A team of Canadian researchers seems to think schools should stop letting students play dodgeball in gym class.
The findings were set to be presented this week at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Vancouver, though Canada’s National Post obtained an abstract of the paper and published excerpts of it on Monday.
Joy Butler, who teaches curriculum and pedagogy at the University of British Columbia, led the team that came up with the paper.
The study makes the absurd claim that dodgeball is a tool of “oppression,” in addition to being “miseducative” for students.
“As we consider the potential of physical education to empower students by engaging them in critical and democratic practices, we conclude that the hidden curriculum offered by dodgeball is antithetical to this project, even when it reflects the choices of the strongest and most agile students,” the paper reads.
The researchers argue the sport “reinforces the five faces of oppression,” which were defined by Iris Marion Young, a late political theorist who taught at the University of Chicago.
“As Butler’s abstract describes it, those ‘faces’ are ‘marginalization, powerlessness, and helplessness of those perceived as weaker individuals through the exercise of violence and dominance by those who are considered more powerful,'” the Post reported, citing the abstract.
“Despite the fact that many physical educators understand their vital role in helping students develop robust, equal, productive relationships and critical awareness, their practices on the ground do not always reflect this agenda,” the paper says.
“We suggest that this tension becomes sharply visible in the common practice of allowing students to play dodgeball,” it adds.
Of course, it’s worth noting that dodgeball is not much different than many other sports.
It tests athletic ability in multiple ways, including throwing, agility, awareness and teamwork.
Sharp Magazine even recommended it last May as a beneficial form of exercise.
And efforts to ban volleyball as a gym class activity do not seem to be popular.
A recent Vancouver Sun poll found 86 percent of respondents believe dodgeball should stay in Canadian schools.
And in 2017, an attempt to ban dodgeball in the state of Louisiana failed to get past the state’s school board, according to the The Daily Caller.
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