Edinburgh Research Explorer

Primary physical education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDebates in Physical Education
EditorsSusan Capel, Richard Blair
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter10
Pages151-169
Edition2nd
ISBN (Electronic)9780429504365
ISBN (Print)9781138580664, 9781138586871
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2019

Abstract

While concerns about physical education in primary schools have been a regular feature of the literature for many years (Morgan and BourkE, 2008; Petrie, 2016; Warburton, 1989), there are signs that the subject area is beginning to receive more positive attention in many parts of the world (Griggs and Petrie, 2018). This upturn in fortune stems largely from the growing belief that physical education experiences during these formative years have the potential to address many of the fears voiced about children’s health, well-being, sport participation and physical activity engagement (Petrie and Lisahunter, 2011). Subsequently, large amounts of money have been spent on schemes like the Primary PE and Sport Premium in England and the Physical Education Lead Officer (PELO) project in Scotland. However, while this increased attention is to be welcomed, and may even secure physical education’s place in the primary curriculum, research has consistently reported that primary physical education is ‘broken’ and needs to be ‘fixed’ (Griggs, 2008; Morgan and Hansen, 2007; Tsangaridou, 2012). Therefore, as the status of primary physical education slowly begins to change, this chapter focuses on five key questions that will have a significant impact on its future development. The first three questions focus on the positioning and the nature of physical education within the primary school and are as follows: Is physical education in primary schools of educational value? Can physical education in primary schools prepare children for lifelong engagement in physical activity? Can physical education in primary schools connect to children’s lives?

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