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Physical education teaching as a caring act: techniques of bodily touch and the paradox of caring
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2018 (English)In: Sport, Education and Society, ISSN 1357-3322, E-ISSN 1470-1243, Vol. 23, no 6, p. 591-606Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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 and (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.

KEYWORDS:Caring, body pedagogics, corporeal realism, non-touch, technique, teaching intention

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2018. Vol. 23, no 6, p. 591-606
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Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-349174DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2016.1244765OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-349174DiVA, id: diva2:1199876
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-2200Available from: 2018-04-23 Created: 2018-04-23 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Joacim

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