18 SES 06, Body Pedagogy
The overall interest in this paper is experiences of physical contact between teachers and students in the school subject of physical education (PE). The study has a student perspective and focuses on students’ experiences of physical contact in PE practice. The study’s motive is based on previous research, which reveals that PE teachers have become more anxious and cautious in their approaches to students in terms of touching. In other words, teachers of PE avoid physical touch or other behaviour with students that could be regarded as suspicious (Fletcher, 2013; Piper, Garratt & Taylor, 2013; Öhman, 2016). As yet, very little is known about students’ experiences of physical contact in PE practice, which means that research in this area is imperative.
Some scholars point to the publication of ‘The Battered Child Syndrome’ from 1962 (Kempe, Silver, Steele, Droegmueller and Silverman, 1985) as the starting point for work that prevents children and young people becoming the victims of abuse and neglect (Piper, Garratt & Taylor, 2013). Policies and definitions that frame and identify cases of abuse have been developed in educational and sporting contexts (Piper, Garratt & Taylor, 2013). Several scholars have studied sexual harassment and abuse in sport in an attempt to create policies that protect young people from being subjected to any form of abuse (Brackenridge, 2001; Toftegard Nielsen, 2001; Fasting, 2005). These documents or policies often contain guidelines for appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in terms of intergenerational touch between adults and children, some of which clearly advocate a restricted use of physical contact (see for example Johnson, 2015; Öhman & Quennerstedt, 2015; Öhman, 2016). However, several studies have shown that child protection policies and guidelines have also had unexpected consequences; the most prominent being an increased level of anxiety or caution about intergenerational touch amongst sports coaches, preschool and PE teachers (Piper & Smith, 2003; 2008; Piper, Taylor and Garratt, 2011; Fletcher, 2013; Piper et al., 2013; Johnson, 2015; Öhman & Quennerstedt, 2015). The main fear of these professionals is of being suspected of inappropriate behaviour, or being falsely accused of sexual harassment or molestation. As yet, the student perspective on intergenerational touch in PE has not been studied in any great depth, which has led to a knowledge gap.
The purpose of this paper is to deepen the knowledge about intergenerational touch by investigating upper secondary school students’ experiences of physical touch between PE teachers and students in PE teaching practice.
The study has a didactical framework. In our view, didactics is very similar to the French didactique tradition. This tradition includes research topics such as what is taught and learned, how it is taught and learned, why it is taught and learned and by whom it is taught and learned (Amende-Escot, 2006:347). The didactical questions, which are very common in didactical reasoning, have therefore been used in our analysis procedures. The didactical contract, which can be viewed as an agreement between teachers and students in which both parties know what to expect from the other (Brousseau & Warfield, 2015), is also important in this particular study in order to understand the complex relationship that exists between students and PE teachers with regard to physical touch.
Amande-Escot, C. (2006). Student learning within the didactique tradition. In Kirk, D., Macdonald, D & O’Sullivan, M. (eds), The Handbook of Physical Education (pp 347-365). Trowbridge: Sage Publications. Brackenridge, C. (2001). Spoilsports: Understanding and preventing sexual exploitation in sport. London: Routledge. Brousseau, G. & Warfield, V. (2015). Didactical Contract and the Teaching and Learning of Science. In Gunstone, R. (ed). Encyclopedia of Science Education (pp. 316-321). Dordrecht: Springer Reference Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3:2, 77-101. Fasting, K. (2005). Research on sexual harassment and abuse in sport. Idrottforum.org. [Nordic Sport Science Forum]. Accessed October 26, 2016 at idrottsforum.org 2005-04-05. Fletcher, S. (2013). Touching practice and physical education: deconstruction of a contemporary moral panic. Sport Education and Society, 18:5, 694-709. doi: 10.1080/13573322.2013.774272 Hall, L., Jones, S., Hall, M., Richardson, J. & Hodgson, J. (2007). Inspiring Design: The Use of Photo Elicitation and Lomography in Gaining the Child’s Perspective. British Computer Society: People and Computers XXI-HCI… but not as we know it: Proceedings of HCI 2007. Johnson, R.T. (2015). Training ‘safe’ bodies in an era of child panic in the United States: New technologies for disciplining the self. In Piper, H. (ed), Touch in Sports Coaching and Physical Education: Fear, risk and moral panic (pp.35-51). Abingdon, Oxon. Routledge Kempe, C.H., Silverman, F.N., Steele, B.F., Droegemeuller, W., and Silver, H.K. (1985). The Battered-Child Syndrome. Child Abuse & Neglect, 9:2, 149-154 Öhman, M. (2016). Losing touch – Teachers’ self-regulation in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 1-14. 22159 Öhman, M. & Quennerstedt, A. (2015). Questioning the no-touch discourse in physical education from a children’s rights perspective. Sport, Education and Society, 1-16. Piper, H., Garratt, D. & Taylor, B. (2013). Child abuse, child protection and defensive ’touch’ in PE teaching and sports coaching. Sport, Education and Society, 18:5, 583-598. Piper, H. & Smith, H. (2003). “Touch” in Educational and Child Care Settings: Dilemmas and Responses. British Educational Research Journal, 29:6, 1-24. Piper, H., Taylor, B. & Garratt, D. (2012). Sport coaching in risk society: No touch! No trust! Sport, Education and Society, 17:3, 331-345. Toftegard Nielsen, J. (2001). The forbidden zone. Intimacy, sexual relations and misconduct in the relationship between coaches and athletes. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 36(2), 165-183 Wibeck, V. (2010). Fokusgrupper: Om fokuserade gruppintervjuer som undersökningsmetod [Focus groups: On focused group interviews as an investigative method]. Lund: Studentlitteratur AB
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