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Is there (any)body in science education?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (SMED)
Örebro universitet. (SMED)
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In debates about learning, the discussion often centres on how to explore the relation between body and mind. In a pragmatic perspective on learning, however, it is not possible to envision an ontological distinction between body and mind. (Hodkinson et al 2007; Quennerstedt et al 2011). From this perspective, it is also central to study how people use artefacts in different practices (Almqvist & Östman 2006; Quennerstedt et al 2012). Studies of embodied learning are central in research on physical education (PE), a school subject seen as an important location through which bodies are constructed (e.g. Evans et al 2004). In contrast, the embodied aspects of learning are regarded as a somewhat novel perspective on learning in other areas of research on didactics. With notable exceptions (e.g. Arvola Orlander & Wickman, 2010) little attention has for example been paid to embodied learning in studies of science education (SE). Given these differences between the subject didactics of PE and SE respectively, and given this specific research gap in SE, the purpose of this article is to explore and discuss embodied aspects of learning in SE by using the specific insights from PE and thus employing a comparative didactic approach. By comparing video recordings of physical education lessons, we have studied the role of the body in meaning making processes in science education. The results show that the body is used and constituted in different ways in the analysed situations and how the participants use artefacts in order to do things in a way that would not otherwise be possible. Furthermore, we argue that the comparative approach developed in the paper, together with the results of the study, can be used by teachers in their discussions about teaching in relation to different educational objectives and content.


Almqvist, J. & Östman, L (2006). Privileging and artifacts: On the use of information technology in science education. Interchange, 37(3).Arvola Orlander, A. & Wickman, P. O. (2010). Bodily experiences in secondary school biology. Cultural Studies of Science Education (6), 569-594Evans, J., Davies, B. Wright, J. (2004) Body knowledge and control. Studies in the sociology of physical education and health. Routledge. Hodkinson, P., Biesta, G. James, D. (2007) Understanding learning cultures. Educational Review, 59(4), 415-427.Quennerstedt, M., Öhman, J., & Öhman, M. (2011). Investigating learning in physical education—a transactional approach. Sport, education and society, 16(2), 159-177.Quennerstedt, M., Almqvist, J., Öhman, M. (2012). Keep your eye on the ball: Investigating artifacts-in-use in physical education. Interchange, 42(3), 287-305.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Comparative didactics, Physical Education, Science Education
National Category
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270836OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270836DiVA: diva2:890641
ECER, 8-11 September, 2015
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-01-04 Created: 2016-01-04 Last updated: 2016-01-04

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