THE SOCIO-POLITICAL SCENE AND HENRY’S CRISIS INFLUENCE ON THE CURRICULA OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION UNDERGRADUATE COURSES IN BRAZIL

O CENÁRIO SOCIOPOLÍTICO E A INFLUÊNCIA DA “CRISE DE HENRY” NOS CURRÍCULOS DE GRADUAÇÕES EM EDUCAÇÃO FÍSICA NO BRASIL

Alexandre Janotta Drigo Luiz Henrique da Silva Heidi Jancer Ferreira Cláudio Silvério da Silva Samuel de Souza NetoAbout the authors

ABSTRACT

From 1980s to 1990s, the Brazilian Physical Education (BPE) was strongly influenced by the discussion concerning its identity as an academic discipline; the final period of the Brazilian military dictatorship; the regulation of the BPE as a profession. Hence, this study analyzed the influence of that epistemological and political setting on the curricula of three BPE undergraduate courses. The Political Pedagogic Project and the Curriculum Matrix of the three undergraduate courses, from public universities, were analyzed using two qualitative research techniques: body of knowledge analysis, and content analysis. The results showed that the curricula analyzed did not cover a definition of professional intervention procedures based on ethical conduct specific to the area. Furthermore, the knowledge basis of the curricula is mainly constituted by discipline knowledge, which contributes to distancing the student’s training from their field of professional practice . These findings may be associated with the insufficient epistemological discussion early initiated by Henry’s works and unclear definition if the BPE is an academic or professional area. This investigation suggests that political disputes related to professionalization of BPE overlapped the academic discussions, which might have contributed to the problems identified on the preparation through bachelor courses of physical education professionals.

Keywords:
Physical education; Curriculum; Knowledge base; Professional intervention

RESUMO

De 1980 a 1990, a Educação Física Brasileira (EFB) foi fortemente influenciada pela discussão sobre sua identidade como disciplina acadêmica; pelo período final da ditadura militar; e pela regulamentação da EFB como profissão. Assim, este estudo analisou a influência dessa configuração epistemológica e política sobre o currículo de três cursos de graduação em Educação Física (EF) no Brasil. O Projeto Político Pedagógico e a Matriz Curricular dos três cursos, de universidades públicas, foram analisados utilizando duas técnicas de pesquisa qualitativa: análise do corpo de conhecimento e análise de conteúdo. Os resultados mostraram que todos os currículos analisados não apresentaram uma definição clara dos procedimentos de intervenção profissional baseados em condutas éticas específicas da área. Além disso, a base de conhecimento dos currículos é principalmente constituída pelo conhecimento acadêmico, contribuindo para o distanciamento da formação do graduando com o campo de atuação profissional. Essas descobertas podem estar associadas à insuficiente discussão epistemológica que foi iniciada pelos trabalhos de Henry e a não definição se a EFB é uma área acadêmica ou profissional. Esta investigação sugere que as disputas políticas relacionadas à profissionalização da EFB se sobrepuseram às discussões acadêmicas, o que pode ter contribuído para os problemas identificados na formação do tipo bacharelado dos profissionais de EF.

Palavras-chave:
Educação física; Currículo; Base de Conhecimento; Intervenção profissional

Introduction

Physical Education was experiencing an identity crisis as a science when Henry11 Henry FM. Physical education: An academic discipline. JOPERD 1964;35(7):32-69. Doi: 10.1080/00221473.1964.10621849
https://doi.org/10.1080/00221473.1964.10...
,22 Henry FM. The academic discipline of physical education. Quest 1978;29(1):13-29. Doi: 10.1080/00336297.1978.10519907
https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.1978.10...
described the difficulty in its classification as an academic discipline and consequently in defining its object of study. Kirk33 Kirk D. Physical education futures. London: Routledge; 2010. highliths that Henry´s claims for disciplinarity and academicization of physical education was a way to convince authorities that the area had the theoretical credentials to sustain its place in universities in the United States. Kirk also clarifies that the debate initiated by Henry influenced the configuration of a new discipline of physical education based on a model of subdisciplines (e.g. physiology, biomechanics, psychology), which led to the problems of specialization and fragmentation44 Lawson HA. Specialization and fragmentation among faculty as endemic features of academic life. Quest 1991;43(3):280-295. Doi: 10.1080/00336297.1991.10484031
https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.1991.10...
, and in general for physical education as a profession. A number of countries underwent this crisis, each with its own peculiarities, making changes in undergraduate curricula and definitions for the field. For example, the USA opted for Kinesiology55 Renson R. From physical education to kinanthropology: A quest for academic and professional identity. Quest 1989;41(3):235-256. Doi:10.1080/00336297.1989.10483973
https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.1989.10...
, Portugal proposed the Science of Human Motricity66 Sérgio M. Educação física ou ciência da motricidade humana? Campinas: Papirus, 1989., and other European countries such as England recognized Physical Education as a school discipline and fragmented non-school activities in professional qualification or coaching courses77 Newell KM. Physical education in higher education: Chaos out of order. Quest 1990;42(3):227-242. Doi: 10.1080/00336297.1990.10483997
https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.1990.10...
.

