The Value of Physical Literacy

At our recent workshop I presented a paper on The Value of Physical Literacy. In the short time available I covered four areas very briefly. Arguing that the scourge of promoting the intrinsic value of any form of physical activity was the unquestioned acceptance of dualism, I started the lecture by sharing a wide range of views from respected writers who advocate a monist approach.

I then looked at the intrinsic value of attention to our embodied dimension and used existential thinking alongside the concept of ‘capabilities’ to support the significance of capitalising on our motility. In the third section I looked at some practical values of physical literacy from the perspective of the concept as viewed as a capability.

Finally I argued against seeing physical activity and physical literacy as means to other ends. Here I proposed firstly that we do not need to climb on anyone else’s bandwagon, secondly that we can never prove we fulfil these goals and thirdly that none of these extrinsic goals were unique to physical literacy.

My closing comments asserted that fostering physical literacy is an end in its own right.

And that we must have the confidence to champion the unique contribution to life offered by capitalising on our embodied capability, as expressed in the concept of physical literacy.

The full lecture, handouts and references have been posted in the Resources section of the website.