Towards Co-ed PE Classes

TOWARDS CO-ED PE CLASSES 12

TowardsCo-ed PE Classes

In1972, Title IX of theEducational Amendment Act waspassedtopromotetheprovisionof equalservicesforbothboysandgirlsinallaspectsof theschoolcurriculum. Thetitlewasaimedateliminatinggender-based discriminationwithinAmerican Educational institutions,therebypromotinggenderequity(Grenier, 2011). With theadventof Title IX, coeducation in physicaleducationclasses,aimedat improvingmotormovement,skills,andgameplay.PE wasintroducedin publicschools.Schooldistrictswerebarredfrom offeringsame-sex classesactivitiesandprogramsexcept forcontactsportsorsexeducation.Theunderlying assumptionforTitle IX wasthatco-educating boysandgirlswould increasetheskilllevel andphysicalaspirationsamong thefemaleunlikein singlesexinstructions.However,somepractitioners andinstructress of physicaleducation(PE) havecontinuedto resistthemovetowards a genderintegratedPE classes(Cynthia, 2010). Thesearguethatthedirective didnot thinkorplanabout theimplicationsof co-educated PE lessonsto adolescentgirls,depictingthecreatedenvironmentas neitherconducivenorequitableforthegirlchild(Silverman &amp Ennis, 2003).Thisresearchexemplifiesthepros andconsof co-educating PE classes,therebyformingan opinionthatPE lessonsshould be co-ed.

Prosof co-ed PE Classes

PElessonshelpindividualstodevelopself-esteem,learnmotorskills,developpositivesocialskillsandmaintainhealthandfitnessthrough thevariousmodesof physicalactivitieslearnedin PE classes.There is sufficientevidencethat increasedparticipationin PE leadsto positiveself-esteemamong theparticipants(Cynthia, 2010). Thispositiveself-esteemistranslatedto life-building, employmentreadinessandpreventingcrisesof lifestyle illnessesin laterlife.Co-education providesacommonplatformforboysandgirlstherebypromotinggenderequityas envisioned by Title IX. Accordingto thetitle,nopersonin theUS shall be excludedfrom participation,deniedbenefitsorsubjectedto anyformof discriminationin anyeducationprogramoractivitythat receivesfinancialassistancefrom thefederalgovernment.Thus,co-educating PE givesequalopportunitiesto bothboysandgirlsto participateandbenefitfrom PE programsofferedwithin theinstitution,therebyeliminatinggender-based discrimination.(Grenier, 2011).

Co-educatingPE has promotedandincreasedtheparticipationof thegirlsin athletics. Thefemaleathletics receivesimilarmonetaryandmoralsupportandassistanceas themaleassistance,a factorthat has significantlyincreasedtheir participationin sportsandathletics. Theintroductionof Title IX in 1972 ledto an immediateincreasein theproportionof thefemalesthat participatedin nationalhighschoolsportsas comparedto thepreviousyears.Accordingto Cynthia (2010), onlyone in everytwenty-seven girlsparticipatedin sportsin 1971. Thisnumberincreasedin 1972 after theintroductionof Title IX, with seven percent of allparticipantsofHigh schoolsportsbeingthefemales.Since then,thenumberof femaleparticipationin highschoolsportshas increasedtenfold, withthirty-five percent of theparticipantsin1980 highschool games comprisingof females.Today,thefemalegenderaccountforforty percent of highschoolgames. This evidences theimperativeroleplayedby Title IX in increasingfemaleparticipationin sports(McKenzie et al., 2004).

Co-educatingandthepassageof Title IX necessitatedincreasedfunding of thegirlsPE facilities,therebynarrowing budgetsandprogramgapsforboysandgirls.Duringtheeraforsingle-sex education(pre-Title IX), thefemaleathleteshadto putup with inadequatebudget,a generallackof programs,droppingprogramsorpoorequipments andfacilities(Houston, &amp Educational Resources Information Center, 2001)..In thesingle-sex PE programs,itwascommonto findtheboysusingnewprogramsandfacilitieswhilethefemalesuseddilapidatedfacilities.Theboyshadspecificteamuniformwhiletheboysworetheir physicaleducationuniforms.In mostcases,thegirlswerecompelledto trainatnight,in earlymorningsorwhentheboyswerenot usingthefacility.On theotherhand,theboysusedthetrainingfacilitiesduring thedayandimmediatelyafter schools.In somecases,theywould forcethegirlathletesto changetheir trainingroutine,as theyfeltthattheyweretherightfulownersof thetrainingfacilities(Cynthia, 2010). Thischangedwith theadoptionof Title IX. TitleIX necessitatedincreasedfunding to ensurethatthegirls’PE programsandfacilitieswereof samequalityas theboys.ThoughtheTitle didnot obligateschoolsto haveequalaggregate expenditureforboys’andgirls’facilities,itrequiredallschoolsto promoteproportionalparticipationin athletics through proportionate funding of thefacilities.Thesedirectivesultimatelychangedthefaceof thesex-segregated PE settingsin allFederal fundedinstitutions(McKenzie et al., 2004). Todaythegirlsenjoyfacilitiesandprogramsof similarqualityandtrainalongside theboys.There is nopreferentialtreatmentof eitherof thegenders,a factorthat has significantly increasedtheparticipationof thegirlsin sportsandathletics (Houston, &amp Educational Resources Information Center,2001).