Lawson88 Lawson HA. Renewing the core curriculum. Quest 2007;59(2):219-243. Doi: 10.1080/00336297.2007.10483550
https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2007.10...
pointed out that a conflict was central to the debate around the academicization of physical education: the notion of a discipline versus a profession. This study intends to address this issue.

In this respect, it is understood that both the crisis and structuring to reaffirm Physical Education as an academic discipline permeated discussions in the area and at universities, primarily in the 1980s. This triggered reactions in Brazil, generating a debate among scholars regarding the scientific status of physical education99 Lima HLA. Pensamento epistemológico da educação física brasileira: Das controvérsias acerca do estatuto científico. Rev Bras Ciênc Esporte 2000;21(2):95-102.

10 Bracht V. Educação física & ciência: Cenas de um casamento (in) feliz. Rev Bras Ciênc Esporte 2000;22(1):53-63.

11 Medina JPS. Educação física cuida do corpo... e »,» ®,® §,§ ­,­ ¹,¹ ²,² ³,³ ß,ß Þ,Þ þ,þ ×,× Ú,Ú ú,ú Û,Û û,û Ù,Ù ù,ù ¨,¨ Ü,Ü ü,ü Ý,Ý ý,ý ¥,¥ ÿ,ÿ ¶,¶ mente »,» ®,® §,§ ­,­ ¹,¹ ²,² ³,³ ß,ß Þ,Þ þ,þ ×,× Ú,Ú ú,ú Û,Û û,û Ù,Ù ù,ù ¨,¨ Ü,Ü ü,ü Ý,Ý ý,ý ¥,¥ ÿ,ÿ ¶,¶ . 25. ed. Campinas: Papirus; 2010.

12 Barros JMC. Preparação profissional em educação física e esporte: Propostas dos cursos de graduação. Motriz 1998;4(1):12-17. Doi: 10.5016/6579
https://doi.org/10.5016/6579...

13 Massa M. Caracterização acadêmica e profissional da Educação Física. Rev Mackenzie Educ Fís Esporte 2009;1(1):29-38.

14 Betti M. Educação física como prática científica e prática pedagógica: reflexões à luz da filosofia da ciência. Rev bras educ fís Esporte 2005;19(3):183-197. Doi: 10.1590/S1807-55092005000300002
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1807-5509200500...

15 Nahas MV, De Bem MFL. Perspectivas e tendências da relação teoria e prática na Educação Física. Motriz 1997;3(2):73-79. Doi: 10.5016/6558
https://doi.org/10.5016/6558...

16 Daolio J. Educação Física brasileira: Autores e atores da década de 80. [Tese de Doutorado]. Campinas: Faculdade de Educação Física, Universidade de Campinas; 1997.

17 Guedes CM. A educação física e os mistérios de seu tempo. Rev Bras Ciênc Esporte 2000;21(2):85-94.
-1818 Junior AC, Soriano JB. A organização político-científica nos EUA nos anos de 1960 e seu impacto para a dimensão acadêmica da educação física. Movimento 2015;(21)2:545-558.. Thus, the discussions about a crisis of identity in Brazilian physical education was influenced by earlier American debates1313 Massa M. Caracterização acadêmica e profissional da Educação Física. Rev Mackenzie Educ Fís Esporte 2009;1(1):29-38.,1515 Nahas MV, De Bem MFL. Perspectivas e tendências da relação teoria e prática na Educação Física. Motriz 1997;3(2):73-79. Doi: 10.5016/6558
https://doi.org/10.5016/6558...
,1717 Guedes CM. A educação física e os mistérios de seu tempo. Rev Bras Ciênc Esporte 2000;21(2):85-94.,1818 Junior AC, Soriano JB. A organização político-científica nos EUA nos anos de 1960 e seu impacto para a dimensão acadêmica da educação física. Movimento 2015;(21)2:545-558., although this effect is not clearly recognized in the Brazilian literature as a response to Henry´s work. Also, there was a discussion around the termilogies used to define the area of research and practice, including the advocacy of some scholars, such as 1) Tojal1919 Tojal JBAG. Currículo de graduação em educação física: A busca de um modelo. Campinas: Unicamp; 1989., who presented the “Theory of Human Motricity” from Portugal as a possible solution to epistemological problems in physical education; 2) Barros2020 Barros JMC. Educação Física e Esportes: Profissões? Kinesis 1993;11:5-16. Doi: 10.5902/231654648374
https://doi.org/10.5902/231654648374...
, who put forth the idea of profession in line with the Anglo-Saxon concepts of Flexner and Kroll in terms of evolution in the area and 3) Tani2121 Tani G. Perspectivas da educação física como disciplina acadêmica. Motriz 1989;2(2):2-13., who suggested the Kinesiology, the same terminology adopted in the United States, but advocated by Tani with another structure and meaning for Brazilian physical education.

