Troubling the emotional terrain of transformative pedagogies in Health and Physical Education Teacher Education (HPETE): a collective biography of fear, frustration and love

Year: 2019

Author: Coll, Leanne, Luguetti, Carla

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Over the past four decades, a rich body of scholarship has drawn our attentions to the possibilities and unique challenges of transformative pedagogies in Health and Physical Education Teacher Education (HPETE) (Devis-devis 2006; Hickey & Moody, 2019; Tinning, 2019, 2017). Importantly, this research emphasizes how pre-service teachers and teacher educators have both the capacities and desires to actively respond to concerns around justice, democracy and ethics in HPE (Fitzpatrick, 2018; Hill et al., 2018; Lynch & Curner-Smith, 2019; O’Sullivan, 2018).

At the heart of transformative pedagogies is the provocation of emotion and affect (Zembylas 2002, 2013). There is much to learn about the emotional terrain of being and becoming a transformative orientated educator (Coll & Charlton, 2018; Freire, 2005; Kumashiro, 2004; Luguetti & Oliver, 2019). In recognition of this, this paper will contribute to what we know about the complex entanglement between emotion and transformative pedagogies in HPETE.

Stimulated by post-qualitative scholars we are encouraged to think afresh what we take for granted about the familiar features of qualitative research (St Pierre 2019; MacLure 2003). Collective biography (Davies & Gannon, 2006; Gannon and Gonick, 2018), as a post-qualitative research strategy, provides a framework for our collective exploration of the emotional terrain of transformative pedagogies approaches to/within HPETE. In particular, as two HPETE educators’ we draw on our encounters with transformative pedagogies across multiple spaces in an attempt to think through how emotions (specifically love, fear and frustration) function and explore their discursive effects in our pedagogical approaches. We share three co-constructed narratives which map our experiments in an ongoing process of becoming transformative orientated educators in HPETE.

By reflexively interrogating emotions such as love, fear and frustration central to these narratives this paper opens up space for a critical consideration of the boundaries of teacher educators’ responses to the complex material realities of social justice in physical education spaces. We argue that teaching should never be reduced to a merely feel-good process; actively engaging with and carefully considering emotions in transformative pedagogical approaches to HPETE can be both radically pleasurable and uncomfortable. This paper is an important invitation for educators and researchers in the field to think differently about how they might work with pre-service teachers to transform physical education.