Students’ perceptions of visibility in physical education
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonEuropean Physical Education Review. 2021, 1-18. 10.1177/1356336X211025874
The purpose of this study is to explore students’ perceptions of visibility in physical education (PE) using a single cumulative case study approach. Data were generated from the descriptive field notes of seven participant observations (n = 77), individual semi-structured interviews (n = 13) and five focus group interviews (n = 18) with ninth-grade students (ages 14–15 years) from three classes in a public lower secondary school in Norway. The findings show that students perceive visibility differently depending on the context; some students like being visible in PE, while others dread it. Perceptions change rapidly and are situation-specific, influenced by the lesson content, the way the teacher facilitates the lessons, self-perception shaped by past experiences, the presence, actions, and attitudes of fellow students, body pressure and societal body ideals. The findings actualise the relevance of the transaction model of stress and coping ( Lazarus and Folkman, 1984) in determining when visibility in PE is and is not perceived as stressful. Consequently, the organization of the PE environment benefits from these insights.