Exploring physical education teachers ‘everyday understandings’ of physical literacy

Stephen Harvey, Shane Pill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, physical literacy (PL) has been the subject of increased publication, promotion, and speculation in physical education (PE). This research sought to understand how PE teachers interpret PL. We investigated teacher’s conceptualisations, understandings, practices, and ideas of ‘what’ PL stands for through a #Chat conversation with physical educators on Twitter. This generated qualitative data that were interpretively analysed. An ‘everyday philosophy’ of PL emerged from the physical educators’ relationship with the PL concept, alongside the notion that some use social media as a PL advocacy tool. A lack of sophistication was evident in the PE teachers understanding and operationalization of PL. We conclude that perhaps too much time and effort has been spent ‘adapting’ PL to national contexts, personal, and institutional agendas, rather than investing in the pedagogical and content knowledge of PE teachers to deliver on the concept of PL. We suggest that it is empirical research rather than academic opinionating that is needed to establish the validity of PL for PE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-854
Number of pages14
JournalSport Education and Society
Issue number8
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • everyday philosophy
  • figurational theory
  • pedagogy
  • physical literacy
  • Social media


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