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Physically fit or physically literate? How children with special educational needs understand physical education

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journal contribution
posted on 18.05.2017 by Janine Coates
© The Author(s) 2011The role of physical literacy within physical education (PE) has become a widely debated topic in recent years. Its role in educating children about physicality through embodiment, skill acquisition and reading the environment is argued to be of great benefit to children. However, whether children understand the role of PE in the development of these competencies is not clear, and this is even truer for children who have special educational needs (SEN). Drawing on qualitative phenomenological data from 30 children in key stages two and three (7 to 14 years of age) who have SEN, this article explores notions of physical fitness and physical literacy as understood by children in PE lessons. It aims to gain insight into the ways that children understand the purpose of PE, and places these perceptions within a physical literacy framework, using the National Curriculum for PE (NCPE) as a foundation. Findings demonstrate that children with SEN perceive PE as a means for improving physical fitness, whereas concepts surrounding physical literacy appear to be lost. The article concludes by making recommendations for factoring physical literacy components more forcibly into the PE curriculum, and through initial teacher training and continued professional development.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

European Physical Education Review

Volume

17

Issue

2

Pages

167 - 181

Citation

COATES, J., 2011. Physically fit or physically literate? How children with special educational needs understand physical education. European Physical Education Review, 17(2), pp. 167-181.

Publisher

© The Authors. Published by SAGE Publications (UK and US)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2011

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal European Physical Education Review and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1356336X11413183

ISSN

1356-336X

eISSN

1741-2749

Language

en

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