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University of Auckland hosts international PE conference

University of Auckland hosts international physical education conference


Over 350 academics from all over the world will attend an international conference on physical education at the University of Auckland, hosted by the University’s Faculty of Education this week.

The conference is the World Congress of AIESEP (Association Internationale des Ecoles Superieures d’Education Physique/ International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education). Usually held in Europe, this prestigious conference is being held in the southern hemisphere for the first time, as a result of a successful bid by members of the Faculty of Education.

The congress focuses on health, physical education and sports studies, with a focus on “Educating for Active, Healthy Citizens”. Presenters will discuss key issues in the field from a wide range of perspectives.

One of the keynote speakers, Professor Jan Wright (University of Wollongong) is speaking on: “Young people making ‘choices’ about physical activity”. Another keynote, Professor Stephen J Silverman (University of Columbia, New York), will discuss historical and contemporary approaches to the field of physical education.

A great deal of work focuses on obesity, youth engagement, effective pedagogies for learning and social issues in the field.

Thirteen academic staff from the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education will also be speaking. Dr Alan Ovens will present a paper on “Examining social complexity in physical education”, Dr Wayne Smith will speak about practical strategies for games education, while Rod Philpot will discuss critical possibilities for the field. Dr Katie Fitzpatrick will present in a symposium chaired by Dr Symeon Dagkas from the University of East London. The symposium is focused on racialization in physical education and sport and is part of a special issue of the journal, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy. Dr Kevin Moran will speak on the dangers of injury and death many young people face when near the water: “Taking the plunge? High-risk water entries in New Zealand and Australia”. Associate Professor Toni Bruce will discuss the representation of women in sport.

The conference was officially opened at 4pm yesterday with a Powhiri and keynote address from Professor Brendan Hokowhitu, Dean of the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. Brendan spoke about racial discourses in physical education and sport and how these affect young people’s participation and engagement.

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