Publication Details

This article was originally published as Wright, J, The construction of gendered contects in single sex and coeducational education lessons, Sport, Education and Society, 2(1), 1997, 55-72. Copyright Taylor and Francis. Original journal available here.


With the 'linguistic turn' in contemporary social theory there has been an increased interest in looking more closely at pedagogical practices in physical education as they construct social relations. Initially, and within a rather different theoretical framework this took the form of counting the number and kind of interactions teachers had with boys as compared to girls. More recently researchers have begun to look closely at how language choices construct relations of power between teacher and students and produce contexts for learning. This paper examines how these contexts may be very different for girls as compared to boys in single sex as well as coeducational physical education lessons. Systemic functional linguistics and semiotic theory have provided the methodology and analytical tools to make visible the system of meanings expressed through teachers choices in language. The analysis has been further informed by the work of poststructuralist and particularly feminist poststructuralist writers who link language, consciousness and gender.

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