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Touching the didactic contract: a student perspective on intergenerational touch in PE
School of Health Science, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education. (Individ och samhälle (VIDSOC), Individual and Society)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9434-9232
School of Health Science, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: Sport, Education and Society, ISSN 1357-3322, E-ISSN 1470-1243Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

A growing anxiety around intergenerational touch in educational settings has both emerged and increased in recent years. Previous research reveals that Physical Education (PE) teachers have become more cautious in their approaches to students and they avoid physical contact or other behavior that could be regarded as suspicious [Fletcher, 2013. Touching practice and physical education: Deconstruction of a contemporary moral panic. Sport, Education and Society, 18(5), 694–709. doi:10.1080/ 13573322.2013.774272; Öhman, 2016. Losing touch—teachers’ selfregulation in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 1–14. doi:10.1177/1356336X15622159; Piper, Garratt, & Taylor, 2013. Child abuse, child protection and defensive ‘touch’ in PE teaching and sports coaching. Sport, Education and Society, 18(5), 583–598. doi:10.1080/13573322.2012.735653]. Some also feel anxious about how physical contact might be perceived by the students. The purpose of this article is to investigate physical contact between teachers and students in PE from a student perspective. This is understood through the didactic contract. For this purpose, focus group interviews using photo elicitation have been conducted with upper secondary school students in Sweden. One of the major findings is that intergenerational touch is purpose bound, that is, physical contact is considered relevant if the teacher has a good intention with using physical contact. The main agreements regarding physical contact as purpose bound are the practical learning and emotional aspects, such as learning new techniques, preventing injury, closeness and encouragement. The didactic contract is in these aspects stable and obvious. The main disagreements are when teachers interfere when the students want to feel capable or when teachers interfere when physical contact is not required in the activity. In these aspects the didactic contract is easily breached. It is also evident that personal preference has an impact on how physical contact is perceived. In conclusion, we can say that physical contact in PE is not a question of appropriate or inappropriate touch in general, but rather an agreement between the people involved about what is expected. Consequently, we should not ban intergenerational touch, but rather focus on teachers’ abilities to deal professionally with the didactic contract regarding physical contact.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Intergenerational touch, physical education, student perspective, didactic contract, physical contact
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Individual and Society VIDSOC
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14558DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2017.1346600OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-14558DiVA, id: diva2:1163213
Available from: 2017-12-06 Created: 2017-12-06 Last updated: 2018-02-16Bibliographically approved

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Maivorsdotter, Ninitha

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