Sport and Health Sciences at Brighton

The students playing on the outdoor pitch

Decolonising the Physical Education Curriculum

PGCE and School Direct trainee physical education teachers recently experienced a range of team games that aimed to directly address the decolonisation of the British physical education curriculum.

They worked remotely in student support study groups to design teaching and learning resources and then put the application of theory into practice on campus. The purpose of the activities was to celebrate games that have indigenous origins outside of Great Britain.

The trainee teachers were introduced to the only mixed-sex team game played widely in the Netherlands and Belgium – Korfball. Korfball was invented in 1901 by Dutch school teacher Nico Broekhuysen, because he wanted a game which could be played by his pupils with both boys and girls being able to compete on an equal footing within the same game.

The game of Korfball is non-contact and is played between teams made up of four male and four female players. The playing court is divided into two equal zones and two players of each sex are placed in each – it can be played indoors or outdoors.

Players cannot move into the other zone during the match but every time two goals are scored, the players swap zones and therefore roles (attackers become defenders and vice-versa). The sport has similarities to both netball and basketball and players score by throwing the ball through the goal (korf) of the opposite team. The principals of the game are very similar to most other invasion games where the object to manoeuvre the ball through a defended territory to an agreed target within set parameters.

The students also learnt about Tchoukball – a game invented in Switzerland in the early seventies by biologist Dr Hermann Brandt following his research into the effects of physical activity and the reduction of injury. It is played on an indoor court and is a combination of handball and volleyball.

The name comes from the ‘tchouk’ sound of the ball rebounding from a Tchoukball frame. The object of the game is to shoot a ball at a rebound frame outside a restricted zone. There is a three pass limit before players have to shoot as well as a three step rule.

Players shoot the ball at the frame and if it lands on the floor a goal is scored. Any team can score either end on the frame. If the ball is caught, by a defending player no goal is scored and the defending team becomes the attacking team and the play goes on.

Dr Gary Stidder, PGCE and School Direct Physical Education route leader said: “Sometimes sport is more than just a game.

“Team games can be a metaphor for addressing much broader social issues and can be a valuable educational tool. There are other invasion games that could be included in the physical education curriculum such as the Scandinavian game of Floorball, the Danish and German game of Team Handball, the game of Lacrosse with its origins in Canada and the North American games of Flag Football, Speedball and Ultimate Frisbee.

“Key learning objectives can be taught, such as gaining an understanding of issues related to sport and Britain’s colonial past.”

Watch the students in the sports hall in our short film:

You can also view images from the activities below:

Kerry Burnett • 09/11/2020

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