PE Play Book

The PE Playbook – January 2016 Edition

Welcome to the January 2016 Edition of the PE Playbook. The PE Playbook is a review of blog posts over the past month that are specific to Physical Education or Youth Sport. Its about bringing these blog posts into a format that is easy to find, use and share. Hopefully this will result in more PE Teachers (and others) reading them and engaging with them. If you have any feedback about the presentation or content of the PE Playbook then please let me know in the comments section of this post or via @ImSporticusPrevious Editions of the PE Playbook can be found here.


Shane Pill, who is a lecturer in Physical Education Studies at Flinders University, blogs at Learning Through Sport. He may only post occasionally, but when he does it is (in my opinion) pure gold. His recent post  What is being taught in Senior PE? A reflection on Cognitive “Information Processing” and Ecological “Dynamic Systems” skill acquisition theories shares research and practice on a skill acquisition theory from ecological psychology and dynamical systems theory. The combination of these ideas provides a theoretical framework for ecological dynamics, seeing the development of performance, skill acquisition and expertise in individual and teams as complex systems. This in turns provides a rationale for non-linear pedagogies such as a constraints based approach or game sense as a way of teaching sport. Two previous posts he has written How do we design our PE programs? which explores breadth vs. depth and The importance of Play in sport “skill” learning have greatly influenced my thinking with regards to content, curriculum design and delivery. I am grateful for his willingness to engage with teachers and the time he gives freely on twitter answering my many questions. It is gratefully received.


Shifting the Baseline: Thoughts on Mature Fitness by Sherri Spelic is a wonderful post that explores the opportunity of physical activity as we get older, and not what we are able to do, but what we want to do.

A Fine Balance by Andy Vasily asks us to question our own acculturation of physical activity and sporting experiences and whether we teach what we teach and the way we teach because of those experiences, or because it is the best for the children in our care.

Action Research Project – Student Movement by Mel Hamada  is to me what all performance management models should have, action research projects for the individual that can help develop themselves and the pupils they teach, not just a set of metrics to be achieved.

Pondering Potential by Amanda Stanec shares her thoughts about activity and health promotion and whether promoting the benefits and potential of an active healthy lifestyle over the negatives of not engaging one might have a more powerful impact.

Sport Education in a Volleyball Academy class by Stephanie Melvyn is an excellent practical example of implementing a Sports Education Model and has given me some very good ideas to refine my approach. With so much research and evidence to back it up as a successful teaching approach to sport, why do not more PE Teachers use it?

Dear PE Teachers… and a follow up post to the response he received from many PE Teachers via @Positivteacha An English Teacher, who proposes that behaviour is a whole school issue. That as PE Teachers we should do more to promote and support this holistic approach to behaviour management through the withdrawal of playing school sport as a possible sanction.

What is Your Club’s D.N.A.? by Todd Beane via the Changing The Game Project website that asks what are the values, and what is the purpose of our club. These questions could be similar asked about school sport. What are your Do Not Alters?

Talent: A challenging concept that more than ever requires a more humanistic approach to support its emergence. by Mark O’Sullivan explores whether talent is a really a concept we should be talking about and promoting in youth sport. Perhaps we should be talking about learning and the willingness to learn, rather than other attributes that are more associated with ‘talent’?

The Philosophy of Science and Sport and Exercise Science by Dr Richard Bailey expertly and eloquently explores the questions: what is science, why does science matter for people working in sport, and can we tell ‘bad’ science from ‘good’? A long read, that will need to be digested several times, but well worth the effort.

Why I might banish football from PE entirely by Lee Andersen who proposes that pupils have plenty of opportunity to play football outside of the curriculum, we might consider dropping it from within the curriculum. Whilst I have a lot of sympathy for the arguments he puts forward, I don’t think it is something I can see myself doing within my context.

Confession of a PE Teacher: Breaking the mould via  challenges the stigma that is attached to being a teacher of PE and having to listen ‘to ultracrepidarian comments’ about our subject.










If that wasn’t enough reading for you then I highly recommend Simon Nainby’s Coaching Matters Round Up for January 2016 from his website Underground Athletics

By @ImSporticus

Lecturer in PE, Sport and Physical Activity. Helping others to flourish through movement.

3 replies on “The PE Playbook – January 2016 Edition”

No problems Richard. You are writing some excellent posts. Your own about cricket, mindsets and learning still has me thinking, especially with the cricket season fast approaching. Keep up the excellent work.


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