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An analysis of "The gymnastics battle at stockholm elementary schools"
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences.
2015 (English)In: Polish Journal of Sport and Tourism, ISSN 1899-1998, E-ISSN 2082-8799, Vol. 22, no 2, 106-113 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction. In order to examine the consequences that a changed view of the child had on early twentieth-century teaching in Sweden, this article analyses a battle that erupted when a proposal for new lesson content for Swedish school gymnastics was presented.

Material and methods. The study method is a comparative qualitative analysis of texts which present the views of the supporters and opponents of the proposal. The data analysis is based on a model showing five different constructions of childhood: a moment of innocence and purity; a period of lacking, but with naturally unfolding potential for, rational power; the primitive stage of human evolution; a time for redemption: saving the child from his/her sinful nature; and a period of active growth.

Results. For the proposal's supporters, the fact that they mainly regarded childhood as a time of active growth meant a form of gymnastics more suited to children and their needs as well as a desire to get them to participate and become involved. For the proposal's opponents, the notion of childhood as the primitive stage of human evolution meant that considerable space was accorded to order movements, commands, and other military elements designed to subjugate and control in order to develop and civilise pupils in accordance with the values and ideals this side represented.

Conclusions. The findings show that the views of both sides concerning which gymnastics should be practised can be linked to different notions of the child.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 22, no 2, 106-113 p.
Keyword [en]
school gymnastics, children, democratic welfare state, Ling gymnastics, text analysis
National Category
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-4146OAI: diva2:854317
Available from: 2015-09-16 Created: 2015-09-16 Last updated: 2015-09-24Bibliographically approved

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Lundquist Wanneberg, Pia
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