However, these concepts were ultimately accessories with no possible consensus, since the epistemological crisis discussed in the academic sphere at the time coexisted as a remnant and aggravating element of the final period of the military dictatorship (1964 -1985) and the reconstruction of democracy. As a result, there were a number of manifests that questioned Physical Education as a “method used by the military regime”2222 Castellani Filho L. Educação física no Brasil: A história que não se conta. Campinas: Papirus; 1988.. However, these were offset by a growth in Marxist thinking that discussed the educational role of Physical Education in this new reality, also considered another post-crisis academic discourse based on Henry’s observations11 Henry FM. Physical education: An academic discipline. JOPERD 1964;35(7):32-69. Doi: 10.1080/00221473.1964.10621849
https://doi.org/10.1080/00221473.1964.10...
,22 Henry FM. The academic discipline of physical education. Quest 1978;29(1):13-29. Doi: 10.1080/00336297.1978.10519907
https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.1978.10...
, which reached its peak under the Brazilian College of Sport Science, characterizing an academic-political-ideological context in discussions on the direction of Physical Education in Brazil.

Lima99 Lima HLA. Pensamento epistemológico da educação física brasileira: Das controvérsias acerca do estatuto científico. Rev Bras Ciênc Esporte 2000;21(2):95-102. suggested that Brazilian physical education´ crisis had two faces, a political-ideological (with a critical movement towards the education´s roles in society) and an epistemological (questioning the scientif status of physical education).

The three approaches to physical education suggested by Tojal, Barros and Tani, along with the perspective of the Brazilian College of Sport Science strived for the control of decision making on the course of the field and its enhancement, not through academic achievements, but rather by means of wins in other areas. One of these areas was the first attempt to consolidate the leftist group in political decision-making, reinforcing the proposal of regulating Physical Education as a profession in the National Congress, with Bill no. 45.559/84, sponsored by Federal congressman Darci Pozza. The project was approved in the National Congress, but vetoed by President José Sarney. Therefore, the academic discussion was transferred to the National Congress, Senate and Presidency of Brazil.

Thus, the dispute in the political arena continued, as described by Monteiro and Garcia2323 Monteiro RAC, Garcia AB. Educação física: História, política e atualidade incerta. Revista Digitial 2006;10(93)., since there was a second attempt at regulation with Bill n. 330/95, sponsored in the National Congress by Eduardo Mascarenhas, which included public consultations of social entities in several states. However, once again, the proposal was vetoed due to the assumption that teachers are subordinate to the Ministry of Education and there was therefore no need for further professional regulation.

Owing to this veto argument, academic discussions centered on the idea that Physical Education qualification should not be restricted to teacher education degrees. Thus, three of the largest Brazilian universities created a Bachelor of Physical Education, namely: Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho” (Unesp) and Universidade de Campinas (Unicamp). The objective of these courses was to qualify Physical Education professionals with a focus on out of school settings.. This solved the first conflict regarding characterization of the field and the reason for the presidential veto of the regulation project2424 Barros JMC. Educação Física na UNESP de Rio Claro: Bacharelado e Licenciatura. Motriz 1995;1(1):71-80. Doi: 10.5016/964
https://doi.org/10.5016/964...
.

Antunes2525 Antunes AC. Mercado de trabalho e educação física: Aspectos da preparação profissional. Revista de Educação 2015;10(10):141-149. recognizes that the creation of bachelor degree in Brazil was a response to demands of services coming from the society and market, but also to the debate around physical education as a discipline, which it is well known as a discussion provoked worldwide by Henry´s classic paper. It was therefore obvious that political questions influenced Brazilian universities, inverting academic logic in relation to decisions caused by the crisis based on Henry’s arguments11 Henry FM. Physical education: An academic discipline. JOPERD 1964;35(7):32-69. Doi: 10.1080/00221473.1964.10621849
https://doi.org/10.1080/00221473.1964.10...
,22 Henry FM. The academic discipline of physical education. Quest 1978;29(1):13-29. Doi: 10.1080/00336297.1978.10519907
https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.1978.10...
, which ended up being diluted. Thus, discussions and reflections regarding the epistemological context eventually ceased, and were replaced by professional regulation proposals. This had a significant effect and Physical Education was regulated by law in 19982626 Presidência da República - Casa Civil - Subchefia para Assuntos Jurídicos [Internet]. Lei Federal no 9.696 de 1º de setembro de 1998. Dispõe sobre a regulamentação da Profissão de Educação Física e cria os respectivos Conselho Federal e Conselhos Regionais de Educação Física [acesso em 02 jun 2018]. Disponível em: http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/leis/l9696.htm#:~:text=LEI%20N%C2%BA%209.696%2C%20DE%201,Art.
http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/lei...
.

