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Parker C. Swimming Education in England: A Comparative Historical Study. 2007.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/2036
Swimming Education in England: A Comparative Historical Study
This paper builds on a doctoral study conducted as a socio-historical analysis of swimming in Britain from 1840 to 1914, which emphasised the relationship between growing urbanisation and the transformation of swimming from a recreative activity into an urban recreation and 'modern' competitive sport. The progress of swimming education was a particular focus in the original study and will underpin the approach taken in this comparative analysis. The central purpose of this paper is to re-visit these historical findings, to explore the contemporary situation with regard to swimming education and to present initial findings as to the rationale for the relatively slow progress and minimal advances made in the availability and provision of swimming education within English schools in the twenty first century. This is a qualitative, historical study and data has been gathered from a variety of sources including, government papers, curriculum and Board of Education documents, swimming governing body reports, newspaper articles and contemporary texts and journals. The data is examined using a critical textual analysis and illuminates similarities in the rationale for swimming education between the late nineteenth and early twenty–first centuries and also uncovers antecedents to the current debates, regarding the values attributed to swimming.