Schooling bodies through physical education: insights from social epistemology and curriculum history

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Using mainly historical material from Australia, the paper seeks to understand early forms of school physical training, sport and medical inspection as specialised means of schooling bodies. The study adopts a social epistemological perspective in seeking to understand the meaning-in-use of notions such as physical training. It explores the social consequences of the practices carried out in the name of physical training, particularly in relation to shifts in the social regulation of bodies over time from a mass, externalised, and centralised form to a relatively more individualised, internalised and diffuse form. This focus on the body is of key importance for a social epistemological study of physical education because it forces us to look closely at the practices constituting physical education. © 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-487
Number of pages13
JournalStudies in Philosophy and Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • biopower
  • curriculum history
  • games
  • physical education
  • physical training
  • schooling bodies
  • social epistemology
  • sport

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