As a result, the qualification of bachelor of Physical Education graduates was a poorly resolved case, given that it was taken as a political necessity and not based on academic consensus. Since the proposal was successfully regulated, a number of criticisms emerged2727 Nozaki HT. Regulamentação da profissão: O embate de duas perspectivas. Carderno de Debates 1997;4(5):36-40., creating unease between teacher education diploma holders and those with bachelor degrees.

In this respect, the hypothesis of the present study is that the historical trajectory of Physical Education led to the creation of a fragmented curriculum in the bachelor of Physical Education program because the decisions were made to solve a political problem. Although the organization of the work in other fields that not school was cited as the primary difference between qualifying teachers and sport coaches, and is the focus of the present study, the latter do not have their own identity in terms of Physical Education qualification before the regulation. The professional preparation provided by the bachelor degree and teacher education maintained similar charachteristics even after the separation in two curricular modalities due to the guidelines proposed by the Resolution n. 03/87. Studies and professional action proposals had not been developed, as well as procedures and interventions for professional practice in other contexts rather schools.

Thus, the gaps in specific pedagogical knowledge strengthened practices in the workplace, outside the school context, such as sport, fitness, dance and gyms. As such, professional procedures not covered in the course were supplied by practical activities developed outside the university. Our argument is that the definition of clear professional procedures and ethics is central to training professionals who will work in an area that is essentially interventional. Each profession has a specific code of ethics that guides professional practice. Thus, the inclusion of professional procedures and ethics in the curricula of physical education undergraduate courses might indicate if and how those curricula are focused on providing initial education in alignment with professional practice.

Based on this discussion and on the hypothesis raised, this study aimed at verifying the existence of professional and ethical procedures in the curricula of three courses at leading Brazilian universities, specifically identifying and analyzing the following:

  1. (1) The balance between professional and discipline knowledge;

  2. (2) The elements related to professional procedures and intervention;

  3. (3) The elements of professional ethics, as critical components for professional practice.

Methods

To meet the objectives of the study, three undergraduate courses in bachelor of Physical Education from Brazil were investigated. The courses are delivered by two public universities that are localized in the same state of Brazil, thereby preventing the effects of regionality from interfering in the research. Two courses are offered by the same institution, but in different cities with distinct teaching staffs and, political and pedagogical projects.

The two universities are among the 10 best in Brazil, hence the courses are considered as a national reference and serve as parameters for academic studies and Physical Education qualification. Thus, the selection of the courses was intentional owing to their relevance in the Brazilian context. Moreover, one of the enrolled courses was pioneer in adopting a curricular emphasis on health, which was implemented in Brazil after the Resolution 07/2004 of the National Education Council2828 Ministério da Educação [Internet]. Resolução CNE/CES n° 7, de 31 de Março de 2004. Institui as Diretrizes Curriculares Nacionais para os cursos de graduação em Educação Física, em nível superior de graduação plena. [acesso em 03 mar 2018]. Disponível em: http://portal.mec.gov.br/cne/arquivos/pdf/ces0704edfisica.pdf
http://portal.mec.gov.br/cne/arquivos/pd...
.

These three courses exhibit two frameworks: generalist (without curricular emphasis) and health oriented (curricular emphasis on the field of health).

Thus, the following data were collected for the study: a) political and pedagogical project and b) curriculum matrix and its content. These documents were selected and accessed in 2014 on the websites of each institution.

The texts of the documents were analyzed using two qualitative research techniques: body of knowledge analysis2929 Kirk D, Macdonald D, Tinning R. The social construction of pedagogic discourse in physical education teacher education in Australia. The Curriculum Journal 1997;8(2):271-298. Doi 10.1080/0958517970080206
https://doi.org/10.1080/0958517970080206...
and content analysis3030 Bardin L. Análise de Conteúdo. Lisboa: Edições 70; 2009..

Body of knowledge analysis

The balance between discipline and professional knowledge in the curricular matrix of the three courses was analyzed using the theoretical model of elements of physical activity field in higher education proposed by Kirk, Macdonald, and Tinning2929 Kirk D, Macdonald D, Tinning R. The social construction of pedagogic discourse in physical education teacher education in Australia. The Curriculum Journal 1997;8(2):271-298. Doi 10.1080/0958517970080206
https://doi.org/10.1080/0958517970080206...
. The model is represented by the intersection of three dimensions related to the nature of knowledge, as demonstrated in Figure 1. The vertical axis indicates the proportion between biophysical knowledge and sociocultural knowledge, while the horizontal axis describes the ratio between discipline and professional knowledge. Finally, the anteroposterior axis shows the relationship between theoretical and practical knowledge2929 Kirk D, Macdonald D, Tinning R. The social construction of pedagogic discourse in physical education teacher education in Australia. The Curriculum Journal 1997;8(2):271-298. Doi 10.1080/0958517970080206
https://doi.org/10.1080/0958517970080206...
.

