There continues to be an on-going discussion on the issue of gender equality. Despite the fact that there are fewer inequalities between both genders, several researches on the issue verified that, even, young people continued to reproduce stereotype perceptions and that gender inequalities remained obvious. In this research, we tried to investigate the concept of equality between both genders in taking Physical Education by interrogating high-school students about their perceptions of their gender. In seeking the factors, which influenced the formation of students' perceptions in the educational environment, we studied the curriculums and syllabuses of the Physical Education modules for the High School students as well as their education, we asked the instructors for their perceptions and the expectations of. Our research was based on data which was collected and analyzed using questionnaires distributed to the students of two High Schools within the greater area of Athens in Greece. One hundred-forty nine valid questionnaires were collected and analyzed in order to extract the research results which we present and comment on in this paper.
Keywords: Physical Education, gender, education, perceptions, equality, participation.
Gender in Education is a topic which, especially the last two decades, has occupied the academic and research community both internationally and in Greece. Scientific thinking has developed aimed at keeping record of the current situation; and presenting research findings. These findings related to the main factors of the educational process particular to the distinction and the relationship of equality and, finally, by providing useful conclusions and recommendations.
In Greece, investigations on students' attitudes to gender were limited or, even, non-existent for educational items such as Physical Education (Sidiropoulou-Dimakakos, 1996; Vitsilaki-Soroniati, 1997; Deliyanni-Kouimtzi & Sakka, 1998; Deliyanni, Sakka, Psalti, Frosi, Arkoumani, Stogiannidou & Sygkollitou, 2000; and Frosi 2008). We were prompted by the research gap to investigate the students' perceptions in relation to gender in Physical Education.
Physical Education in Nowadays School- Objectives
Physical Education is part of the school's structure and the Greek educational system «is a basic mission for the State and has the objective to train Greeks in moral, spiritual, vocational and physical training education» (Constitution of Greece, Article 16, paragraph 2). This concept is not identical to physical activity because it contains a broader view and focuses on the whole child, including cognitive, affective and psychomotor aspects.
Curriculum Physical Education
Physical activity is the content, product and result of the Physical Education Curriculum which is consistent with the Interdisciplinary Unified Framework for the Greek Studies Programme, DEPPS (curriculum integration or thematic teaching). It is constructed from a single approach to either grade education or the training programme. This common approach includes learning objectives; teaching methods; and educational assessment etc.
Some of Physical Education's main objectives are to enhance the student's health; to learn kinetic skills; and, above all, to acquire positive attitudes to physical pursuit after finishing school (lifelong exercise). In addition to investing in the students' lives, an implicitly obvious key objective is the inclusion and integration of the child through respect for the rules of Physical Education activities.
The purpose of Physical Education, in education, is «to contribute primarily to the physical development of pupils and also help mental and spiritual cultivation and the harmonious integration into society» (Government Gazette, No. B. No.304/13-03-03: sex, Annex, Volume II, p. 4281). As stated in the Curriculum, the priority is to develop students' motor skills and through them to cultivate their natural abilities and enhance their health. …