I am delighted to say that Professor Margaret Whitehead has joined PEPRN and has created a physical literacy discussion board as one of the key themes on PEPRN. She has also agreed to write a short blog which can be read below. So welcome Margaret and the Physical Literacy dicusssions and I look forward to reading the ongoing discussions around this topic.
Physical Literacy by Margaret Whitehead
I have recently been alerted to an article in a Canadian Journal (‘Teacher’ August 2010) proposing the value of the concept of ‘Sport Literacy’. This identifies four distinct aspects, being to do with a) sport as an applied, practised and situated set of skills, b) sport as a body of knowledge with meaning that can be interpreted, understood and used creatively c) sport as a socially and culturally constructed ‘text’ which can be communicated and read in various forms, and d) sport as a learning process.
While I can see broadly where the writer is coming from, Sport Literacy does not sit well beside Physical literacy. Sport Literacy would seem to encompass embodied aspects of movement, elements of propositional knowledge, aspects of cultural understanding and the promotion of learning. Each is valuable in its own right but do not necessarily form a coherent whole. In fact the presentation suggests that they are distinct aspects. Physical literacy is seen to be an essentially intra-related concept, being centred on motivation, confidence and physical competence which on account of our embodied nature resonate with many aspects of our appreciation of the ourselves and the world.