‘Physical education and sport pedagogy as a freestanding international community and / or an academic discipline?’ – Ann MacPhail

Ann - Leeds - 2016I am delighted to have been invited to present the Keynote at the Physical and Health Education Canada Forum in St.John’s on 4th May 2017. I always appreciate the opportunity to meet with Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy (PESP) colleagues and learn more about their particular contexts, share some of my own experiences and consider collectively how we can strengthen the PESP research and practice community.

As the tile of the Keynote implies, I have chosen to focus on considering PESP as a freestanding international community and / or whether we should be considering PESP as an academic discipline with the potential and intent to contribute to the ever-increasing in popularity discourse around interdisciplinary research. I will break the session into three parts and there are three related activities that colleagues will be encouraged to participate in.

The first part will revisit and explore PESP as an academic discipline, acknowledging the essential components of PESP and ensuring we have a shared understanding of the valuable contribution to each to the PESP field. It will be made clear that disciplines are not only intellectual but also social structures.

The second part will prompt colleagues to consider the necessity (or not) to advocate and fight for PESP and related discussion will be prompted with reference to cognitive and social dimensions of specific disciplines.

The third part will explore the (potential) impact of the PESP community considering interdisciplinarity. Colleagues will be encouraged to consider the metaphor of ‘oceans of knowledge’ (Manathunga & Brew, 2014) to understand the spaces that now define disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. Extending this discussion, colleagues will be asked to consider the extent to which there is a need for PESP to develop a capacity to engage with academic and institutional changes in productive, proactive ways.

In closing the Keynote I will revisit four areas that I continue to be interested in championing as a physical education and sport pedagogue. There are participation frameworks, PESP as an academic discipline, consideration of working with other academic communities / territories and PESP’s contribution to further national and international frameworks.

I look forward to my trip to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, reconnecting with old colleagues, meeting new colleagues, contributing to a conversation on the future consideration of PESP and … ‘experiencing’ The Martini Bar!

Professor Ann MacPhail is Head of Department for the PESS Department and Professor in Physical Education. View Ann’s profile here.

Ann’s Email Address: Ann.MacPhail@ul.ie

Ann’s Twitter: @AnnMacPhail1

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