Quennerstedt’s main area of research is within teaching and learning in physical education, and in health education. In his research, questions of health, body, gender, artefacts, subject content, learning processes and governing processes within educational practices has been prominent.
In Quennerstedt’s doctoral thesis in education (Learning Health), institutional prerequisites for meaning making in physical education was explored. A special focus was directed towards health issues in physical education. By drawing on John Deweys transactional approach to meaning making and a discourse theoretical position the subject content was analysed in a way that took both learning and teaching content in physical education into consideration.
In many of his current research projects Quennerstedt uses a pragmatic approach for studies of meaning-making, learning and socialisation in educational practices. The approach – built on a framework developed within the SMED research group (Studies of Meaning-making in Educational Discourses) – takes a point of departure in pragmatic curriculum theory and sociocultural perspectives on learning, and is inspired mainly by John Dewey and Michel Foucault. A special focus is directed towards communication practices and content selection within physical education and outdoor education. An ambition is to offer a language that enables studies and discussions on questions concerning how meanings are made in people’s actions. Another ambition is to make these investigations beyond assumptions of dualisms, essentialism, causality and determinism. In this perspective learning and socialisation is viewed in a communicative perspective. The studies are often built on video recorded ‘classroom’ studies and on discourse analyses of various kinds of texts.