Listening to the literature: a case for centering writing in critical sociology of sport pedagogy
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article argues for a pedagogical approach to the sociology of sport and physical education that centers writing. Drawing on student reflections from my first year seminar in academic writing ‘Social Inequality and Sports,’ I demonstrate that students are more inclined to entertain the imperatives of critical pedagogies in the context of sport–the development of critical consciousness and transformative praxis–when they are empowered to take greater ownership over their own learning through intensive writing that is guided by principles of rhetorical listening. Writing assignments–including reading responses, a literature review paper, and a work of original analysis of an empirical site or text of their own choosing–that require students to listen to the academic literature on sport and social inequality challenge them to reevaluate their preconceived notions about sport, facilitating outcomes sought by critical pedagogies. Responses to an automatic writing prompt at the beginning and end of the semester reveal that this approach can yield a dramatic perspectival shift in students who enter the course with typical investments in normative understandings of sporting cultures, prompting them to leave it with a newfound openness to critique.
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