Understanding Whiteness in Physical Education

You may have already read my article titled ‘A Journey to Understanding Critical Whiteness’ which was recently published in the afPE Physical Education Matters autumn edition. 

If you are yet to read it, I would encourage you to for the very reasons that I shall present to you below:

As I was approaching the end of my PGCE, my final assignment was focused on subject knowledge development in physical education. I choose critical whiteness as my topic because it resonated with me. During this time, I read a lot and as I read, it forced me to look at myself, to consider my social conditioning whilst being in education as a student, and now as a trainee teacher. It quickly became apparent to me that ‘whiteness’ within physical education has largely gone unnoticed and that there is much work to do.

Before my engagement with my PGCE course, I had never heard of the term ‘whiteness’.

I have highlighted this statement because my PGCE course has changed the way I now look at my environment and how I wish to contribute to it. A thought which I still hold today, is that if I removed this course from my learning journey, would I have learnt about this elsewhere? I can answer that myself confidently and say no simply because, it is something that is the unspoken norm, deeply embedded within our systems and structures. We need to start having these conversations. The whole process changed my worldview, but most importantly, it has transformed my teaching practice for the better of my students. Thank you, Dr Lynch, for introducing me to this knowledge.

So, I do hope that you take the time to read the article and share it with those in the field, new to the field and beyond as awareness is the first step to change.

The article can be found here:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337199041_A_JOURNEY_TO_UNDERSTANDING_CRITICAL_WHITENESS

I am currently reading this to continue with improving my practice

Before I sign off, I wish to leave you with this quote:

The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house…

Audre Lorde

Written by Laura McBean – December 15, 2019

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