The knowledge, skills, and attitudes manifested in health and physical education school curricula are an arbitrary selection of that which is known and valued at a particular place and time. Bernstein’s (2000) theories of the social construction of knowledge offer a way to better understand the relationship between the production, selection, and reproduction of curricular knowledge. This article overviews contemporary knowledge in the primary field (production) upon which curriculum writers in the recontextualizing field may draw. It highlights tensions in the knowledge generated within the primary field and, using a case of the USA’s National Standards for Physical Education (NASPE), demonstrates how particular discourses become privileged when translated into curriculum documents in the recontextualizing field.
Macdonald is with the University of Queensland, School of Human Movement Studies, Brisbane, Australia, ABN 63 942 912 684; Hunter is with the School of Education, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, PMB 50 GCMC, Qld 9726.