Physical Literacy: Throughout the Lifecourse, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Physical Literacy

Throughout the Lifecourse, 1st Edition

Edited by Margaret Whitehead


236 pages

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Paperback: 9780415487436
pub: 2010-03-25
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  • What is physical literacy?
  • What are the benefits of being physically literate?

The term ‘physical literacy’ describes the motivation, confidence, physical competence, understanding and knowledge that individuals develop in order to maintain physical activity at an appropriate level throughout their life. Physical literacy encompasses far more than physical education in schools or structured sporting activities, offering instead a broader conception of physical activity, unrelated to ability. Through the use of particular pedagogies and the adoption of new modes of thinking, physical literacy promises more realistic models of physical competence and physical activity for a wider population, offering opportunities for everyone to become active and motivated participants.

This is the first book to fully explore the meaning and significance of this important and emerging concept, and also the first book to apply the concept to physical activity across the lifecourse, from infancy to old age. Physical Literacy – explaining the philosophical rationale behind the concept and also including contributions from leading thinkers, educationalists and practitioners – is essential reading for all students and professionals working in physical education, all areas of sport and exercise, and health.


"This valuable and insightful book brings coherence and clarity to a complex area of enquiry and reflects the experience of physical educators and movement practitioners", Louise Costelloe, Movement, Dance and Drama journal.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Concept of Physical Literacy 3. The Philosophical Underpinning of the Concept of Physical Literacy 4. Motivation and the Significance of Physical Literacy for Every Individual 5. Physical Literacy, Physical Competence and Interaction with the Environment 6. Physical Literacy, the Sense of Self, Relationships with Others and the Place of Knowledge and Understanding in the Concept 7. The Physical Self and Physical Literacy 8. Physical Literacy and Obesity 9. Physical Literacy and the Young Child 10. Physical Literacy and the Older Adult Population 11. Physical Literacy and Individuals with a Disability 12. Physical Literacy and Issues of Diversity 13. Promoting Physical Literacy Within and Beyond the School Curriculum 14. Physical Literacy and Learning and Teaching Approaches 15. Physical Literacy, Fostering the Attributes and Curriculum Planning 16. Conclusion and the Way Ahead

About the Editor

Margaret Whitehead has spent her career in physical education, teaching and lecturing. Her study of existentialism and phenomenology confirmed her commitment to the value of physical activity for all. She has developed the concept of physical literacy over the past ten years and presented on the topic worldwide.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Physical Education and Youth Sport

The Routledge Studies in Physical Education and Youth Sport series is a forum for the discussion of the latest and most important ideas and issues in physical education, sport, and active leisure for young people across school, club and recreational settings. The series presents the work of the best well-established and emerging scholars from around the world, offering a truly international perspective on policy and practice. It aims to enhance our understanding of key challenges, to inform academic debate, and to have a high impact on both policy and practice, and is thus an essential resource for all serious students of physical education and youth sport.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Physical Education
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports