Play with purpose: teaching games and sport for understanding

Shane Pill, Toby Priest

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    It has been suggested that physical education games and sport teaching is frequently driven by tradition and habit rather than sound pedagogy and that traditional 'teacher-centred instructional styles continue to be the most commonly observed approaches in physical education classes'. However, calls from progressive physical education and progressive pedagogists for a reconsideration of the dominant technical pedagogy and multi sport curriculum model for physical education have been consistently presented since the 1960's. Despite persistent calls for broader acceptance of innovative sport curriculum models it appears little, however, has changed in the curriculum planning and enactment of sport teaching in Australian school physical education. One avenue to redress the persistent marginalisation of physical education in curriculum time in Australia is to be clear about the contribution of sport and physical education to learning, rather than the activities which comprise the curriculum. Learning, rather than activity experiences and physical activity accumulation, is what distinguishes physical education from physical training and fitness. Learning should be, therefore, the context for physical education curriculum development decision making. The development of game and then sport literacy is an intention of Play with Purpose.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-7
    Number of pages3
    JournalActive and Healthy Quarterly
    Issue number2/3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • sport
    • teaching
    • physical education
    • sport literacy


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