Figure 1
Graphic representation of the three-dimensional model of elements of physical activity field in higher education

The present study aimed at analyzing the horizontal axis of discipline versus professional knowledge. In this respect, discipline knowledge is characterized by the predominance of theoretical information provided by the classic areas of science and its subdisciplines. In the investigated courses, the modules such as “Tissue and Molecular Biology” or “Sociology of Physical Education and Sport” are examples of curricular components with a large amount of discipline knowledge.

On the other hand, professional knowledge is directly related to professional intervention, which promotes knowledge of how to teach, coach or deliver activities based on physical culture (i.e. exercise, games, sports, dance, martial arts, gymnastics). In this case, the module “Supervised Internship” is an example of a curricular component that enables students to have a work experience, so that it is considered to have a high degree of professional knowledge2929 Kirk D, Macdonald D, Tinning R. The social construction of pedagogic discourse in physical education teacher education in Australia. The Curriculum Journal 1997;8(2):271-298. Doi 10.1080/0958517970080206
https://doi.org/10.1080/0958517970080206...
.

To determine the knowledge ratio, we analyzed a total of 166 modules, including the compulsory and optional ones, which outlines were available online on the universities´ websites. These documents were obtained and examined between 2014 and 2015 to ascertain the ratio discipline-professional knowledge in relation to the course load (credits/hours) of each module. Complementary information was obtained from the political and pedagogical projects.

Initially, two researchers individually analyzed the documents and determined the ratio of discipline and professional knowledge in each module. Next, counter-analysis was performed by comparing individual analyses and discussions until obtaining saturation and a final result2929 Kirk D, Macdonald D, Tinning R. The social construction of pedagogic discourse in physical education teacher education in Australia. The Curriculum Journal 1997;8(2):271-298. Doi 10.1080/0958517970080206
https://doi.org/10.1080/0958517970080206...
,3131 Lee CH. The knowledge base for physical education teacher education in England and Korea. [Thesis of PhD in Philosophy]. Bedford - England: University of Bedfordshire; 2014.,3232 Shenton AK. Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects. Education for Information 2004;22(2):63-75. Doi: 10.3233/EFI-2004-22201
https://doi.org/10.3233/EFI-2004-22201...
. As an illustration, Table 1 shows the result of the analysis for the modules “Tissue and Molecular Biology”, “Sociology of Physical Education and Sport” and “Supervised Internship”.

Table 1
Analysis of ratio of discipline and professional knowledge in three modules

Content Analysis

Bardin’s Content Analysis techniques3030 Bardin L. Análise de Conteúdo. Lisboa: Edições 70; 2009. were used to analyze the modules´ outlines aiming at the identification of elements related to professional procedures and ethics.

This analysis consisted of two moments, which will be described separately:

  1. (1) Initially, the key search terms were defined in line with the objectives of the study: a) professional procedures, intervention protocols and professional intervention; and b) ethics and professional ethics. For both descriptor classes, similar terms or those with a similar meaning were considered. Identifying descriptors allowed quantifying them and defining the registration units, which content was analyzed in order to capture the context in which the descriptor was associated with. To that end, we identified the associated verbs and the emphasis/degree of importance given to the descriptor in the content/structure of the module;

  2. (2) Next, the predominant nature of the module was defined based on the content of its program. The criteria used to create and classifify categories will be presented in the results section.

Results

Ratio between discipline and professional knowledge

The ratio between discipline and professional knowledge was obtained by analyzing 166 modules of the three undergraduate courses, corresponding to a load of 12,745 hours. In general, the results demonstrate a predominance of discipline (8,445 hours - 66.3%) over professional knowledge (4,300 hours - 33.7%) in the curricular matrices of the courses.

According to Table 2, the emphasis on discipline knowledge is evident in the curricula of all the undergraduate programs investigated.

Table 2
Ratio between discipline and professional knowledge in three physical education undergraduate courses

Procedures, intervention and professional ethics

The findings show the curricular reality of the courses under study and their characteristics. Table 3 illustrates the modules and their general composition.

Table 3
Number of modules by categories in the three curricular matrices

The modules characterized as internship are required by Brazilian law28,33 to be components of any curricular matrix.

In the cases under study, the number of hours allocated to internship modules differs from one another . The Course A exhibits greater complexity in relation to internship distribution of both load and the ratio between mandatory and focus of the modules. The Course B has 450 hours of general internship, whereas the Course C has 300 hours, and the Course A has 160 hours divided into two general modules and 120 hours for a specific module that it is focused on the health area . The Course A also offers optional internship modules, 360 practice-based hours of scientific research (divided into three modules), and 600 hours in specific health areas (divided into five modules). Finally, the internship modules were analyzed separately due to their relationship with professional practice.

With respect to regular disciplines, Table 4 presents the descriptors searched for and defined by the methodology.

Table 4
Number of modules that contained the descriptors investigated

In accordance with Bardin1616 Daolio J. Educação Física brasileira: Autores e atores da década de 80. [Tese de Doutorado]. Campinas: Faculdade de Educação Física, Universidade de Campinas; 1997., the descriptors were grouped into categories, with a view to joining the elements, verbs or phrases that define, classify or qualify them when they were identified. Thus, it was possible to analyze the context which is expressed and the meaning of the descriptor in the document, not merely quantifying it. Table 5 describes the “intervention” categories and correlated descriptors.

