18 SES 11 JS, Perspectives on Physical Activity and Learning
Joint Paper Session with NW 08 and NW 18
This presentation is a part of an ongoing PhD-project which aims to develop knowledge on teaching about health in physical education through action research. In the field of physical education there is a discussion concerning the impact of the teaching about health in the subject (O´Sullivan, 2004) and whether health promotion is an appropriate way to legitimate physical education (Trost, 2004; Kirk, 2006). According to earlier research on teaching about health in physical education, there are different perspectives that are advanced. First, the biomedical perspective on health seems to have a great impact on what is being taught about health in physical education. This perspective emphasizes the importance of physical activity and nutrition in order to develop good health. Second, this biomedical perspective has been criticized for providing a narrow understanding of health. Thus, in a critical perspective, the emphasis seems to be how the biomedical discourse objectify the body and how this discourse reproduce a global and narrow understanding of health and the body. The challenge of the critical perspective is that it don´t bring any new knowledge into the debate, it is all critique. Third, also starting with a critique of the biomedical perspective, a salutogenetic perspective has been advanced. This perspective take a step back from the one-sided pathogenic view of health, and rather focuses on the fact that everyone can develop their own health. Health is described as the resources and potential all human have to develop their own health. In this perspective health is not something you have/not have, we are all in some way healthy (Quennerstedt, 2008). Finally, a fourth perspective is the hermeneutic, which look at health as something enigmatic. Health is not a condition, but it is inherent in all human, we cannot see it or feel it. In this perspective health is also described as a relational component, a condition of being involved in the world. To be involved with other human beings, we will experience and develop health (Gadamer, 1993). This perspective is to our knowledge not applied in physical education research.
There is reason to believe that these different perspectives will have different pedagogical implications on how health in physical education is taught. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to review the existing literature on health education in physical education in order to investigate how health is understood and taught in physical education. More specifically we ask; How is health understood and taught in physical education?
Gadamer, H-G (1996) The enigma of health, Standford University Press, California. Trost, S. (2004) School physical education in the post-report era: An analysis from public health, Journal of teaching in physical education O´Sullivan, M. (2004) Possibilities and pitfalls of a public health agenda for physical education, Journal of teaching in physical education, 23(4), 392-404. Quennerstedt, M. (2008) Exploring the relation between physical activity and health – a salutogenic approach to physical education, Sport, Education and society, 13:3, 267 -283.
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