(Re)conceptualizing Curriculum in (Physical) Education: Focused on Wellness and Guided by Wisdom

  • Author / Creator
    Kilborn, Michelle L.
  • It is clear to many researchers that physical education needs significant reform (Bain, 1995; Devis-Devis & Sparkes, 1999; Fernandez-Balboa, 1997; Kirk, 2010; Lawson, 2009; Tinning, 2010). While these calls for curriculum change are warranted, how we problematize the issue of curriculum needs careful consideration. It can be argued that the content of the curriculum is not the main problem for physical education; it is how the curriculum is being lived. As teachers are generally in a position of power within the student-teacher relationship, this group is most important when considering reform in physical education curriculum. Starting with the self, as teachers we must begin to ask ourselves how the very manner of our living affects our students’ health and wellbeing.
    My research offers a different way of thinking about physical education curriculum that incorporates the concept of currere, existential perspectives and key paradigms of wisdom traditions. I believe that these concepts are the ‘missing pieces’ in establishing a more holistic and wellness-oriented approach to physical education. These philosophical concepts point to the influence that teachers have on the lives of students and how in the very manner of their living, in their being, help students live their own lives of wellness. Additionally, I suggest that who we are as researchers and how we do inquiry are intrinsically linked to the research topic.
    This study was a mutual exploration of a wellness-oriented physical education program through a wisdom-guided inquiry process that weaves together the method of currere, action research, existentialism and wisdom perspectives. As the teacher and myself were co-researchers in this project, we co-constructed meaning for a common purpose: to gain a better understanding of what it means to teach a wellness-oriented physical education curriculum. Four key ideas are offered to spark further discussion within the field. Based on the inquiry process, to teach in this way it is important that you first start with the self, reconceptualize the notion of curriculum, view teaching as a way of being, and understand children as whole beings.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.