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Becoming-place: (Re)conceptualising friluftsliv in the Swedish physical education and health curriculum
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9141-3318
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to critically examine taken for granted assumptions underpinning friluftsliv and outdoor education as a learning area in the curriculum, and to explore the educational potential of a place-responsive pedagogy. A growing body of critical research in outdoor studies suggest that there has been a discursive shift away from an activity-based personal and social development discourse, in favour of more critical awareness in outdoor education research. This discursive shift includes a focus on place and educating for an environmentally sustainable future as the primary goal for outdoor education. The Swedish curriculum emphasizes that historical, environmental, ethical, and international perspectives should be addressed in all subjects, including physical education and health (PEH), in which friluftsliv is imbedded. However, the implementation of these overarching perspectives into pedagogical practice has been proven to be rather limited.

The thesis comprises four independent but connected articles. Empirically, this thesis draws on interviews with PE teachers in New Zealand, reflective journals from a month-long journey in the Canadian Rockies, and curriculum documents, interviews and workshop reflections from a yearlong case study with a group of PEH teachers in Sweden. Inspired by the work of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, relational materialism and posthuman perspectives have been employed in the analysis.

Findings suggest that different ontological perspectives affect what is regarded as “normal” or “true” learning objectives in outdoor education and school-based friluftsliv. The overall findings from the thesis show that there is educational potential in place-responsive pedagogy. The case study demonstrates that place-responsiveness challenges the taken for granted people-centred practice focusing on personal and social development outcomes, which traditionally has dominated outdoor education and Swedish school-based friluftsliv. The decentring of humans, in favour of mutual and relational engagements with matter and the more-than-human, opens up new possibilities for embodied relations to place(s). 

In conclusion, this thesis suggests the notion of engaging in a place-responsive pedagogy, in order to enable teachers to work within school-based friluftsliv in new and innovative ways. Place-responsiveness offer possibilities for working with the overarching perspectives and sustainability in pedagogical practice as well as for engaging in cross-curricular teaching and learning initiatives more locally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH , 2017.
Series
Avhandlingsserie för Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, 10
Keyword [en]
relational materialism, place, curriculum, friluftsliv, Deleuze
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5033ISBN: 978-91-983151-1-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-5033DiVA: diva2:1144172
Public defence
2017-10-20, Aulan, Lidingövägen 1, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-09-25 Created: 2017-09-25 Last updated: 2017-09-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. In and out of place: exploring the discursive effects of teachers' talk about outdoor education in secondary schools in New Zealand
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In and out of place: exploring the discursive effects of teachers' talk about outdoor education in secondary schools in New Zealand
2016 (English)In: Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, ISSN 1472-9679, E-ISSN 1754-0402, Vol. 16, no 2, 91-104 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this article is to explore and problematise teachers’ talk about outdooreducation in New Zealand. The focus is on what can be said, how it is said and thediscursive effects of such ways of speaking. The inquiry draws on Foucauldiantheoretical insights to analyse interview transcripts derived from semi-structured interviewswith eight outdoor education teachers who work at secondary schools in NewZealand. Findings suggest that different discourses co-exist and are intertwined in theparticipants’ talk. Associated with a dominating discourse of adventure are subdiscoursesof risk and safety, pursuit-based activities, skill and assessment. Connected to adiscourse of learning are subdiscourses of environment, sustainability and socialcritique. Resistance towards a dominating discourse of adventure with pursuit-basedactivities can be traced in a discourse of learning in the form of a more placeresponsivepedagogy.

Keyword
Discourse, adventure, learning, place, curriculum
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-4159 (URN)10.1080/14729679.2015.1086660 (DOI)000380145700001 ()
Available from: 2015-09-24 Created: 2015-09-24 Last updated: 2017-09-25Bibliographically approved
2. Becoming-crocus, becoming-river, becoming-bear: A relational exploration of place(s)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Becoming-crocus, becoming-river, becoming-bear: A relational exploration of place(s)
2017 (English)In: Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, ISSN 2206-3301, Vol. 20, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The article draws on qualitative research from reflective journals of a group of university students based on their experiences from a month-long outdoor and environmental education journey in the Canadian Rockies. The article is concerned with the stories that are communicated through an embodied engagement with place(s), particularly the Brazeau River and the surrounding regions. The “relational materialist” approach (Hultman & Lenz Taguchi, 2010), combined with a focus on the entangled topics of skill, place, and journey provides a framework for empirical materials collection and analysis. Findings suggest that a decentring of humans in favour of mutual and relational engagements with matter and the more-than-human, in combination with place-stories and outdoor skill development that involves reading the land from embodied learning with/in its naturalcultural history, opens up new possibilities for embodied relations to place(s).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Outdoor Council of Australia, 2017
Keyword
relational materialism, place, skill, journey, Deleuze, Guattari
National Category
Social Sciences Educational Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5027 (URN)
Available from: 2017-09-25 Created: 2017-09-25 Last updated: 2017-09-25Bibliographically approved
3. (Re)conceptualising friluftsliv in the Swedish curriculum: Is it a case for place?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>(Re)conceptualising friluftsliv in the Swedish curriculum: Is it a case for place?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article examines how friluftsliv is conceptualised as a learning area within the Swedish physical education and health (PEH) curriculum. The aim is to question the legitimacy of these understandings by bringing previously marginalised discourses to the fore. Drawing on the work of Deleuze and Guattari (1987), the concept of becoming-place was employed as an analytical tool, through which the curriculum documents were analysed. The main conclusions are that friluftsliv, as expressed in the Swedish curriculum, is underpinned by the notion of being the same as outdoor leisure and recreation. This, in combination with a dominant physical activity discourse in PEH, works to legitimise what is regarded as “normal” and “true” learning objectives in school-based friluftsliv. An alternative reading, using becoming-place as a critical lens, challenges the current people-centred notion of friluftsliv as a learning area in PEH curriculum. Furthermore, becoming-place offer possibilities for reconceptualising school-based friluftsliv to better respond to vision of the Swedish curriculum.

Keyword
friluftsliv, curriculum, becoming, becoming, place, nature, Deleuze
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5032 (URN)
Available from: 2017-09-25 Created: 2017-09-25 Last updated: 2017-09-25Bibliographically approved
4. Becoming a place-responsive practitioner: Exploration of an alternative conception of friluftsliv in the Swedish physical education and health curriculum
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Becoming a place-responsive practitioner: Exploration of an alternative conception of friluftsliv in the Swedish physical education and health curriculum
2018 (English)In: Journal of Outdoor recreation, education and leadership, ISSN 2381-0696, E-ISSN 1948-5123Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

This article explores the educational potential of a place-responsive pedagogy to teaching and learning in friluftsliv within the Swedish physical education and health (PEH) curriculum. The article draws on qualitative empirical materials from a year-long research project together with a group of high school PEH teachers working in seventh thru ninth grade. Following Deleuze and Guattari (1987) the concept of becoming-place was employed as an analytical tool in exploring modes of thinking and doing school-based friluftsliv. Findings suggest that the current understanding of friluftsliv as curriculum, perceived as outdoor leisure and recreation, limits teachers use of school-based friluftsliv. The article’s key finding is that a place-responsive pedagogy enabled these teachers to work within school-based friluftsliv in new and innovative ways and have them engage in cross-curricular teaching and learning initiatives more locally.

Keyword
friluftsliv, place-responsive, curriculum, educational, Deleuze
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5030 (URN)
Available from: 2017-09-25 Created: 2017-09-25 Last updated: 2017-09-25Bibliographically approved

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