 110 girls aged 13–14 participated in this study as part of their regular physical education classes. The themes arising from the data were: (1) through variety and choice the girls were opened up to a wider range of possibilities in physical education; (2) relationships between peers (pupil-pupil) and teachers-pupils were central to the girls’ engagement. We conclude that through the use of an activist approach, and in contrast to their experience of traditional, multiactivity physical education, girls responded positively to variety and choice as they co-constructed their physical education programme with their teachers, and the development of better relationships with their teacher and among themselves created a supportive learning environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalSport, Education and Society
Early online date5 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jun 2018


  • activist approach
  • gender
  • adolescent girls
  • pedagogical model
  • physical education

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