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The current working definitions of physical literacy.
In short:- As appropriate to each individual's endowment, Physical Literacy can be described a disposition in which individuals have
the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for maintaining purposeful physical pursuits throughout the lifecourse.
In further detail:-
A. Physical literacy can be described as a disposition characterized by the motivation and confidence to capitalize on innate movement/physical potential to make a significant contribution to the quality of life.
All humans exhibit this potential, however its specific expression will depend on individuals' endowment in relation to all capabilities, significantly their movement potential, and will be particular to the culture in which they live.
B. Individuals who are physically literate will move with poise, economy and confidence in a wide variety of physically challenging situations.
C. Physically literate individuals will be perceptive in 'reading' all aspects of the physical environment, anticipating movement needs or possibilities and responding appropriately to these, with intelligence and imagination.
D. These individuals will have a well established sense of self as embodied in the world. This together with an articulate interaction with the environment will engender positive self esteem and self confidence.
E. Sensitivity to and awareness of embodied capability will lead to fluent self expression through non-verbal communication and to perceptive and empathetic interaction with others.
F. In addition physically literate individuals will have the ability to identify and articulate the essential qualities that influence the effectiveness of their own movement performance, and have an understanding of the principles of embodied health, with respect to basic aspects such as exercise, sleep and nutrition.
Descriptions of physical literacy are often interpreted as if the capability is a state of being; that is an individual is or is not physically literate. This is not the case. Physical literacy is not a capability that is achieved at a particular time and then persists throughout life. All can achieve physical literacy. There are no benchmarks that have to be reached. Each individual will be on their own physical literacy journey which will be unique, with twists, turns and maybe setbacks along the way. The key issue is that teachers and significant others are supporting individuals in making progress on their individual journey. This relates both to the short definition and to the attributes, described above.
Copyright Margaret Whitehead February 2012 www.physical-literacy.org.uk
Whitehead, M.E. (Ed) 2010 Physical Literacy: Throughout the Lifecourse. London. Routledge