Intergenerational touch in PE : a student perspective

Sammanfattning: This thesis takes its point of departure in the research field of intergenerational touch in Physical Education (PE). Previous research in the field have mainly been conducted from a teacher’s perspective and has shown that teachers of PE have become more cautious about using physical contact in recent years. The reasons for this more cautious attitude concerning physical contact is above all, the risk f being falsely suspected of sexual harassment. Previous research has, in a general way, also shown that physical contact in PE is a gendered issue with heteronormative points of departure The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate intergenerational touch in PE from a student perspective. More specifically the aims are to investigate physical contact between teachers and students in PE from a student perspective (paper I), and to investigate which discursive resources students draw on to conceptualize physical contact between teacher and student in PE in relation to heteronormativity (paper II). Six focus group interviews using photo elicitation have been conducted with students at an upper secondary school in Sweden. In paper I it is the concept of the didactic contract that is the theoretical starting point. The results show that, generally, the students support physical contact as a pedagogical tool if the physical contact has a good purpose according to the students. An implicit didactic contract is formed when student and teacher agree on when, how or why physical contact is used as a pedagogical tool. In paper II, the theoretical inspiration comes from Foucault and his work with discourses. The results show that the students’ talk is colored by the heteronormative discourse in society. This is especially expressed when young female students talk about male PE teachers. Heteronormativity is taken for granted and is not really challenged. Students generally support physical contact as a pedagogical tool in PE, however it is a very complex issue and puts high demands on PE teachers’ professionalism.