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A theoretical framework for analyzing and discussing subject content in physical education that takes both learning content and teaching content into consideration is presented. For this purpose, John Dewey’s transactional approach on meaning making (Altman & Rogoff, 1987; Bentley & Dewey, 1991) as well as a discourse theoretical position (Foucault, 1988, 2002; Wetherell, Taylor & Yates, 2001) are used. On the one hand, this makes it possible to analyze the institutional content and conditions of meaning making in physical education, and on the other to discuss the content offered as one aspect of pupils’ meaning making. An empirical example of the outlined approach is also given from a previous study of local curriculum documents in Swedish physical education (Quennerstedt, 2006a, 2006b). The example illustrates how we can understand aspects of meaning making in physical education and also the research claims made possible using a transactional approach.
The author is with the Department of Health Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.