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AbstractBackground: Mind-body dualisms create particular difficulties for researching and justifying learning and knowledge within PE practices. These issues are compounded in the UK by prevailing cognitivistic ideas of education, knowledge and learning. Crum (1993) suggests reconceptualising PE as movement culture as a potential solution to the limitations created by dualistic positions within education. How knowledge and learning within movement culture is positioned, however, was left underdeveloped by Crum. The aim of this thesis is to explore an embodied, action position on knowledge and learning, as a potential solution to this issue. Purpose: This thesis is driven by two purposes. The first; to examine and discuss how John Dewey’s theorising of knowledge and learning within experience provides a theoretical position on knowledge and learning within movement culture. The second; to utilise this position to explore how pupils’ and teachers’ actions within primary PE lessons constitute and negotiate the movement cultures within their school. Findings: In adopting a position which dissolves mind-body dualisms, movement culture allows the practical work of PE lessons to be considered as contexts of knowledge production. This opens up our understanding of different ways of knowing in PE through pupils’ epistemological ‘action-in-PE-settings’. Rather than creating another hybrid of educational ideology by objectifying what to ‘do’ or ‘know’, movement culture keeps the ‘who’ of participation in PE practice in view. Such a position is achieved because pupils are seen as ‘coming to know’ through their immediate and continuous experiences of sports and physical activities both in PE and beyond the school gates. By dissolving traditional dualisms within educational ideology, movement culture allows ideologies and assumptions about learning in PE to be decoded and managed. It also provides a framework to explore subject-matter for learning and analyses some of the disconnections which exist within PE practice. Conclusions: Reconceptualising PE as movement culture is not intended to create a logic of practice to which I claim PE should ascribe. In this thesis, movement culture offers a position from which to consider the continuity between PE and pupils’ lives within and outside of the school gates. Such a standpoint can challenge our ideas as to what subject-matter could be within PE and the possibilities of learning outcomes other than those that focus on performance sport or bodily training for fitness. From a research perspective questions arise in relation to understanding very young pupils’ experiences of knowing within PE and how learning and knowledge are embodied across other subject areas. Addressing such questions may help to support new understandings of learning and knowledge within schools that are concurrent with developing new methodologies and research tools. These may in turn support the continuing development of pedagogical practices.
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Publication