Equaltreatmentandprovisionof equalopportunitieshas playeda criticalrolein socializing bothgendersabout genderequality.Coeducation environmentsocializes theyoungmenandwomento treatbothgendersas equals,therebypreparingthem to taketheir placesin thesocietymoreeffectivelythan thesingle-sex PE programs.Accordingto theproponentsof thecoeducational PE programs,offeringsingle-sex PE programssocializes genderinequity, makingtheyoungmenandwomenpropeltheoldadageof genderinequalitylaterin their lives.Manyproponentsarguethatco-education providesbothgenderswith equalopportunities,therebypromotinggenderequalityin themidstof themale-dominated society(Grenier, 2011).

Consof co-ed PE classes

Despitetheincreasedperceivedadvantagesof co-educating PE, researchshowsthatthere is littlechanceforthegirlchildto continuephysicalactivitiesinto adulthood. Accordingto McKenzie et al. (2004), girls’involvementinphysicalactivitiesis largelyinfluencedby perceivedhighbodyimage,self-satisfaction,confidenceandperceivedcompetence.Girls’attitudetowards physicalactivitiesandclassstructureplaya significantrolein influencingthedecisionto continueparticipatingin thePE classes.Hence,PE classeshavea moralresponsibilitytoofferprogramsthatfoster feelingsof self-worth among thefemales,especiallyin their adolescentage(Hill, Hannon &amp Knowles, 2012). Accordingto Houston andEducational Resources Information Center (2001), adolescenceis a timeof dramaticchangesandone of themostdifficulttimesfora girl.Thisstagerepresentsa periodwherethegirlsundergoseveralphysical,socialandpsychologicalchangesthat helpthem mature.Theybecomeoverly sensitiveandexperiencegenuinedropin self-esteemandself-confidence,oftenundervaluingandunderestimatingtheir capacitiesandcompetencies in virtuallyallaspectsof education,includingtheir physicalpotentials (Houston, &amp Educational Resources Information Center,2001).

Accordingto research,thecapacityof thegirlsto learnin a co-educated classis largelydominatedandinfluencedby thebehaviorsof theboys.In mostcases,theboystheboysare insensitiveto thegirlsandoftendisplayphysicalcontact,hurl verbalinsultsandtakegirlsin turn.Thishasa significantnegativeinfluenceon theself-esteemandself-confidenceof thegirls,especiallyat theadolescenceage,makingthem discontinuetheir participationin PE. Lessskilledgirlshavealwayscomplainedof beinginsultedandbeingpickedon by their insensitivemalepartners(Pühse &amp Gerber, 2005). Girlsin co-ed PE classeshavecomplainedof feelinggiven-offby their maleteammates fortheir allegedathleticinferiorityjustbecauseof their beingfemale.Thiscreatesa feelingof insignificancemakingitembarrassingforthegirlsto continueparticipatingin PE. On theotherhand,thegirlsdonot inhibittheperformanceof theboystheyin factmotivatetheboysto becomebetterathletes(Mohnsen, 2008).

Anotherhighlyinfluentialfactorthat affectstheco-ed PE classesis themannerin which theboystendto controlactivitiesduring PE lessons.Accordingto Kasser andLytle (2005), attests thatgirlshaveoftenexpressestheir displeasureof maledominance in co-ed PE lessons,indicatingthattheboysalwaystakeover thePE programowingto their athleticsuperiority.Thegirlsaredeniedchancesof joiningmaleteamsforthefearthattheywould leadto their loss.Thegirlsare thenforcedto be thespectatorsorplayin anothercourtallby themselves. Thosewhoare luckytobeacceptedina boys’teamare givenveryfewopportunitiesto participatein thegame(Kasser &amp Lytle, 2005). Theyare segregatedandoftenteasedforcommittingsimpleerrors,makingthem moreafraidandlessconfidentandwith lowself-esteem.Thereducedself-confidenceandlowself-esteemleadsto reducedparticipationin PE activities,since as Mohnsen (2008), putit,individuals’feelingsbefore,during andafterparticipatingin PE lessonsgaugestheir continued participation.Thisexplainsthereducedparticipationof theadolescentfemalesin PE classes(Pühse &amp Gerber, 2005).

