Using narrative as a tool to locate and challenge pre service teacher bodies in health and physical education

Year: 2012

Author: Wrench, Alison, Garrett, Robyne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Bodies are central to the daily patterns of lives, as well as understandings of selves and others (Turner 1996; Connell & Messerschmidt 2005; Elliott 2008). Such understandings and relationships inform our sense of belonging in particular fields (Bourdieu 1990; 2000) such as physical education in schools and teacher education. Typically, pre-service teachers of PE celebrate their physicality and the centrality of embodied physicality to sense of self as students and teachers. This presentation focuses on the significance of embodied physicality to feelings, relationships, imagined career pathways and pedagogical practices of pre-service teachers undertaking a PE pathway through a B.Ed (primary/middle) program.  Embodied physicality will be analysed through a cluster of three themes: 'Naturally' sporty bodies, Healthy bodies; Relationships between bodies and pedagogical practices.  We explore technologies of power/knowledge that normalise and regulate a perceived naturalness that they should teach PE. We also explore discourses that underpin technologies of self for transforming, monitoring and regulating their own and others' bodies. Our findings suggest senses of consistency and coherency whereby the students they were in school are immensely recognisable in the teachers they are becoming.  They also suggest that technologies of self, adopted by these pre-service teachers, are significant for realising their own salvation and are a means by which they can guide students into salvation (Foucault 1983).


Bourdieu, P. (1990). The Logic of Practice. Cambridge, Polity Press in association with Blackwell Publishers.

Bourdieu, P. (2000). Pascalian Meditations. Cambridge, Polity Press in association with Blackwell Publishers.

Connell, R. W. & Messerschmidt, J. W. (2005). "Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept." Gender & Society 19(6): 829-859.

Elliott, A. (2008). Concepts of the Self, 2nd Edition. Cambridge, Polity Press.

Foucault, M. (1983). Afterword (1983), Interview: On the Genealogy of Ethics: An Overview of Work in Progress. Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, Second Edition. H.L. Dreyfus and P. Rabinow. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press: 229-264.

Turner, B. S. (1996). The Body and Society, Second Edition. London, Sage.