Non-disabled secondary school children’s lived experiences of a wheelchair basketball programme delivered in the East of England

Evans, Adam B. and Brown, Lindsay J. and Bright, Jonathan (2013) Non-disabled secondary school children’s lived experiences of a wheelchair basketball programme delivered in the East of England. In: 11th European Sociological Association Conference: Crisis, Critique and Change, 28.08.2013-31.08.2013, Turin.

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Non-disabled 10-12 year old children’s lived experiences of a wheelchair basketball programme delivered in the East of England.
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Frequently an unquestioned belief is held in UK schools in the value of ‘normalised’ ability in physical education. Consequently inclusion of disabled students can be problematical. Negative perceptions of disability are rarely challenged. This study investigated the embodied experiences of 50 non-disabled secondary school pupils during a programme designed to introduce disability sport to non-disabled schoolchildren entitled ‘The Wheelchair Sports Project.’ Wheelchair Basketball sessions were delivered by coaches during physical education for a 12 week period. 50 pupils aged between 10 and 12 years took part. Non-participant observations were completed during the intervention and guided group interviews were completed with 40 participants pre and post project. Bourdieu’s theoretical framework was utilized during data analysis. The impact of the project on pupils’ perceptions of physical disability was investigated. Prior to the project, pupils emphasized the ‘otherness’ of disabled bodies and described disability sport as inferior and not ‘real.’ Observations highlighted how pupils’ experienced physical challenges adapting to wheelchair basketball. Pupils struggled to control wheelchairs and frequently diverged from acceptable behaviour by using their lower limbs to ‘cheat.’ Post-programme interviews demonstrated pupils’ perceptions of physical disability altered due to their embodied experiences. Pupils described high physical demands of wheelchair basketball and began to focus upon similarities between themselves and physically disabled individuals. However, no reference was made to mental or psychological disability, emphasizing the specificity of the effects of pupils’ embodied experiences on their habitus’.

Keywords:Disability, Physical Education, Inclusion, Bourdieu, Embodied Experiences, Wheelchair Sport, Children's Perceptions
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
L Social studies > L300 Sociology
X Education > X330 Academic studies in Secondary Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:11755
Deposited On:02 Sep 2013 12:09

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