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Physical education teaching as a caring act—techniques of bodily touch and the paradox of caring
Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. (SMED)
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. (SMED, RISPA)
School of Education, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA.
2016 (English)In: Sport, Education and Society, ISSN 1357-3322, E-ISSN 1470-1243Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In this article, we investigate “no touch policies” as a practical teacher concern that includes the body as a location, a source, and a means in educational activity. We argue that to understand issues regarding physical touch within school practice we must conceive it as deeply associated with specific teaching techniques. Thus, the didactical challenge is not found in argumentations about the pro and cons of physical touch, but through analysis of how teachers handle student interaction and teaching intentions.

We consider teaching as a caring profession. Caring, as a practical teacher concern, requires wisdom regarding the right time to use bodily touch and to refrain from such use. This wisdom involves the ability to discern people’s needs, desires, interests, and purposes in particular situations and act appropriately. From a body pedagogical perspective we approach intergenerational touch not only as a discursive and power related question but as an essential tension in the intersection of the; ambiguity attendant to any intentional act such as teaching, the conflict between the ethics of care and the ethics of justice, and finally, the paradox of caring.

We draw on interviews with PE-teachers in Swedish primary, secondary, and upper-secondary schools and analyses of a collection of techniques of bodily touch that are established and practiced with specific pedagogical purposes. The results shows PE teacher’s competence in handling different functions of intergenerational touch in relation to three different techniques of bodily touch; 1) Security touch, which is characterized by intentions to handle the fragile; 2) Denoting touch, which is characterized by intentions to handle learning content; 3) Relational touch, which is characterized by caring intentions. Each of these is of importance for the teachers in carrying out their call to teach and each of these relies on professional assessments whether or not it meets its intended purpose.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016.
Keyword [en]
aring; body pedagogics; corporeal realism; non-touch; technique; teaching intention
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-55284DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2016.1244765OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-55284DiVA: diva2:1071053
Projects
Pedagogical consequences of no touching in Physical Education
Funder
Swedish National Centre for Research in SportsSwedish Research Council, 2013-2200
Available from: 2017-02-02 Created: 2017-02-02 Last updated: 2017-02-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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More styles
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