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In and out of place: exploring the discursive effects of teachers' talk about outdoor education in secondary schools in New Zealand
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9141-3318
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4660-717X
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1298-8186
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 16, no 2, 91-104 p.
Keyword [en]
Discourse, adventure, learning, place, curriculum
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-4159DOI: 10.1080/14729679.2015.1086660ISI: 000380145700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-4159DiVA: diva2:856405
Available from: 2015-09-24 Created: 2015-09-24 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Becoming-place: (Re)conceptualising friluftsliv in the Swedish physical education and health curriculum
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Becoming-place: (Re)conceptualising friluftsliv in the Swedish physical education and health curriculum
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
relational materialism, place, curriculum, friluftsliv, Deleuze
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5033 (URN)978-91-983151-1-0 (ISBN)
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

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