The Concept of Physical Literacy

Published: April 25, 2015

British Journal Teaching of Physical Education – 2001
Margaret Whitehead

This paper introduces the concept of Physical Literacy and poses a series of questions in relation to the further development of the concept. These are:-

  • Is the concept universal, or is it culturally grounded? Should we be trying to describe a physically literate individual in UK, or anywhere in the world?
  • Is the concept age related? Should we refer to an end state achieved by an adult – whatever that means – or do we need to create a concept that can be unpacked at different stages of life – infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age?
  • Where do the physically challenged fit in- those with a physical and/or another disability?
  • How far should we include, what could be called for short, dexterity? Should we confine ourselves to movement involving larger muscle groups – for want of a better description?


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