Making the abstract concrete.

PE positions developing children's behaviours as either one of its main outcome or as a means to achieving other valuable aims. Either way PE openly promotes itself as 'the' subject that can enhance grit, or resilience, or cooperation or any number of 'education through movement' outcomes. A 2016 Brookings Report categorises these into 4 domains … Continue reading Making the abstract concrete.

What is “personally relevant learning” in PE?

"Personally relevant learning: Helping children make connections between PE and other pursuits outside of school is important in promoting children's ongoing commitment to an active lifestyle..." Fletcher, T., Chróinín, D. N., Gleddie, D., & Beni, S. (Eds.). (2021). Meaningful Physical Education: An Approach for Teaching and Learning. Routledge. Meaningful Physical Education (MPE) is both a vision … Continue reading What is “personally relevant learning” in PE?


"While knowledge and skills are essential for children to learn and the pedagogical practices employed are essential in this provision, skills and knowledge are only meaningful to the lived reality of a student if they are connected to how the student understands and feels about self in a way that actually makes a difference to … Continue reading Alignment

Craftsmanship as a feature of Meaningful PE.

"The journey of developing craftsmanship can be lifelong, and therefore, the craftsmanship approach can provide a sense of meaningful engagement in sport." Ronkainen, N. J., McDougall, M., Tikkanen, O., Feddersen, N., & Tahtinen, R. (2020) In my last post Stephanie Beni and I asked a number of questions about Meaningful PE (MPE) and where we … Continue reading Craftsmanship as a feature of Meaningful PE.

Novelty as a feature of Meaningful PE.

"Novelty seems to be innate, present in all cultures and life stages, and associated with a human being’s optimal functioning." González-Cutre, D., & Sicilia, Á. (2019) In my last post Stephanie Beni and I asked a number of questions about Meaningful PE (MPE) and where we might go next. One question was "What might be … Continue reading Novelty as a feature of Meaningful PE.

Where next for Meaningful PE?

"The “context part” will be very important because it will underline the promise and the limits of one’s own area of competence. This will be specialization coupled with eclectic appreciation, specialization with an ability to communicate across fields, specialization with a need to know what others are doing, specialization with an understood need to collaborate, and a readiness to do … Continue reading Where next for Meaningful PE?

Making the tacit explicit.

“That moderation visit didn’t go so well. In the debrief session the student teacher asked me what I would have done to improve the lesson. This question was about how I would have responded, in real time, to what was unfolding. It was clear that the student teacher wanted me to provide a model as … Continue reading Making the tacit explicit.

Start with Who

An incident from a Year 9 parents evening many years ago continues to inform my thinking and practice. I was just about to leave when a parent popped their head around the door to see if one of my colleagues was still there. They had already left, but I offered to talk to her about … Continue reading Start with Who

PE as a ‘knowledge rich’ subject

If the knowledge we teach in PE divorces the mind from body, thought from action, reason from meaning and the individual from the environment, at the very best we can only ever nurture a physically educatedmind but never a physically educated person. Adapted from Arnold (1991). In OFSTED's recent AfPE webinar on PE and the … Continue reading PE as a ‘knowledge rich’ subject

The Elephant and The Rider

Why do people fail to control themselves and continue to do what they know is not good for them? This is something that Jonathan Haidt ponders in The Happiness Hypothesis. Reflecting on his lack of willpower with regard to desserts and inadequate theories of rational choice and information processing, he creates the metaphor of The … Continue reading The Elephant and The Rider