1st Edition

Meaningful Physical Education An Approach for Teaching and Learning

    138 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    138 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book outlines an approach to teaching and learning in physical education that prioritises meaningful experiences for pupils, using case studies to illustrate how practitioners have implemented this approach across international contexts.

    Prioritising the idea of meaningfulness positions movement as a primary way to enrich the quality of young people’s lives, shifting the focus of physical education programs to better suit the needs of contemporary young learners and resist the utilitarian health-oriented views of physical education that currently predominate in many schools and policy documents. The book draws on the philosophy of physical education to articulate the main rationale for prioritising meaningful experiences, before identifying potential and desired outcomes for participants. It highlights the distinct characteristics of meaningful physical education and its content, and outlines teaching and learning principles and strategies, supported by pedagogical cases that show what meaningful physical education can look like in school-based teaching and in higher education-based teacher education.

    With an emphasis on good pedagogical practice, this is essential reading for all pre-service and in-service physical education teachers or coaches working in youth sport.

    Part I: Introducing Meaningful Physical Education

    1 The Why, What, and How of Meaningful Physical Education

    Tim Fletcher, Déirdre Ní Chróinín, Douglas Gleddie and Stephanie Beni

    Part II: Meaningful Physical Education by Teachers

    2 Meaningful Physical Education in an Individual Pursuits Unit

    Andy Vasily

    3 Meaningful Physical Education with Immigrant Newcomers

    Milena Trojanovic

    4 Committing to the Idea of Meaningful Physical Education in Teaching Practice

    Stephanie Beni

    5 Meaningful PE as a Metaphor for Teaching PE

    Alex Beckey

    Part III: Meaningful Physical Education by Teacher Educators

    6 Meaningful PETE

    Déirdre Ní Chróinín and Tim Fletcher

    7 Learning to Teach Generalist Primary Teachers How to Prioritize Meaningful Experiences in Physical Education

    Maura Coulter, Richard Bowles and Tony Sweeney

    8 Teaching Teachers about Meaningful Physical Education in a Northern Canadian Setting

    Douglas Gleddie and Jodi Harding-Kuriger

    Part IV: Moving Forward with Meaningful Physical Education

    9 Reflections on and Possibilities for Meaningful Physical Education

    Mary O’Sullivan with Michelle Alberts, Laura Boudens, Nadeen Halls, Autumn Nesdoly and Ty Riddick


    Tim Fletcher is Associate Professor in Physical Education at Brock University in Canada. His research interests are in teacher socialisation, teacher learning, and pedagogies for teaching meaningful physical education, often using self-study of teacher education practice methodology to conduct his research. He co-hosts a website and blog focused on pedagogies of meaningful physical education for practitioners.

    Déirdre Ní Chróinín is a physical education teacher educator at the primary level in the Department of Arts Education and Physical Education, Mary Immaculate College in Ireland. Her current research is focused on the promotion of meaningful experiences for children and young people in sport and physical activity settings.

    Douglas Gleddie is Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, Canada. He teaches physical education curriculum and pedagogy to undergraduate students. He also teaches graduate courses in health and physical education, reflective practice, physical literacy and research methods. His research foci include: narratives of physical education; school sport; physical literacy praxis; meaningful physical education and; teacher education.

    Stephanie Beni is a doctoral student studying physical education at Brock University in Canada. Her current research interests lie in identifying practical pedagogical strategies by which practitioners may promote a focus on meaningful experiences in physical education and physical activities contexts and in teachers’ professional learning in physical education.