Ina researchconductedby Silverman andEnnis (2003), thePE teachersthat haveexperiencein co-ed andsingle-sex PE classesagreedthatmoretimeislostduring co-ed PE classesthan in single-sex classes.In co-ed PE classes,significanttimeis consumedin dealingwith boys’off-tasks, unsafebehaviors,andaggressiveness. Theresearchacknowledgesthatcoed-classes havenotablenegativeimpactson both theboysandgirls.Theresearchh notesthatthehighlyskilledfemaleathletesare morelikelyto flirtandsocialize with theboysthan thelessskilledto demandboys’respectsince mostof them are alwaysintimidatedby boys’athleticnature(Kasser &amp Lytle, 2005).Theteachersnotedthatcompellingtheboystocompeteat a similarlevel as thegirlswould be forcingthem to be lessaggressivesince naturallytheyare moremuscular.Thus,ratherthan reducinggender-based discriminationas envisioned by Title IX, co-educating PE classespinpoints andsocializes theyoungmenandwomento gender inequalities(Hill, Hannon &amp Knowles, 2012).

and conclusion

Despitethevariousstepstakentowards co-ed PE programs,researchattests thatbothgendersare morecomfortableworkingin singlesexgrouping (Whitlock, 2012). Evenin co-ed PE classes,there is a naturalsegregationtendencyamong theboysandgirls.Theresearchattests thatwheneverparticipantsin a co-ed PE classare askedto pickpartners,theytendto pickfromtheir owngenderto practiceskills.Thiswasattributedto thefactthatmembersof thesamegendertendto complement eachotherto practicephysicalactivity,thanpartnersof differentgenders.Theresearchnotedthatathletestendto formcomplementarygroupswhichlargelycompriseof membersof similargenderorientation.Theresearchattributedthisphenomenonto thefactthatmembersfromthesamegenderfacesimilarchallengersandhavealmostsimilarphysicaltraitsthat makethem feelequal,henceequalcapabilities(Pühse &amp Gerber, 2005).

Accordingto Hill, Hannon andKnowles (2012), same-sex PE lessonscreatean enabling environmentthat allowstheparticipantsgetthemostof thelesson.In a single-sex PE class,theinstructordoesnot wastetimein dealingwith thevariousoff-sides, aggressiveness andothernon-beneficial behaviorsthat areassociatedwith co-educated PE lesson.Thisobservationiswasechoedby Mohnsen (2008), whonotedthatfemaleathleteswhojoinedsame-sex PE classesare oftenmorepolishedthan their counterpartsfrom theco-ed PE classes.Thisis attributedto thefactthatstudentsin same-sex PE classesinteractmorewith their instructorsthan athletesfrom theco-ed PE lesson,leadingto theformationof theopinionthatthestructureof a PE classis a greatdeterminant of theinteractionwith thestructure.Thesefactorshaveledto someresearchesconcludingthatmostmiddleschoolgirlswould havea betterlearningexperienceinasingle-sex PE classthan in a co-educational PE class,especiallyiftheyare lessskilled.However,allresearchers agreethatthehigh-skilled girlswould benefitmorein a coed PE classthan in a single-sex PE class,since a co-ed PE classofferstherequisitecompetitionto sharpena skilledfemaleathlete(Hill, Hannon &amp Knowles, 2012).

However,accordingto Mohnsen (2008), single-sex PE is neverappropriateforthegirlchilditonlyhelpsin thefurtheranceof gender-based discrimination.PE is not similarto elite sports,its primaryroleis not competition,butimprovingmotormovement,skills,andgameplay.PE is instructional, andthere is nojustificationinsegregatinginstructional programsalong genderlines.Segregatinginstructional programsalong genderratherthan individualsskillsinvitesdiscriminationsince ithas beendemonstratedover andover thatthereis a likelihoodof gender-based discriminationisthesexesare separated(Whitlock, 2012). Ratherthan promotingtheallegedfullathlete-instructor interaction,thesingle-sex classeswill createan avenuefordiscrimination,suchas unequaldistributionof resources,instructional supportandfacilities,with thegirlsbeingon thereceivingend(Pühse &amp Gerber, 2005).Thiswillcreatean unbalancedpresentationof educationalopportunities,therebyperpetuatinggenderinequalitythat Title IX soughto eliminatein our schools.Thoughthere areconcernsthatgirlsare likelyto stopparticipatingin co-ed PE classes,credibleresearcheshavedemonstratedthatgirlswhoparticipateinphysicalactivitieswith theboysbecomemoreresilientintheir futurecareers.Assuch,itis theroleof theinstructorto createan environmentwherethegirlchildwill not feellookedupon by theboychildwithin a co-ed PE class(Hill, Hannon &amp Knowles, 2012).

