Conceptualising games and sport teaching in physical education as a culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy

Shane Pill, John R. Evans, John Williams, Michael Davies, Mary-Anne Kirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (2020a) requires all teachers to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’, culture and history where there is scope to meaningfully do so. However, there is a general absence in Australia and internationally of understanding culturally responsive pedagogy for those perspectives in teaching Physical Education (PE). This concept paper proposes an educational framework comprising Yunkaporta’s (2009) 8 Ways Aboriginal Pedagogy and the Game Sense approach (GSA) (Australian Sports Commission [ASC], 1996). for games and sport teaching in PE to move towards a culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy. We provide an empirical argument that curricula are instruments of colonisation and explain the creation of a cultural interface through games and sport as one approach for decolonising PE. We present an opportunity to ‘close the gap’ between Western and Aboriginal knowledge through the purposeful design of engagement in reconciliation, respect and recognition of continuous living Aboriginal cultures. We use the game Parndo (ASC, 2000) to illustrate an example of how Yunkaporta’s (2009) framework and the GSA become a solution for closing our identified gap. By proposing a culturally responsive curriculum, we focus on the importance of identity for all people and how curricula must be relevant and meaningful for all Australians. Importantly, Yunkaporta's (2009) 8 Ways is a product of ‘cultural interface’, co-created through dialogue between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educators. Our findings, although not transferable to other settings, nonetheless have relevance to other countries where there is a similar move to decolonise PE curricula.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1019
Number of pages15
JournalSport, Education and Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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