18 SES 10 A, 'Physical' Education: Dilemmas and Considerations
The aim of this presentation is to provide examples of what there is to know, from the perspective of the mover, when knowing how to move in specific ways. It will be discussed how the findings can contribute to ideas for both teaching and learning capability to move in the context of physical education.
The capability to move in terms of coordination, body consciousness, bodily expressions and creating movements does not seem to be an explicit educational objective in physical education (PE), neither nationally in Sweden (Larsson et al. 2007, 2005, Ekberg 2009, Redelius et al. 2009) nor internationally (Kirk 2010, p. 29, Tinning 2010, p. 29, Shusterman 2004, Whitehead 2005, Evans 2004). Internationally, the capability to move in terms of ‘sport techniques’ is dealt with, albeit in a superficial way (Kirk 2010, p. 29). This means that ‘sport techniques’ as an educational content are mostly taught at an introductory level or conceived of as a more or less taken-for-granted ability for being good at PE (Evans 2004, Kirk 2010). In Sweden, being physically active, no matter how and in what forms, has become an overarching aim in PE (Nyberg and Larsson 2012, Redelius et al. 2009) and consequently the capability to move seem to be a taken-for-granted prerequisite for, or outcome of, being physically active. Despite the PE subject’s tradition of being a ‘practical subject’, theoretical knowledge has nevertheless come to the fore (Hay 2006, Green 2010, Brown and Penney 2013), meaning that practical knowledge such as knowing how to move in different ways has become a mundane and more or less insignificant part of the subject. If knowing how to move is conceived as a fundamental part of the educational content in PE, this kind of knowing needs to be explored, understood and articulated in order to (re)conceive it as an educational goal, possible to develop.
In this study, knowing how to move is seen in line with Michael Polanyi’s (2002) theory of tacit knowing where knowing is always rooted in personal experience and comprising what Ryle (2009) calls ’knowing how’ as well as ’knowing that’. The personal, and to a large extent tacit knowing, can be conceived of as ‘knowing as an art’ (Polanyi 1975, p. 33), in contrast to conceiving physical skills as plain mechanical skills, as they might be described when dichotomized from mental skills. Tacit knowing evolves in the relationship between the two kinds of awareness, the subsidiary and the focal. By integrating particulars constituting the subsidiary awareness we can comprehend something else which we attend to, our focal awareness (Polanyi 2002, p. 61). This triadic process also indicates a view of knowledge as being knowledge in use, not a state deriving from, or caused by, an intellectual mental process.
The aim of this study was to explore what it means to know complex movements, from the perspective of the mover. The knowing involved in moving is explored in the practice of freeskiing, characterized by a tradition of learning movements where practitioners have a strong commitment to learning how to move in complex, different and new ways.
Brown, T. and Penney, D., 2013. Learning ‘in’, ‘through’, and ‘about’ movement in senior physical education? The new Victorian Certificate of Education Physical Education. European Physical Education Review, 19 (1), 39-61. Duesund, L., 1996. Kropp, kunskap och självuppfattning [Body, knowledge and self-perception]. Oslo: Universitetsförlaget. Evans, J., 2004. Making a difference? Education and ‘ability’ in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 10 (1), 95-109. Ekberg, J-E., 2009. Mellan fysisk bildning och aktivering. En studie av ämnet idrott och hälsa i skolår 9 [Between physical education and being active. A study of the subject physical education in year 9]. PhD thesis. Malmö: Malmö Studies in Educational Sciences, 46. Green, K., 2010. Examinations in Physical Education: A sociological perspective on a ‘new orthodoxy’. British Journal of Sociology of Education 22 (1), 51-73. Hay, P. J., 2006. Assessment for learning in physical education. In: D.Kirk, D. Macdonald and, M. O’Sullivan, eds. The Handbook of Physical Education. Sage: London. Janik, A. 1996. Kunskapsbegrepp i praktisk filosofi. [Concept of knowledge in philosophy of practice] Skåne län: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion. Kirk, D., 2010. Physical Education Futures. Oxon: Routledge. Larsson, H., Fagrell, B. and Redelius, K. 2005. Kön-Idrott-Skola [Gender-Sport-School]. Available online at: http//www. Idrottsforum.org. Nyberg, G. and Larsson, H., 2012. Exploring ‘what’ to learn in physical education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, DOI:10.1080/17408989.2012.726982. Polanyi, M., 1954. Skills and Connoisseurship. Atti del congresso di studi metodologici (pp. 381-394). Promosso dal Centro die Studi Metodologici. Torino: Edizioni Ramella. Polanyi, M. and Prosch, H., 1975. Meaning. The University of Chicago Press. Polanyi, M., 2002. Personal Knowledge-Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy, London: Routledge. Redelius, K., Fagrell, B. and Larsson, H., 2009. Symbolic capital in physical education and health. To do, to be or to know? That is the gendered question. Sport, Education and Society 14(2), 245–60. Ryle, G., 2009. The Concept of Mind. New York: Routledge. Shusterman, R., 2004. Somaesthethics and education: exploring the terrain. In: L. Bresler, ed. Moving bodies moving minds. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publisher, 51-60. Tinning, R., 2010. Pedagogy and human movement. Theory, practice, research. Oxon: Routledge. Whitehead, M., 2005. Physical Literacy – A Developing Concept. British Philosophy of Sport Association. You, J. A., 2009. Teaching beginning dance classes in higher education: Learning to teach from an expert dance educator. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 10 (23). Retrieved [date] from http://www.ijea.org/v10n23
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