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Power relations in Physical Education group work: a Foucauldian analysis
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (SMED)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8748-8843
Gothenburgh University, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: AIESEP International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education, 2016Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Group work is used in physical education (PE) to encourage student-directed, collaborative learning. Aligned with this aim, group work is expected to shift some power from teacher to students. There are however, few investigations focusing on power in group work situations in PE and assumptions about the nature of power and its mechanisms have been largely implicit.  The purpose of this presentation is thus to introduce a way to explore power relations in PE group work building on a Foucauldian framework viewing power as action-on-action (Foucault, 1980, 1982).

With inspiration from Gore (2001) and Öhman (2010) we look at the micro dynamics of power and how power is put into action. The question is then not if power exists, but rather how power functions in different situations (Foucault, 1982). While Gore and Öhman used Foucault’s methodological tools of techniques of power and power in terms of governance and socialisation, we instead turn more explicitly to his suggestion regarding analysis of how power come into practice in terms of five different features of power relations (Foucault 1982). We will illustrate our approach using observational data of three groups working together to choreograph a dance performance in a Swedish PE lesson. Pre- and post-lesson interview data is also used as a complementary data source in terms of exploring ‘didactic moments’ (Quennerstedt et al., 2014).

Four specific kinds of power relations are illustrated concerning: (1) the students’ task; (2) other cultures; (3) gender; and (4) interactions with one another. These relations suggest that power relations are not simply created locally between group members, nor are power relations only a function of the members’ proficiency in the task. In these respects, the illustration encourages a reconsideration of learning in group work and open up new avenues for further research.

References

Foucault M (1980) Power/knowledge: Selected interviews and other writings, 1972-1977. New York: Random House.

Foucault M (1982) The subject and power. Critical Inquiry 8: 777-795.

Gore J (2001) Disciplining bodies: On the continuity of power relations in pedagogy. In C Peachter (Ed.), Learning, space and identity (pp. 167-181). London: Sage.

Quennerstedt, M, Annerstedt, C, Barker, D, Karlefors, I, Larsson, H, Redelius, K. and Öhman, M, (2014) What did they learn in school today? A method for exploring aspects of learning in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 20(2): 282-302.

Öhman M (2010) Analysing the direction of socialisation from a power perspective. Sport, Education & Society 15: 393-409. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keywords [en]
Physical education, power, Foucault
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-51587OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-51587DiVA, id: diva2:951170
Conference
AIESEP International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education 2016, 8-11 June, 2016, Laramie, USA
Available from: 2016-08-07 Created: 2016-08-07 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Quennerstedt, Mikael

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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