Table 5
Categorization and occurrence of descriptors related to intervention in the three curricular matrices

It is important to note some issues in Table 5 for better understanding the categories presented:

  • The category ‘specific conceptual techniques’ encompasses units that use a theoretical framework for professional activities and procedures, but it does not clearly express this intention in the description of the unit program. This category also emerged from two modules related to management, two modules related to sports training, and one of motor skills.

  • The category ‘non-declared intervention elements’ involves units that, despite not declaring the descriptors selected, contain elements of professional practice, such as assessments and questionnaires, training session dynamics or solutions to practical problems. In this respect, they are modules that do not provide knowledge on intervention protocols, but with content that should not be ignored, since they help students gaining understanding about the professional practice.

  • The category ‘intervention not linked to procedures’ uses the term intervention in an undefined manner in the text, mainly in relation to professional practice.

  • The other categories are self-explanatory.

Finally, it is important to highlight that only two modules (Emergency Care and First Aid) were common to all the courses and demonstrated to provide knowledge on professional intervention protocols and materials composed of procedures manuals. These modules, in addition to Psychology (Course B), were the only ones in the health area that contain clear procedures for professional conduct. This prompts us to reflect on the clarity of the health area as a whole in relation to its protocols, as well to understand that the Physical Education modules still have to define professional procedures.

With respect to the “ethics” descriptor, it was identified in five modules and with little exploration in relation to the specificity of Physical Education. The descriptors that were found in the few modules were not linked to the Physical Education profession or to the Code of Ethics for the field. The following were found in Course A: a module that discusses professional ethics (non-specifically and aimed at health professionals) and one that indirectly covers ethics (with a book in the bibliography with references to the module). Similarly, the Course B offers only one module related to ethics in a conceptual and applied manner (Philosophy of Physical Education), but dealing with elements pertinent to the discussion of ethics and corporeality, not of professional practice. Finally, the Course C contains a module on professional ethics (sociology) and another in which ethics appears in a book in the bibliography (Philosophy). Thus, all three courses exhibit a gap in the discussion on professional identity derived from an important element, the specific Code of Ethics of Physical Education.

In relation to the analysis of the courses´ documents and modules´ outlines, the overall characteristics of the courses were identified to be:

  • Course A, health-oriented modality: There is a predominance of modules classified as informative and/or conceptual or classificatory. There are a total of 39 modules, which are theoretical or theoretical/practical, but aimed at concepts, information or experiences that do not clearly explain professional practice or procedures for intervention in a specific field. The professional knowledge is to a certain extent developed through internship modules and/or through the connections made by students to link this knowledge to professional practice. The course A also has two non-traditional Physical Education modules (Theory of Care and Pharmacology) that are considered to be a form of inserting undergraduate Physical Education students into the health area. The only module that contains well-defined protocols is Urgency Care, which is common to all health courses.

  • Course B, health-oriented modality: it maintains a predominance of informative and/or conceptual or classificatory modules, with 32 theoretical or theoretical/practical modules. Two modules have professional intervention protocols: First Aid and Psychology. Professional intervention is presented indirectly in the Physical Education modules, as well as pedagogical procedures, which, to a certain extent, shows the legacy of professional qualification achieved hegemonically as informative and not to provide services to society, since they do not contain professional procedures, as expected.

  • Course C, in the general physical activity modality: it exhibits a predominance of informative and/or conceptual or classificatory modules (28). However, the course offers nine modules that deal with interventional procedures, maintaining the First Aid unit, while the other eight involve the domain of Physical Education. Thus, it is the course that has the closest link with the specificity of the area. And the analyses presented in Table 5 in relation to the number of descriptors involved directly and indirectly with professional intervention indicated that the Course C concerned with professional intervention.

Discussion

The results of this study confirmed that the bachelor degree exhibits a number of gaps related to professional practice, owing to the fact that political decisions led to regulation of the profession. This dispute was the target of concurrent groups within the area of Physical Education, demonstrating a lack of consensus regarding the need for a specific professional preparation for working in non-school settings.

This internal conflict was in the foreground among the Brazilian academic community, then the discussion around the crisis announced by Henry11 Henry FM. Physical education: An academic discipline. JOPERD 1964;35(7):32-69. Doi: 10.1080/00221473.1964.10621849
https://doi.org/10.1080/00221473.1964.10...
,22 Henry FM. The academic discipline of physical education. Quest 1978;29(1):13-29. Doi: 10.1080/00336297.1978.10519907
https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.1978.10...
was diluted in the background. Hence, the debate regarding the creation of bachelor courses and their need remains to be a focus of discussion until the present time2727 Nozaki HT. Regulamentação da profissão: O embate de duas perspectivas. Carderno de Debates 1997;4(5):36-40..

