Embodiment, Movement and Physical Education

Institution: Independent Researcher

About the lab

The lab explores the various ways physical education and movement can be experienced. Embodied and subjective dimensions is crucial but often neglected dimensions in the characterization of physical activity. Physical activity does not derive its meaning from measurable effects and instrumental rationality alone. (Inter-)Subjective feelings and experiences are important sources of meaning.
The lab carries out empirical and qualitative investigations of movement and physical education in primarily schools and day-care centres. Theoretically, the research are inspired by a wide range of philosophical, sociological and psychological works, such as R.S. Kretchmar, P. Sloterdijk, Merleau-Ponty, S. Gallagher, J. Dewey, R. Sennett.

Featured projects (4)

Denmark had a new school reform in 2014 and one of the big differences is that all students have to be physically active for 45 minutes each day. The purpose of this phD-study is to explore lower secondary teachers’ perceptions and interpretations regarding the implementation of a PA policy with a focus on Movement Integration (MI). Twelve teachers from four different schools were selected to take part in a qualitative study, in which semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews and go along observations and interviews were conducted.
In this paper I will investigate the (bodily) construction of motivation in interactions between educators and pre-school children. Hitherto research has regarded motivation as a matter of impacting the rationality of the children and much less embodied and affective dimensions. On the basis of field work observations in a Danish Kindergarten, and interpretations drawing on theorizations of embodiment/enaction I show how children’s motivation to engage can be developed from the ways educators enact their presence in the educational environment. This can be an effective and profound way of affecting children’s immediate experiences and motivations for participating. This study suggests that motivation should not only be dependent on educators’ ability to change the ‘mindset’ of children by explaining the utility of pedagogical activities and reason out why the children should participate. The development of motivation is also dependent on educators who handle and manipulate the whole embodied being of the children by physical scaffolding, acting out the ‘thrill’, insisting on repetition/ritualization, and continually being touch with and maintaining the tensions of the activities.
Passion is often experienced as a strong and intense emotional attraction and movement towards certain persons, things, ideas or activities. In bodily expressive practices such as sport, passion is often mentioned as an essential driving force among the best achieving athletes. However, passion can also be understood as a fundamental human aspect. The famous Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, even suggested that human beings are passion. This suggests that passion is an important factor to consider when it comes to all forms of physical education. The element of passion has been mentioned and emphasized in studies on sport and PE, but it’s lived and existential qualities and how these may be promoted pedagogically is rarely elaborated. Thus, the purpose of this presentation is to elaborate on the phenomena of passion and how it may be promoted during PE-activities.
The aim of this project is to explore the bodily and existential dimensions of movement education in the kindergarten. More specifically, the project explores how educators work with the children's lived experiences during movement activities and how they may become important incentives for the children's continued participation in the activities.

Featured research (1)

I mange år har fokus på bevægelse ligget på den fysiske del og i mindre grad på, at bevægelse også indeholder en sanselig, følelsesmæssig og relationel dimension. Sans for bevægelse undersøger ud fra et fænomenologisk og eksistentielt perspektiv, hvordan bevægelse og pædagogik er tæt sammenvævet. Den inspirerer til, hvordan pædagoger og lærere kan forstå og arbejde med bevægelse og de erfaringer og meningsforståelser, som følger med bevægelse. Bogen behandler en række pædagogiske temaer gennem en nær anknytning til praksis. Forfatterne kommer blandt andet ind på: Leg, Empati, Lidenskab, Bevægelsesglæde, Handicap, Energi osv. Bogen henvender sig primært til pædagoger, pædagogstuderende og undervisere på pædagoguddannelser, og alle med interesse for bevægelse og pædagogik.

Lab head

Jens-Ole Jensen

Members (7)

Ole Lund
  • VIA University College, Aarhus, Denmark
Kasper Lasthein Madsen
  • VIA University College
Mette Munk
  • VIA University College
Esben Stilund Volshøj
  • VIA University College
Henrik Taarsted Jørgensen
  • VIA University College
Lise Réol
  • VIA UC, læreruddannelsen i Aarhus, Denmark
Michael Blume
  • VIA University College