Understanding gymnastics in undergraduate physical education programmes in Denmark in a figurational perspective

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Currently, there is a large awareness on ensuring research-based teaching at university level. In the practical courses of undergraduate physical education (PE) programmes many teachers are not researchers but are employed because they are experts from the field of practice, and the course material may be considered
more experience-based than research-based. This raises discussions concerning the ”academization” of sports and balancing theory and practice in PE. It also relates to the issue of connection between university education and its real-world application. Through my PhD project I aim to contribute to these discussions using gymnastics as a case. Gymnastics has historically played a large role in the development of PE in Denmark, but it is not a mandatory activity in high school PE, and each university decides if and how they include it in their PE programme. The aim of the project is to explore what processes and figurations influence how gymnastics is taught in the PE programmes at Danish universities, and how this connects to the practical reality of the students’ future work life – especially as high school teachers. In this paper, research design and preliminary findings are presented. The topic is examined from a combined sociological and pedagogical perspective. With theoretical inspiration from Norbert Elias, the gymnastics courses at the four Danish universities that offer PE programmes are studied in terms of their interdependencies with the Danish gymnastics culture and the practice of high school PE teachers. Qualitative research methods including interviews, document analysis, and observations are employed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhy Does Sociology Matter?  : The Role of Sport Sociology in Interdisciplinary Research
PublisherEuropean Association for the Sociology of Sport
Publication date2022
Article number140
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventEASS and ISSA World Congress of Sociology of Sport: The role of sport sociology in interdisciplinary research - Tubingen, Germany
Duration: 7 Jun 202210 Jun 2022


ConferenceEASS and ISSA World Congress of Sociology of Sport

ID: 320869760