Library > Issue 141 > Hidden Curriculum in Physical Education: A Case Study

Hidden Curriculum in Physical Education: A Case Study

Alexandra Valencia-Peris*, Joan Salinas-Camacho, Daniel Martos-García  

Valencia-Peris, A., Salinas-Camacho, J., & Martos-García, D. (2020). Hidden Curriculum in Physical Education: A Case Study. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 141, -1.


The basic objective of this study about hidden curriculum (HC) is not only to understand a school experience but also to understand, in general terms, the relationship between schooling and society. This study sets out to explore the ideologies transmitted through HC in the Physical Education (PE) subject as seen through a secondary education class. An ethnographic method was used, in the course of which information was collected by means of participant observation and semi-structured interviews, one with the teacher and seven with pupils from the group selected on account of their role in the group or because they had been involved in certain situations of interest observed. The qualitative analysis process of the data consisted of reducing the information based on thematic criteria, data exposition and comment and the verification of conclusions. The main findings suggest that both pupils and teachers, albeit differently, regard PE as having an instrumentalist nature removed from the functions, challenges and competencies currently attributed to it. Moreover, pupils and teachers alike perceived personal effort as the factor which most strongly conditioned evaluation, although the teaching staff clearly did so on the basis of a specific discourse of performance ideology. Teachers attached greater priority to the smooth and normal evolution of the session in the face of possible individual incidents in the course of the class, even ignoring such incidents in order to be able to continue to attend to the class. Such situations may condition pupils’ participation and motivation in PE classes through the perception of such fears and insecurities derived from public opinion about their motor interventions.

Key words

faculty, pedagogy, ideology of performance, healthism
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