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Helping teen girls reimagine PE

Physical education (PE) is a vital element of the school curriculum, but engaging teenage girls in PE lessons can prove a considerable challenge. Previous studies have suggested that girls are put off by certain environmental and material aspects of PE, such as a lack of female role models, an emphasis on competitive sports, and the usage of traditional PE equipment.

A novel PhD project has devised a method to delve into this matter, utilising co-creative workshops with 47 girls from two schools in the South West of England. These workshops included mind mapping, art and design, and video gaming as tools to aid the girls in expressing their experiences of PE and in conceptualising a revamped PE experience.

The participants identified several factors that would render PE more appealing to them, including:

An increase in opportunities to partake in activities they enjoy, such as dance, yoga, and martial arts.

Increased chances to interact with female role models.

A shift of focus towards health and fitness, rather than competition.

The incorporation of more innovative PE equipment.

A re-imagining of the PE kit to improve comfort and fit.

The research suggests numerous ways to render PE more appealing to teenage girls. By integrating the feedback received, PE teachers can create a more inclusive, enjoyable PE experience that motivates girls to participate more actively.

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