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Developing a ‘somatic velocimeter’ – the practical knowledge of freeskiers
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Teaching and Learning in the Humanities (CeHum). Dalarna University, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, ISSN 2159-676X, E-ISSN 2159-6778, Vol. 7, no 1, 109-124 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to explore what it means to know complex movements, from the perspective of the mover. The paper discusses the potential of the findings for providing ideas for both teaching and learning capability to move in the context of physical education. The knowing involved in moving is explored in the practice of freeskiing, characterised by a tradition of learning movements where practitioners have a strong commitment to learning how to move in complex, different and new ways. In this study, knowing how to move is seen in line with Michael Polanyi’s theory of tacit knowing where knowing is always rooted in personal experience and comprising what Ryle (2009) calls ’knowing how’ as well as ’knowing that’. The findings show that the freeskiers have developed specific kinds of knowing comprising a tacit component which is possible to articulate to a certain extent. Their capability to move can be conceived as complex knowing, comprising theoretical as well as practical aspects. If the educational objective in physical education is expressed as developing ways of knowing such as those exemplified in this study, the subject content, or at least part of it, could be described as movement education in which the intrinsic value of knowing movements could be recognised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 7, no 1, 109-124 p.
Keyword [en]
tacit knowing, capability to move, ways of knowing, physical education, Michael Polanyi
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Sciences in Arts and Professions
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98922DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2013.857709OAI: diva2:685826
Available from: 2014-01-09 Created: 2014-01-09 Last updated: 2015-12-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Ways of knowing in ways of moving: A study of the meaning of capability to move
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ways of knowing in ways of moving: A study of the meaning of capability to move
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis has been to investigate the meaning of the capability to move in order to identify and describe this capability from the perspective of the one who moves in relation to specific movements. It has been my ambition to develop ways to explicate, and thereby open up for discussion, what might form an educational goal in the context of movements and movement activities in the school subject of physical education and health (PEH).

In this study I have used a practical epistemological perspective on capability to move, a perspective that challenges the traditional distinction between mental and physical skills as well as between theoretical and practical knowledge. Movement actions, or ways of moving, are seen as expressions of knowing.

In order to explore an understanding of the knowing involved in specific ways of moving, observations of  actors’ ways of moving and their own experiences of moving were brought together. Informants from three different arenas took part: from PEH in upper secondary school, from athletics and from free-skiing.

The results of the analyses suggest it is possible to describe practitioners’ developed knowing as a number of specific ways of knowing that are in turn related to specific ways of moving. Examples of such specific ways of moving may be discerning and modifying one’s own rotational velocity and navigating one’s (bodily) awareness. Additionally, exploring learners’ pre-knowing of a movement ‘as something’ may be fruitful when planning the teaching and learning of capability to move. I have suggested that these specific ways of knowing might be regarded as educational goals in PEH.

In conducting this study, I have also had the ambition to contribute to the ongoing discussion of what ‘ability’ in the PEH context might mean. In considering specific ways of knowing in moving, the implicit and taken-for-granted meaning of ‘standards of excellence’ and ‘sports ability’can be discussed, and challenged.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Stockholm Univeristy, 2014. 159 p.
Physical Education, capability to move, ways of knowing, knowing how, tacit knowing, Ryle, Polanyi, Schön
National Category
Research subject
Educational Sciences in Arts and Professions
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102527 (URN)978-91-7447-843-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-09, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: In press. Paper 4: Epub ahead of print. 

Available from: 2014-04-14 Created: 2014-04-07 Last updated: 2015-02-26Bibliographically approved

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