Elementary School Kids in Canada may soon be losing the ability to play a popular recess game: Dodge Ball. The game as most of us know revolves around two teams trying to hit each other with rubber or foam balls. Once you are hit you go to the sidelines.
The team with the last player standing wins. It is all about speed and the ability to throw a ball. But for some odd reason, A Canadian study claims it is oppressive and singles out the unathletic.
“Dodgeball is not just unhelpful to the development of kind and gentle children who will become decent citizens of a liberal democracy. It is actively harmful to this process.”
“As we consider the potential of physical education to empower students by engaging them in critical and democratic practices, we conclude that the hidden curriculum offered by dodgeball is antithetical to this project, even when it reflects the choices of the strongest and most agile students.”
“If you practice ganging up on people, over time you’ll esteem ganging up on people,” one team member told Canadian media. “If that’s what you want, then dodgeball is an excellent tool to that end.”
Or you could make teams fairly no one is forcing that.
“This “hidden curriculum” in dodgeball is far more nefarious than your average gym class runaround. Dodgeball is “miseducative” because it “reinforces the five faces of oppression,” as defined by the late Iris Marion Young, a social and political theorist at the University of Chicago.
As Butler’s abstract describes it, those “faces” are “marginalization, powerlessness, and helplessness of those perceived as weaker individuals through the exercise of violence and dominance by those who are considered more powerful.” Young’s list of these fundamental types of oppression also includes exploitation and cultural domination.”
This research could apply to any sport. Most people need to practice to get better. Look at Michael Jordan he would practice sinking hoops almost nonstop. Dodgeball may not be as recognized as basketball, but it still requires agility and coordination to throw the ball where you want it. It’s not a game that just the strong can win, a person that is fast would be just as likely to win. I think this type of research is toxic to children. Sports teach children teamwork, hand-eye coordination and how to handle a loss. You are not going to win every game, or succeed at everything you plan to do. There is nothing wrong with letting children face some adversity, especially in a safe setting. There’s always next time.