Additionally,there should be noinstancewithin a co-ed PE classwheretheathletesshould be dividedalong genderlinessince PE is instructional. ThePPE instructorshould makesurethatthestudentsare matchedaccordingto strength,skillsandsizeto createa safe,competitiveenvironment,evenforcontactPE activities(Hill, Hannon &amp Knowles, 2012).Theinstructorshould categorizeallstudents(boysandgirls)into beginners,intermediateandadvancedlevels, to ensurethatstudentsofsimilarskillsandexperienceparticipatetogether.Theinstructorshould createa culturewherethestudentspicktheir teamsorpartnersin termsof skills,strengthandsizeandnot alongarbitrarystereotypesbased on gendersince suchwould onlyperpetuategenderdiscrimination.SincethePE instructorshas thecontrolover whogoesinto which level of play,theyshould createteamsthat commensurate andcomplimenttheskillsof eachstudent,bearingin mindindividualsizeandstrengthforsecurityreasons.Ateamof three playersmay includea beginnerandintermediateandadvancedplayer,butfrom bothgenderorientations(Grenier, 2011).

Co-educationin PE is butone of themanystepsthat should betakeninaddressinggirls’discriminationin PE. Thisshouldbe supplementedby theintegrationof classesin such a waythat theycreatea forumforthesuccessof co-education. Thisincludesbetterdisciplinary policies,betterqualitycurriculum, parentalinvolvement,increasedfunding, bettertrainingandcreationof a culturethat promotesgenderequality.PE instructorsshould be in thefrontlinein usingPE to decreasesexstereotypesratherthan reinforcingthetraditionalsex-segregatedactivitieswhichperpetuatediscrimination(Pühse &amp Gerber, 2005). Aco-ed PE classwillpromotegenderequalitysinceitiscollaboration(not separation)thatpromotesequality.Itwill preparetheyoungmenandwomento interactandrespecteachotherevenin their adulthood andabove allextendequalopportunitiesto bothgenders,in education,athletics orart,which is criticalto eliminatinggenderdiscrimination.Assuch,alleducationinstitutionsshould movetowards a co-educated PE classes.

References

Cynthia,A., (2010) Coeducational versus single-sex physical education class:implication on females students’ self-esteem and participation.Journalof &nbspEducation&nbspSports&nbspand&nbspfitness,Vol. 31 (1). Retrieved fromhttp://www.thefreelibrary.com/Coeducational+versus+single-sex+physical+education+class%3A+implication…-a0228908542

Grenier,A., (2011). Co-teachingin Physical Education: A strategy for inclusive practice. Aqualitative research for the SIRC.Retrieved byhttp://sirc.ca/sites/default/files/content/docs/newsletters/archive/Oct11/documents/Free/CoteachingPhyEd.pdf

Hill,M., Hannon, C., &amp Knowles, C., (2012). Physical EducationTeachers’ and University Teacher Educators’ Perception RegardingCoeducational ve. Single Gender Physical education. Journalof physical education,Vol. 69( 1). Retrieved fromhttps://web.csulb.edu/colleges/chhs/departments/kin/files/hillknowlesandhannongenderequityarticle.pdf

Houston,J. E., &amp Educational Resources Information Center (U.S.). (2001).Thesaurusof ERIC descriptors.Westport: Oryx Press.

Kasser,S. L., &amp Lytle, R. K. (2005). Inclusivephysical activity: A lifetime of opportunities.Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics.

McKenzie,L. Prochaska, J., Sallis, F. LaMaster, J., (2004).Coeducationaland Single-Sex Physical Education in Middle Schools.Journal of physical education,Vol 75(4). Retrieved fromhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02701367.2004.10609179?journalCode=urqe20#preview

Mohnsen,B. S. (2008). Teachingmiddle school physical education: A standards-based approach forgrades 5-8.Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Pühse,U., &amp Gerber, M. (2005). Internationalcomparison of physical education: Concepts, problems, prospects.Aachen: Meyer &amp Meyer Sport.

Silverman,S. J., &amp Ennis, C. D. (2003). Studentlearning in physical education: Applying research to enhanceinstruction.Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics.

Whitlock,E. (2012). TheEffects of Single-Sex and Co-educaional Environment on the SelfEfficaxy of the Middle Schools.Retrieved fromhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-06142006-164417/unrestricted/Dissertation3.pdf