Alan Ovens is a Principal Lecturer in Physical Education in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education and Social Work. He has held a range of roles within the faculty, including Deputy Head of the School of Critical Studies in Education, Head of the Health and Physical Education. He has also been the President of Physical Education New Zealand (2006-2012) and is the current Chair of the AIESEP TGfU Special Interest Group. He is the Programme Co-Chair for the 2018 S-STEP Castle Conference in England. His key research interests are in complexity, teacher education pedagogy and methodologies for self-study research.
As Physical Education teachers in the 21st century, we live in critical times. Our world faces serious global issues of environmental health, ethnic conflict, social inequality, and over-exploitation of natural resources. What is our responsibility as physical educators in a world of war, poverty, prejudice, and pollution? In this presentation I argue that more than ever the future demands that our young people develop a self-awareness and compassion to reduce their impact on the world and protect the health of their communities and environments. This will require them to have an ethic of care for our communities be well-informed and engaged, embrace physical activity as a core part of living, have a love for play, be well-educated in ethics and civics, and to have the social and emotional ability to understand and work with people from diverse cultures. To achieve this, I suggest some principles that underpin a transformative pedagogy for physical education that I hope provides both a means for rethinking Physical Education and for provoking discussion about the subject and its link to the future lives and needs of young people.