Physical Literacy: A Journey of Understanding and Development
Physical education has been identified as one of the most opportune ways to develop physical literacy, and Whitehead (2010) notes the crucial role teachers play in developing and fostering physical literacy. Little is known about the knowledge of teachers with regards to physical literacy, however there has been some literature demonstrating that several teachers of physical education do not fully understand physical literacy. In addition, physical literacy has been explicitly defined and integrated into many provincial physical education curricula. Despite this recognition of the importance of physical literacy in curricula development, little empirical data exists to demonstrate how to develop physical literacy through physical education. Only a handful of studies have conducted physical literacy interventions in physical education. In this dissertation, I examine teachers’ understanding of physical literacy, physical literacy and physical education, and the impact of a physical literacy intervention in physical education on students’ physical literacy. Because of the teaching context in the province, both specialists and generalists were sought to participate in this dissertation research. Three studies were designed to explore gaps in the literature regarding physical literacy and physical education. Results suggest further work is required to alleviate confusion surrounding physical literacy so that teachers can effectively develop physical literacy through physical education classes and help children develop physical literacy to participate in physical activity throughout their lifespan. Findings also indicate a range of teachers’ understanding of physical literacy. More work is needed to help establish best practices for developing students’ physical literacy through physical education.
physical education, teachers, curriculum
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)