Risk Reduction: Recontexualizing Health As a Physical Education Curriculum

David P. Johns, Richard Tinning
2006 Quest (National Association for Physical Education in Higher Education)  
While there is suffi cient evidence to suggest that physical activity is inversely related to lifestyle diseases, researchers are far from being certain that this evidence extends to children. Nevertheless, the school physical education curriculum has been targeted as an institutional agency that could have a signifi cant impact on health during childhood and later during adulthood if individuals could be habituated to assume a physically active lifestyle. The purpose of this article is to
more » ... ne the recontextualization of biomedical knowledge into an ideology of healthism in which health is conceived as a controllable certainty and used as a pedagogical construction to transform school physical education. Using a Foucauldian perspective, we explore how the atomized biomedical model of chemical and physical relationships is constructed, reproduced, and perpetuated to service and empower the discourse and the practices of researchers and scholars. In this process the sociological or cultural aspects of public health are marginalized or ignored. As a result of this examination, alternative approaches are proposed that engage the limitations of the biomedical model and openly consider the insights that are available from the social sciences regarding what participation in physical activity means to individuals. Reducing Risk: Recontexualization of the Biomedical Discourse Curriculum change in many developed nations of the world has generated a debate encompassing a wide range of issues (Hargreaves, Leiberman, Fullan, & Hopkins, 1998). Included in this debate is the opportunity to heighten awareness by uncovering the power structures that are inevitable and the assumptions that are often made in the process of change. In this article we examine aspects of curriculum change that are currently taking place in physical education in many countries. Our attempt is made within the context of a larger debate that originated in the fi eld of health and which, in our view, has become recontextualized as a discourse that impacts on the relevancy and signifi cance of physical education in postmodern education (Johns, 2005) .
doi:10.1080/00336297.2006.10491890 fatcat:2xetptzn5bd27elzv6hzl2ohlm