Physical Literacy: From Theory to Practice Exploring Experiences of New Health and Physical Education Teachers
Tristani, Lauren Katherine
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With growing rates of child and youth obesity and overweight, school health and physical education (H&PE) has been proposed as a vehicle through which to enhance children’s healthy physical and psychosocial development (e.g., Ebbeling, Pawlak & Ludwig, 2002). Physical literacy is a concept recently introduced into Ontario’s H&PE curriculum, with the belief that it will raise the quality of H&PE (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2010), by providing students with the skills and confidence to be active for life (McKean, 2013). The purpose of this study was to examine new health and physical education teachers’ education experiences in relation to physical literacy, with a specific focus on their education and training, perceptions, and implementation of physical literacy into school H&PE settings. Participants (N =10) included 6 males and 4 females new H&PE teachers, emerging from Faculties of Education within the province of Ontario. Using grounded theory methodology (Strauss & Corbin, 1998), data analysis followed several coding procedures geared toward theory development. Results suggest that various breakdowns were occurring within the three major educational components (i.e., formal teacher education, curriculum, and teaching practicum), hindering the successful integration of physical literacy in practice. Findings are considered in relation to existing teacher education and H&PE research and a grounded theory of the educational components associated with the successful integration and implementation of physical literacy is presented. Practical implications and future research directions arising from this exploratory theory are discussed.