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The social construction of ability in movement assessment tools

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Anna Tidén
K. Redelius
S. Lundvall
Publicerad i Sport Education and Society
Volym 22
Nummer/häfte 6
Sidor 697-709
ISSN 1357-3322
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för kost- och idrottsvetenskap
Sidor 697-709
Språk en
Länkar doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2015.10712...
Ämnesord Physical capital, habitus, motor skills test, fundamental movement skills, physical education, motor skill competence, physical-education, preschool-children, fitness, health, perspective, future, Education & Educational Research, Social Sciences - Other Topics, Sport, Sciences
Ämneskategorier Idrottsvetenskap


This paper focuses on how ability' is conceptualised, configured and produced in movement assessment tools. The aim of the study was to critically analyse assessment tools used for healthy and typically developed children. The sample consists of 10 tools from 6 different countries. In the study, we pay special attention to content and evaluation methods. The theoretical analysis explores and discusses what kind of movement ability the tools construct. The theoretical framework is inspired by Bourdieu's concepts of habitus, capital and field which are used as analytical tools to explore how the testing processes and content shape what is regarded as ability. Our findings show both a great variation of concepts and evaluation methods and a narrow view of what is regarded as valuable to assess. The assessed movements are strongly related to traditional sports and construct a specific form of physical capital. None of the tasks assessed take place in natural outdoor environments. Open skills, rhythmical movements to music or tasks including a wider range of flexibility are also absent in the assessment tools. The explored tools and tests assess a limited number of decontextualised movements and produce a narrow view of ability'. Hence, the testing process itself often promotes a child who is physically mature and benefits those who have experience of traditional sports. In other words, the assessed taste for sport' and the embodied physical capital' construct what is considered to be legitimate knowledge in relation to movement and physical culture. Accordingly, the social construction of movement ability through assessment tools is far from a neutral concept and could affect how children see themselves and their ability'.

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