Although debates persisted on academic/disciplinary issues, as well as in relation to the object of study, the Academic-Professional area did not reach a consensus. The measure that finally decided the course of Physical Education was Law no. 9696/982626 Presidência da República - Casa Civil - Subchefia para Assuntos Jurídicos [Internet]. Lei Federal no 9.696 de 1º de setembro de 1998. Dispõe sobre a regulamentação da Profissão de Educação Física e cria os respectivos Conselho Federal e Conselhos Regionais de Educação Física [acesso em 02 jun 2018]. Disponível em: http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/leis/l9696.htm#:~:text=LEI%20N%C2%BA%209.696%2C%20DE%201,Art.
http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/lei...
, which, despite not harmonizing the disputing groups, took control of the discussions. After the law was implemented, debates were restricted to its legitimacy and not to the benefit of Brazilian society. As a result, curricular development, pedagogical, disciplinary and professional procedures were neglected owing to a tendency to retreat to the past, or, in other words, revoke regulation of the profession and once again implement teacher education qualification of the 1980s.

Taking advantage of this context, one of the curricular proposals that gained ground in the bachelor area was presented by the Resolution CNE 07/20042828 Ministério da Educação [Internet]. Resolução CNE/CES n° 7, de 31 de Março de 2004. Institui as Diretrizes Curriculares Nacionais para os cursos de graduação em Educação Física, em nível superior de graduação plena. [acesso em 03 mar 2018]. Disponível em: http://portal.mec.gov.br/cne/arquivos/pdf/ces0704edfisica.pdf
http://portal.mec.gov.br/cne/arquivos/pd...
, which allows Physical Education qualification that focuses on intervention, with health and sport being the most common areas. Consequently, different fragmented curricula emerged and they did not contributed to adressing the problem of identity and professional procedures that still is an issue in the field.

Thus, the present study focused on two types of Physical Education qualifications: a bachelor in Physical Education and a bachelor in Physical Education with an emphasis on health. To date, bachelors in sport do not contain the nomenclature “Physical Education”, and they were, thus, disregarded.

Transformations in undergraduate curricula aimed at the extracurricular market differ from the norm. The pedagogical approaches related to formal teaching discussed in the school physical education literature (i.e. by scholars as João Batista Freire, Elenor Kunz, Coletivo de autores, among others) were not structured to allow professional practice in out of school settings. Besides, by not taking into account the specificity of the range of other contexts that physical education professionals might work, the relationship between the professional field and the training process of physical education professionals in universities was not adequately studied. As such, the professional preparation offered by bachelor courses is not effective in terms of enabling a relationship between graduates and professional practice, since the latter is not considered during the undergraduate programs3434 Nóvoa A. O regresso dos professores. Pinhas: Melo; 2011..

Professional regulation of Physical Education in Brazil does not reach this threshold and may remain more as a regulatory entity instead of being concerned with the profession and its status. The absence of a professional practice protocol is an evidence of this process. Thus, since teacher education in Physical Education was supported by the educational sciences, observed as a legacy in curricula studies, the pedagogies observed in bachelor courses had no connections with the profession, practice or intervention in specific non-school settings . The documents analyzed in this study revealed little professional knowledge based on intervention protocols to support professional practice. In the bachelor of Physical Education program with a traditional curriculum, a number of protocols are present despite most modules being classified as primarily informative and/or conceptual or classificatory, with predominance of discipline over professional knowledge.

The results of bachelor courses in health (Courses A and B) show a larger number of informative and conceptual modules, generally of an discipline nature. And with a substantial presence, mainly in Course A, of modules from other health areas, in both regular units and internships, hindering a curricular identification with Physical Education.

In the courses studied, the findings indicate an absence of pedagogical-based modules. In this regard, Pizani and Barbosa-Rinaldi3535 Pizani J, Barbosa-Rinald IP. Identidade dos cursos de licenciatura e bacharelado em educação física no Paraná: Uma análise das áreas do conhecimento. Rev bras educ fís Esporte 2014;28(4):671-682. Doi: 10.1590/1807-55092014000400671
https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-55092014000...
compared the number of hours dedicated to pedagogical and technical-intrumental knowledge in the curricula of teacher education and bachelor courses. The authors found that the bachelor curricula included a lower proportion of pedagogical knowledge and they discussed that this finding indicated how bachelor courses differ from teacher education courses in terms of workplaces.

However, we suggest this is a challenge to be addressed by curriculum makers, as we consider the pedagogical content as critical for physical education professional practice in all fields of work. Even in out of school contexts, the role of physical education professionals might be pedagogical. In other words, the professionals are expected to mediate the relationship among their instructional/teaching/coaching strategies, the needs of their clients/learners/athletes/, the content of exercise/physical activity/dance/martial arts/sports/gymnastics/games, and the context they are. The interdependence of all dimensions (how the physical professionals deliver the service, who is receiving the service and how this process occur, what is the content conveyed through the service and the context where the service takes place) can be understood as pedagogy3636 Kirk D. Precarity, critical pedagogy and physical education. London: Routledge; 2019..

