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Exploring the educational landscape of juggling - challenging notions of ability in physical education
Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden..
Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4162-9844
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogisk idrottsforskning.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0638-7176
2020 (English)In: Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, ISSN 1740-8989, E-ISSN 1742-5786, Vol. 25, no 2, p. 201-212Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Research on physical education (PE) shows a prevalence of narrow and reductionist views on what counts as ability. These views tend to privilege certain students and marginalize others, and often equate ability with technique-based sport performance. A lot of research is still directed towards the above problem. However, very few have devoted time and energy to actually resolving this problem. If no alternatives to narrow and reductionist views of ability are presented, then research will struggle to make a difference to the practice of PE. Assuming that movement is a key element in PE, the question of what counts as ability in PE is, we argue, a question of what capabilities a learner needs to develop in order to move in different ways. Investigating what movement capability can mean will provide possibilities for discussing and negotiating the meaning of ability in PE when the learning goal is something other than technique-based sport performance. Purpose: The aim of this paper is to further advance the knowledge base of what movement capability can mean within the context of PE. By achieving this aim, we intend to challenge narrow views on ability and thereby provide enhanced possibilities for PE to make a difference for students' abilities through education. Theory and method: The process of coming to know something can be seen as exploring, with all senses, a landscape. Exploration involves recognizing details and nuances of the landscape and their relationships to one another. In this investigation, we examine what there is to know in the landscape of juggling using Ryle's and Polanyi's notions of knowing and learning. In line with a focus on the learners' perspectives, interviews and observations were conducted with students whilst they were coming to know juggling. Ethnographic-type conversations were used to help students describe what they seemed to know or were aiming to know. Students were invited to write diaries with a focus on their experiences during the learning process, which we hoped could extend our insights regarding the experiential aspects in learning. Findings: Findings of the investigation suggest that in the group of students, four significant ways of knowing the landscape of juggling are important: grasping a pattern; grasping a rhythm; preparing for the next throw and catch and navigating one's position and throwing. The research challenges the narrow view on ability as technique-based sport performance by providing examples of what movement capability can mean in terms of knowing a movement landscape alternatively to knowing a specific movement 'in the right way.'

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2020. Vol. 25, no 2, p. 201-212
Keywords [en]
Ability, physical education, movement education, knowing
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-6008DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2020.1712349ISI: 000506288400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-6008DiVA, id: diva2:1389052
Available from: 2020-01-28 Created: 2020-01-28 Last updated: 2020-03-16

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Larsson, Håkan

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