history pe

The new Australian HPE curriculum has been one of the options on the table to implement as part of our curricular review that I am chairing currently in my position as an HPE teacher in an international school. The fascinating part of this was the history of PE and admittedly the critical review part is thin, at best. I have been in two minds whether to share this but a couple of recent requests tipped the balance.


May 15, 2019


The development of curriculum in the field of Physical Education has shifted its intent from the first formal iterations of the discipline. This paper seeks to outline the connection between reasons for the development and shift in practice due to changing socio-cultural pressures and ideologies, outline some trends and future directions; it analyses a curricular model, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) Health and Physical Education (ACHPE) (2014) and provides some possible methodology to support the intentions of this new curriculum. For this paper, I will outline some core concepts of curriculum, and how it has been influenced, contested, reviewed, evolved and legitimised over different eras, beginning in the 1880s. I will then discuss how this evolution, with the tensions and responsibilities to each ideology have shaped the ACHPE and highlight associated pedagogies most suited to its implementation.

Core Concepts of Curriculum

Marsh (2004) puts forward six different and competing definitions of curriculum. For the purpose of this paper, I will be highlighting two of these as my experience suggests they are the most relevant to the discipline of Physical Education (some definitions do not even include PE as an area of study).

Definition 4 – The totality of learning experiences provided to students so they can attain general skills and knowledge at a variety of learning sites. The emphasis of this definition is on the learner, rather than the teacher. It takes into account the acquisition of knowledge that may be gained while engaging with the curriculum, although it is not explicitly taught or written as an outcome.

Definition 6 – Curriculum is the questioning of authority and the searching for complex views of human situations. This definition provides a postmodern view and requires a significant element of critical pedagogy, where both the learner and the educator question and examine what is traditionally taught and learned.

These definitions support the multi-faceted learning experience that goes beyond participation in physical activity, as well as the constant reflective, critical questioning and reinvention of physical education practices that have led to a reimagining of the new curriculum of the ACHPE.

Penney (2012) acknowledges this political and social construction of curriculum and that it is constantly in a process of revision and re-creation. She indicates the curriculum ought to be viewed as that what is constructed and that which is implemented. The construction of the curriculum is in a constant state of tension where stakeholders undertake discourse as to whose perspective is taken and whose needs are being met. MacDonald (2003) summarises this succinctly, “underpinning curriculum reform is a contest over what is chosen, by what processes, by whom, with what intent, and with what result” (p. 140) and adding that “struggles over curriculum and its management are, in a sense, struggles over what education is for, and whose knowledge is of most worth – learners’, parents’, teachers’, or curriculum authorities?” (p. 140).

Given these definitions, I will be examining two past era’s in the development of physical education curriculum in Australia and the UK..

  1. Pre to inter-war (1880-1939)
  2. Post war to present.

I will then put forward some directions for new physical education curriculum, that respond to the lessons learned and shifting ideologies from theirin.

Pre to Inter-war Physical Education in the UK & Australia 1880-1939

Note: For the purposes of this paper, I will use the term “pre-war” to define the late Victorian era through WWI. This will avoid confusion between the term Victorian and the Australian settlement of Victoria, which is featured in this discussion and inter-war to be the time between the two world wars.

In this period, the earliest forms of Physical Education (PE) were a significant departure from what we see in present-day schooling, particularly in western society. Whereas now the term “physical education” encapsulates sport, fitness, health, leisure and aesthetic activities, the beginning of PE in schools was an early form of gymnastics. It is important to note here that the term ‘gymnastics’ throughout history has been used interchangeably for the many forms of calisthenic, drill, expressive and Olympic gymnastics that exist. I will, for the purpose of this paper, use specifics when necessary, but will use the word ‘gymnastics’ when seeking a term for the general and more encompassing genre. In David Kirk’s inaugural lecture at Leeds University in 2006, “The Idea of Physical Education and its Discontents”, he recounts that in the United Kingdom, from the 1880s right up until the 1950s, schools used Ling Gymnastics, a practice of intricate joint movements done while free-standing, developed by a Swedish physical therapist, Per Henrik Ling. This system was also favoured by the British Navy. Physical Education during that era was a female-dominated profession and Ling gymnastics was their doctrine. The practice existed mostly in private girls’ schools but in 1909 the Board of Education officially adopted Ling Gymnastics for use in government schools throughout Britain. The practice was very prescriptive and required a very high degree of precision of movement and expertise from the instructor. The private schools had the highest quality of instructors, while the best training background and the instruction in government schools relied heavily on the manuals that were provided (Kirk 1997). Ling gymnastics continued as the predominant method until the 1930s when some practitioners began experimenting with performing the movements to music, emphasising the rhythmic qualities of the movements. This was on the basis of criticisms of the gymnastics by the gymnasts themselves, who sought a more ‘natural’ and less precise movement experience. The work of Rudolf Laban, an Austro-Hungarian dance artist and theorist, described as “the founding father of expressional dance” and one of the most important figures in the history of dance (Dorr, 2008), whose practice, thence known as educational gymnastics, gained momentum at this time, in the face of the fierce opposition of proponents of the old school gymnastics.

In Australian schools in this era, similar practices of drill gymnastics were being delivered in government schools. These practices were based on the work of a Prussian immigrant, and resident in the colony of Victoria, Gustav Techow. Techow wrote a volume in 1866 called ‘Manual of Gymnastic Exercises for the Use of Schools and at Home’. Techow was very explicit and went into great detail as to how these series of exercises should be performed, from the spacing and orientation of the participants to the count and range of motion required for each exercise, in turn.

