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STOP PHOTO SHOPPING!: A VISUAL PARTICIPATORY INQUIRY INTO STUDENTS RESPONSES TO A BODY CURRICULUM Laura Azzarito PhD, Risto Marttinen MS, & Mara Simon.

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Presentation on theme: "STOP PHOTO SHOPPING!: A VISUAL PARTICIPATORY INQUIRY INTO STUDENTS RESPONSES TO A BODY CURRICULUM Laura Azzarito PhD, Risto Marttinen MS, & Mara Simon."— Presentation transcript:

1 STOP PHOTO SHOPPING!: A VISUAL PARTICIPATORY INQUIRY INTO STUDENTS RESPONSES TO A BODY CURRICULUM Laura Azzarito PhD, Risto Marttinen MS, & Mara Simon MS Teachers College-Columbia University

2 Introduction Several researchers in Physical Education (PE) pedagogy have contested current health and fitness curricula (Evans et al., 2008; Cliff & Wright, 2010; McDonald, 2011) Lack of critical education about the body in PE (Azzarito, 2010; Burrows et al., 2002; Evans et al., 2008; Fisette, 2011; Oliver & Lalik, 2004) Research dealing with body issues from a sociocultural perspective in PE is underdeveloped (Cliff & Wright 2010)

3 From Constructivist PE to a Body Curriculum Research has made significant efforts to develop theory-based curricula (Azzarito & Ennis, 2003; Dyson et al., 2004; Ennis, 2000; Singleton, 2009) Contemporary curriculum models (Siedentop, 1994; Ennis 2000) Student centered curricula Current curricula do not enable young people to reflect critically around body issues What is needed…

4 Purpose Participatory visual research Incorporate a Body Curriculum into a fitness unit Conduct research on the extent to which this curriculum enhanced students embodied learning Research Questions 1) To what extent did the Body Curriculum enhance participants self and social critical awareness of dominant media representations of the body? 2) How did participants respond to the integration of a Body Curriculum into a fitness class?

5 Visual Participatory Methodology Settings and Participants Private high school in a large urban metropolitan area in the Northeast region of the United States 60-minute class period 10 th grade class (n = 11) (i.e., 4 white females, 6 white males, 1 black male) The Body Curriculum had three specific aims Promote Body Talk Theory-based and organized around three thematic concepts: the cultural body the role of gender, sexuality, disability & race on embodied learning the role of media as powerful pedagogical sites of young peoples identities Create active pedagogical spaces in PE

6 Methods Participatory Visual Ethnography Real World setting to enhance teaching-learning process Empowerment Transformative (Johnson, 2005; Veal, 2005; McNicoll, 1999) Data Collection & Analysis Participant Visual Diaries & Reflections Multiple Formal Interviews using photo elicitation Extensive field notes Member Check Data Analysis Discourse Analysis (Rose, 2007; Van Leeuween &Jewitt, 2001)

7 Results (1) Stop Photo-shopping!": Body Work, Gender, and Media Stereotypes (2) Fitting Social Norms: I Mean I Am Pretty Fit, Pretty Muscular, Thin… (3) Critical Media Pedagogy: Moving Beyond Normative Ideals of the Body?

8 Stop Photo-shopping!": Body Work, Gender, and Media Stereotypes Samantha- I thought that they both depicted strong bodies. They were posing for a photo shoot, so it was like the stereotypical media image of a fit body… that have blond hair and blue eyes.... Like the whole point is to try to advertise something thats not really practically attainable…Im not sure its even possible…I think it does affect us. I mean, some people want to look a certain way… it just depends on the individual person, how much it means to them if they get caught up in it and try to strive towards it.

9 Samantha

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11 Stop Photo-shopping!": Body Work, Gender, and Media Stereotypes Leo- I think something that can be done to, lessen the effect is to stop photo-shopping the pictures because its very deteriorating, and nothing good can come from that besides, money for the company. Photo-shopping the pictures, is like making a picture of a body that nobody can have and then putting it up and saying, try to be like this…but I imagine in some countries with like dictators theyre like, this is the perfect man, try and be like him.

12 Leo: Red-Hulk

13 Leo Red She-Hulk

14 Stop Photo-shopping!": Body Work, Gender, and Media Stereotypes Most images were the same (Wykes & Gunter 2010) Stop Photo-shopping Students viewed stereotypical media images as unhealthy Race remained absent from their body talk (Frankenberg 1993)

15 Fitting Social Norms: I Mean I Am Pretty Fit, Pretty Muscular, Thin… Participants resisted media stereotypes as a strategy to normalize their embodiment Participants felt it was important to adhere to discourses of normal body size and shape to appear healthy and fit Physical Activity was Intrinsically related to body appearance to fit societal norms

16 Fitting Social Norms: I Mean I Am Pretty Fit, Pretty Muscular, Thin… Matthew- I mean, every day pretty much I have to have physical activity when I go home and try to do homework. I usually can't concentrate unless Ive gotten a couple of hours in... I mean I am pretty fit, pretty muscular, thin, …The lesson said if you think of yourself as strong now, you can just take a picture so that's what I did, even though Im not in shape, but you know I still think that my body is pretty strong.

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24 Fitting Social Norms: I Mean I Am Pretty Fit, Pretty Muscular, Thin… None of the participants viewed themselves negatively normal thin healthy pretty strong Challenged media Their own ideals were embodied in media stereotypes and not malleable

25 Critical Media Pedagogy: Moving Beyond Normative Ideals of the Body? Body issues matter to young people Students responded positively to the Body Curriculum Critical media pedagogy provided body talk Students embodiment of normalcy remained unchanged

26 Critical Media Pedagogy: Moving Beyond Normative Ideals of the Body? Victoria- I liked the discussions. I thought they were insightful… we had this one conversation that about watching Oprah and that other lady cross the line, then compared them to Megan Fox and Blake Lively. And realizing that theyre not fit and that theyve come out openly and said it [they never exercise], whereas Oprah and the other lady [Valerie Bertinelli], they represent the fit bodies. I think a lot of people, you know, I wouldve been one of those people who thought, oh, Blake Lively? She must exercise all the time or she must be in the gym every day but, I think it was really important for me to understand that thats not the case at all. And I think it would be nice for other people to learn that too.

27 Fit and Fat Phobia Lesson Plan

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31 Alex Alex- Well, there wasnt really, there wouldnt be enough time for both the study [class discussions] and the activities....Its just hard to do both in the hour- period because we have to dress and everything. Its just way too hard to do that.

32 Conclusion Limitations Length of unit working out OR Discussion? Lack of Journal Feedback Failed to destabilize students embodiment of the normal/abnormal body dichotomy Recommendations A longer unit Constructivist curriculum model (Ennis 2000)

33 Thank you QUESTIONS?


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