Articulating a Merleau-Pontian phenomenology of physical education: The quest for active student engagement and authentic assessment in high-stakes examination awards

Malcolm Thorburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In an earlier paper some of the conceptual and curriculum coherence challenges of linking practically based experiential learning with authentic attainment in high-stakes examination awards in physical education were analysed (Thorburn, 2007). Problems often existed for students in deriving subject knowledge understanding from tasks where there was a lack of personalized engagement in learning. Due to weaknesses in previous cognitive attempts to adequately describe intentional activity, this paper argues in preliminary fashion that articulating a Merleau-Pontian phenomenology of physical education could improve the methodological basis for linking students' lived-body experiences with the acquisition of an increasingly detailed subject knowledge, provided that learning intentions are clearly identified and achievable. The situation in Higher Still Physical Education (HSPE) in Scotland is reviewed as one curriculum example where teachers could, despite current problems, more authentically deploy phenomenology-informed methodologies in order to improve the authenticity of students' learning experiences and assessment results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-280
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Keywords

  • Philosophy
  • Curriculum
  • Pedagogy
  • Assessment

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