Identities within Disciplines

There are many ways in which particular identities are represented in various disciplines. I chose to focus on art and physical education. The first identity that is represented is gender. In art, gender is something that is seen very clearly in my opinion. Most art teachers are female, a lot of the work done and displayed is done by females and even the students are female. There seems to be this assumption that is a female dominated discipline and it is unusual for males to be a part of it. I know personally, my high school art classes had one or two males and I had no male art teacher ever. Other identities such as race, class and sexuality seem to be equally represented because there are many students from all backgrounds within art and also in art itself, the subject material has a lot of variance in the types of pictures that are shown or even the artists who are spoken of.  In contrast, physical education seems to have more of a balanced makeup of identities. In recent years, there are a lot of females as well as males within the discipline. The people that are taught about in the classes are also a combination of male and female. Not only this, but these individuals come from varying racial and class backgrounds. Sexuality isn’t something that is explicitly displayed, nor is it something that is seen to hinder your ability to participate in physical education. However, ability and disability is something that I feel is still developing in this discipline. There are some opportunities available for individuals with disabilities, but it isn’t that common yet. There still seems to be individuals that are unable to participate in these physical activities. Personally, in my physical education classes, I wasn’t taught about any athletes who had disabilities. I know that there aren’t people like that out there, however it wasn’t a huge part of my physical education curriculum. These types of representations might leave students to think that this is the norm and that is what they need to follow. If we challenge these the students may feel confused and try to explain the norm to the teacher. However, these “norms” should not be the norm because there are so many opportunities for all sorts of identities to be incorporated into these disciplines. A way in which these norms and representations can be challenged in schools is simply by incorporating all the varying identities into the curriculum. More international stories and individuals should share their stories with the students. The teachers should bring these different identities, to the attention of these students in order to ensure that they are aware that these differences exist within the disciplines. All in all, the teacher should expose the students to all these identities equally to show them that they too, should challenge the norm because there are many different identities out there. And what better place to start, than the media technologies we have right in front of us such as the internet! Through the use of these, we can instantly many stories of different identities that come together to contribute to these varying disciplines.

An example of female oriented art:

and here is an example of the types of things that should be more visible in our physical education classes to encourage equal participation


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