Thus, there is a need for bachelor curricula to integrate possible professional pedagogies with an interventionist nature directed at the preparation of students for working in the fields of gymnastics, sport, dance, martial arts, games and fitness3737 Conselho Federal de Educação Física [Internet]. Resolução no 046 de 18 de Fevereiro de 2002. Dispõe sobre a Intervenção do Profissional de Educação Física e respectivas competências e define os seus campos de atuação profissional [acesso em 02 jun 2018]. Disponível em: http://www.confef.org.br/confef/resolucoes/403
http://www.confef.org.br/confef/resoluco...
. As a result, qualification is a one-way path (the university) in which, by contrast, two-way qualification (the university plus the workplace or field of action) centered on the profession and not the opposite is promoted.

The Table 2 shows that the knowledge base of courses is predominantly discipline, when compared to knowledge of a professional nature. However, this predominance was “lessened” by including the course load of supervised internship units, since these were considered essentially professional. In other words, if professional knowledge of these internship units is disregarded, the predominance of academic knowledge would be even greater. This suggests that the preparation of students of the courses analyzed are more in line with the internship fields, and it involves little professional knowledge. The low frequency of descriptors related to “intervention” and “ethics” in the documents of the courses corroborate this hypothesis. The findings show that intervention and ethics are issues that barely appear in the curricula, leaving the students with the responsibility of identifying and developing their own knowledge about professional practice and ethics during their internship experiences and professional careers.

Finally, in addition to the pedagogical legacies resulting from the teacher qualification process and the predominance of discipline knowledge, Physical Education training in Brazil, in both matrices (teacher education and bachelor), exhibits a tendency that contributes to distancing it from the field of professional intervention. The courses studied, as previously mentioned, are national references in Physical Education higher education, and also in terms of the preparation of masters and doctoral students. In this respect, the hypothesis that the discipline nature of initial professional training is intentionally linked to preparing students for a possible academic career rather than a professional career cannot be ruled out. This hypothesis is strengthened by the existence of specific supervised internship units for scientific research, as demonstrated in the results of Course A. Similarly, a study of Bossle and Fraga3838 Bossle CB, Fraga, AB. A racionalidade biomédica desportiva e a materialização do fazer científico na matriz curricular do curso de educação física da UFRGS. Movimento 2016;22(3):877-888. pointed out a case of inclusion of modules focused on research in 1987, in the curriculum of the undergraduate program at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, as an endeavor of enabling the scientificization of physical education and the preparation of professionals-researchers.

Conclusions

The historical process of physical education shows that it was originally strongly linked to the school environment, which, for a long time, aimed exclusively at qualification and intervention procedures for physical education teachers worldwide. However, the social demands related to physical activities beyond the educational context triggered reflection on the perspective of qualification and intervention of physical education professionals for working in out of school settings, such as sport clubs, gyms, hospitals, among others. In the 1980s, these initial reflections acquire another dimension in questions raised by Henry regarding the autonomy of physical education in the production of scientific knowledge that sustains its professional practice, triggering an epistemological crisis in the area, identified as Henry’s crisis, influencing discussions in many countries.

Obviously, Henry’s crisis had repercussions in Brazil as well. However, in the 1980s, the Brazilian physical education was immersed in a peculiar and complex academic-political context. On one hand there were epistemological discussions related to identifying the body of scientific knowledge and defining its object of study, and on the other, there was a process of professionalizing Physical Education linked to political power disputes.

In this respect, the present study suggests that political disputes related to the professionalization of Physical Education overlaped the academic discussions, and this fact contributed to the culminating result of the creation of a bachelor degree with qualification gaps regarding the definition of professional procedures based on ethical conduct specific to the area.

Therefore, based on the investigative methods adopted in this study, it is suggested that the results corroborate the hypothesis put forth, that is, current bachelor courses in Physical Education, despite being national references, exhibit an imbalance between discipline-professional knowledge, as well as unclear procedures aimed at professional practice based on the precepts of professional ethics.

It is also suggested that this is a reflex of the “importation” of knowledge from qualification approaches (such as pedagogical training in the area of education and medical qualification in a Physical Education setting) for professional practice in the fields of gymnastics, sport, dance, health, martial arts, games and fitness, for example, and not in the profession. In this respect, training is currently provided from a knowledge perspective and not directed to professional practice.

Among other factors, this phenomenon may be associated with neglect epistemological discussions initiated by Henry’s crisis in the 1980s and not understanding that it is a profession. As such, the present study aimed at stimulating a new discussion of old questions, which may contribute to the pursuit for excellence in the preparation and practice of physical education professionals.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    28 Sept 2020
  • Date of issue
    2020

History

  • Received
    25 Feb 2019
  • Reviewed
    07 Nov 2019
  • Accepted
    20 Feb 2020
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