How is physical literacy defined? A contemporary update

Cara Shearer, Hannah R. Goss, Lowri C. Edwards, Richard J. Keegan, Zoe R. Knowles, Lynne M. Boddy, Elizabeth J. Durden-Myers, Lawrence Foweather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Physical literacy continues to gain global momentum, yet the definition and underlying concept of physical literacy remain contested in both research and practice. This lack of clarity has the potential to undermine the operationalization of physical literacy. This paper considers the various definitions of physical literacy that are currently adopted internationally. Physical literacy experts identified seven leading groups that have established physical literacy initiatives. Although each group is unified in using the term physical literacy, there are contrasting definitions and interpretations of the concept. Common themes were identified, including the (a) influence of physical literacy philosophy, (b) core elements of physical literacy, (c) lifelong nature of physical literacy, and (d) the need to scientifically pursue a robust operationalization of the concept. We conclude by recommending that programs relating to physical literacy should provide a definition, a clear philosophical approach, and transparency with how their actions align with this approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

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    Shearer, C., Goss, H. R., Edwards, L. C., Keegan, R. J., Knowles, Z. R., Boddy, L. M., Durden-Myers, E. J., & Foweather, L. (2018). How is physical literacy defined? A contemporary update. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 37(3), 237-245. https://doi.org/10.1123/jtpe.2018-0136