TEACHING THE ART OF HEALTHY LIVING: A GENEALOGICAL STUDY OF H-PE AND THE MORAL GOVERNANCE OF APPRENTICE CITIZENS

McCuaig, Louise A. (2008). TEACHING THE ART OF HEALTHY LIVING: A GENEALOGICAL STUDY OF H-PE AND THE MORAL GOVERNANCE OF APPRENTICE CITIZENS PhD Thesis, School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author McCuaig, Louise A.
Thesis Title TEACHING THE ART OF HEALTHY LIVING: A GENEALOGICAL STUDY OF H-PE AND THE MORAL GOVERNANCE OF APPRENTICE CITIZENS
School, Centre or Institute School of Human Movement Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2008-01-01
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Tinning, Richard I.
Hunter, Ian R.
Subjects 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Formatted abstract
Contemporary notions of good citizenship and proper living have become intimately related to the pursuit of good health. Consequently, modern states have devised programs of education and training that endeavour to provide apprentice citizens with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to enhance their own and others health and wellbeing. These strategies, deployed through institutions such as schools, contribute to the moral regulation of subjects, focusing as they do upon the moral and ethical practices of the self. Contemporary Health and Physical Education (H-PE) claims to have an explicit and significant role to play in this endeavour. Further, recent H-PE research suggests the H-PE profession values its social and moral education role, believing the field has something unique to offer in this regard as a result of its special; teaching and learning environments, subject matter and caring teacher-student relationships (Armour & Jones, 1998). Nonetheless, this literature has failed to provide adequate support for the profession’s social and moral education claims, with the profession’s researchers challenging scholars to pursue more theoretical and empirical support regarding the role of H-PE as a moral enterprise.
This thesis provides an alternative response to this challenge, drawing upon the theoretical and analytic tools provided by Foucault to provide a genealogical study of H-PE as a technology of moral governance, one in which young people are incited to engage in a contemporary art of healthy living. I present this genealogical undertaking of H-PE in two stages. Stage one, “Governing the Art of Living”, establishes the critical foundations of my H-PE genealogy in which I document the constitution, transformation and reconstitution of ethical regimes concerning bodily pleasures within Ancient Greek and Christian social contexts. I then draw more specifically on the work of Hunter (1994), to demonstrate the strategies by which these prestigious technologies concerning the pleasurable body were to emerge within the classrooms of mass schooling. In stage two of this genealogy, I trace the emergence and transformation of these ethical practices within twentieth century programs of H-PE, providing an analysis of the curriculum reform activity surrounding the design and implementation of three Queensland H-PE syllabuses. In each of these case studies I deploy a genealogy of subjectification heuristic to reveal the problematizations, mode of incitement, technologies and telos of each era, which comprise the ethical training objectives for H-PE students and their teachers.
Drawing on this genealogical study, I argue that H-PE’s capacity to operate as a mechanism of social and moral training relies not on any one special dimension, but through the orchestrated deployment of its subject matter, learning environments and caring teachers, as the definitive governmental technologies of the H-PE apparatus. Here I contend that programs of H-PE are undertaken in response to the problematizations of selves, in particular those problematics surrounding the actions and behaviours of the body. These body problematizations provide the dominant strategic function of the H-PE apparatus. As an apparatus that makes one see and speak (Deleuze, 1992), H-PE involves the deployment and dissemination of hermeneutic and heuristic devices of bodily interpretation within specially devised learning environments that are designed to incite bodily confessions. In this manner, H-PE “classrooms” function as modern day confessionals in which teachers deploy a sanctioned expertise to extract body confessions from their students, interpret their meaning, diagnose underlying or inner truths, and devise suitable interventions. Consequently, as “listener” and guide, H-PE teachers are afforded the opportunity to decode and recode knowledge extracted from the H-PE confessional to monitor and shape the progress of apprentice citizens in the art of healthy living.
In conclusion, I suggest that Foucault’s pastoral power notion provides new insight into the moral and ethical work conducted by caring teachers on behalf of the state. In constituting themselves as agents of pastoral power, I subsequently explore the unintended, and I contend “dangerous”, outcomes of H-PE teacher’s caring practices. Here I suggest the H-PE profession could undertake to critically interrogate the knowledge-power nexus deployed by teachers and expertsi within H-PE contexts, to interpret and normalize bodies according to specific truth regimes. Interrupting and challenging these body knowledges through programs of teacher education and professional development represents a significant opportunity to respond to the dangers posed by caring teaching.

Keyword Health education, physical education, moral education, care, governmentality, teaching, ethics

 
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Created: Fri, 13 Jun 2008, 19:34:11 EST by Noela Stallard on behalf of Library - Information Access Service