Sport, physical education and academic success
: playing on the same team for Aboriginal students?

  • Peter Edward Markey

    Student thesis: Other thesis - CDU


    This pilot study seeks to determine if there is an empowering relationship between sport, physical education and academic success. It investigates through the personal life experiences of several successful Aboriginal high school graduates if sport was believed to be associated with their success in education and employment.

    The data was collected during interviews with informants representing the small group of Aboriginal students who have become academically successful. They provide unsubstantiated recollections of their past experiences.

    The literature identifies the contribution and influence of sport, physical education and education on ethnic minority groups. It recognises the negative as well as the empowering possibilities for Aboriginal education and employment. This background provides the basis for possible scenarios for Aboriginal and mainstream contexts and for the interview questions.

    The research considers the potential opportunities for the carrying over of skills from one area to the other, the influence of role models on Aboriginal students and the opportunity of access for parents to schools through sport.

    The findings identify three scenarios for linking the experiences of Aboriginal students in each area: a positive involvement which nurtures a number of skills and understandings (i.e., self discipline, planning, leadership, Western culture capital) which may lead to academic success and employment; a negative aspects (i.e., low expectations, greater recognition of sport than academics, limited sports 'career') which limit or detract students from academic achievement and prospects of employment; and suggestions for schools to adopt (i.e., promotion of academic role models, encouragement of parent and teacher relationships, integration sport and education into the curriculum, and utilisation of sports trips for educational and personal development) which may enhance skills transfer from sport to education to achieve improved academic attainment or increased employment opportunities.

    A number of recommendations for schools and other education institutions to address specific issues identified in the study are listed.
    Date of Award1994
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMerridy Malin (Supervisor)

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