The notion of powerful knowledge was initially theorized by Young (2013) in an attempt to bring back an interest in educational research for the primary object, namely the knowledge taught and learned in school, in curriculum research. Students need powerful knowledge to gain understanding of the world and also tools to change it, see opportunities and participate in society (Young and Muller, 2013).
The concept of powerful knowledge has later been discussed and expanded by for example Deng (2015), Gericke et al (2018), Hordern (2021) and Carlgren (2019). Critique has been raised to the underlying assumption that powerful knowledge is based on a view of knowledge as technical rationality, that is, theoretical thinking as of higher value than practical ‘doing’ and also as the coordinating and supervising dimension of knowledge.
Such a view on knowledge excludes possibilities for practical-aesthetical subjects to providing students access to powerful knowledge, which has encouraged researchers to develop the concept of what instead could be powerful knowing in practical-aesthetical subjects. The aim of this article is to examine whether physical education, with a focus on movement education, can offer powerful knowing.
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