“Shoulders and body, square to the front, the heels in line and closed, the knees straight and firmly braced back; the feet turned out so as to form an angle of sixty degrees, the arms straight down from the shoulders, the elbows turned in and close to the sides so as to bring the palms of the hands full to the front, the five fingers close together, the hips and shoulders drawn back, the chest advanced, the body straight and inclining forward so as to have its weight bearing on the fore part of the feet, the head erect without being thrown back, the eyes straight to the front. (Techow, 1866, pp. 3–4)

Techow had deeper reasons than just schooling the physical, increasing the capacity of the participant and treating the body as a school of work. He believed that the practices enforced a form of self and societal discipline.

“the development of corporeal regulation through a system of physical culture was a central, essential, indeed, constitutive, element of a well-ordered society” (Kirk, 1997).

This manner of enforcing discipline and compliance was a common feature of education at this time, with classroom subjects instructed similarly with neat lines of desks and chairs all facing front, teacher out front and a one size fits all approach instilling this form of social regulation.

Schiro and Curriculum Ideologies

In his work on curriculum ideologies, Schiro (2013) theorises four competing visions for what school curriculum should look like. There is historical competing tension between these four ideologies – or curriculum philosophies that propose different purposes for education. Schiro has named these four ideologies as the Scholar Academic ideology, the Social Efficiency ideology, the Learner Centered ideology, and the Social Reconstruction ideology. Schiro posits that the ideologies of all curriculum stakeholders (teaching colleagues, curriculum committees, school boards and communities) can and do change over time. Understanding these ideologies helps us understand the competing dynamics at play when considering curriculum. In Schiro’s introductory chapter to his book, he puts forward five reasons.

“Firstly, that educators can understand the range of ideological options available. Second, to understand the perspective of colleagues that may have competing opinions and thus allow us to work more cohesively on curricular decisions. Third, by giving us a common language to effectively frame and communicate these decisions with the stakeholders. Fourth, giving educators perspective and understand the differences between competing ideologies they can more effectively contribute to the public discourse. Fifth, by understanding societal and collegial pressures it can help mitigate and gain perspective on these pressures.” (p.3)

Schiro’s Social Efficiency in Pre to Inter-War PE in the UK and Australia

By using these ideologies as a lens to look at the earliest forms of the regimented, highly disciplined forms of physical development in schools in Australia and UK, we can see that an ideology of Social Efficiency was at play. Schiro categorised Social Efficiency as “to efficiently and scientifically carry out a task for a client (often society). Educators conceive of themselves as unbiased agents of their client whose vested interests are other than their own. Social Efficiency educators consider their vested interests to lie in how efficiently and scientifically they accomplish their task rather than in which task they accomplish (2004, p.205).” By schooling these pupils in the manner of drilling and exercising, the actual effectiveness of the program was not judged on measurements of increased physical capacity, but rather was the sociological significance that lay in the strategy of corporeal power, focussed on constructing acquiescent and productive working class bodies (Kirk 1997). As much as this form of ritualistic and militaristic approach to physical training seems antiquated and a throw-back to a by-gone era, there is certainly a thread of this which still appears in current practice. It is a popular caricature of the PE or gym teacher to be portrayed this way, especially in pop-culture. Consider Mr Woodcock from the eponymous US film (2007), Sue Sylvester from the US TV series Glee (2009-2015) and Mr Sugden from the UK movie Kes (1969).

Marsh (2004) cites Longstreet and Shane (1993) who also offer four conceptions of curriculum which are relevant to the discussion within this paper.

A society oriented curriculum: the purpose of schooling is to serve society;

Student centered curriculum: the student is the crucial source of all curriculum;

Knowledge-centered curriculum: knowledge is at the heart of curriculum;

Eclectic curriculum: various compromises are possible including mindless eclecticism.

We can also see here in their first conception where curriculum is created to serve society. Kirk goes on the mention that the actual effectiveness of these programs was questioned by commentators as early as 1917 where “the tedious monotony of elementary drill” was beginning to cause resentment rather than willing compliance as there was no room for initiative or creativity for either instructor or participant. However, regardless of the effectiveness, there were links to medical inspection designed to “map” a range of physical “defects” among students (Kirk and Twigg 1994) and this type of physical training was intended to categorise appropriate and inappropriate activity and produce specific outcomes beneficial to society at large.

The Reformation of Physical Education 1940-1960s

As in the previous era, there was beginning to be some push back as to the purpose of Physical Education (citation). In Australia in the early 1940s, the use of PE as a means of medical examination and defect identification had become separated and was then taken on by health departments rather than state education. A successful act passed through parliament in 1941 called the National Fitness Act was the catalyst for the formation of a three-year diploma course for Physical Education in most of Australia’s universities. The term ‘physical education’ had now come to be defined as a conglomeration of physical activities that was actually first identified in the Minister of Education for Victoria’s annual report in 1929 to ”include not merely formal physical exercises, but swimming, organised games, rhythmic exercises, folk dancing, practical hygiene, and remedial exercises based on the medical assessment of the needs of each child” (Kirk 1997). While games and sport were already a mainstay in government schools in Australia in the late 1920s, these were only extra-curricular and there was no games instruction within curriculum time; however, some coaching of these teams that competed in inter-school competitions, by teachers, was fairly commonplace. Crawford (1981) puts forward an argument the physical development through games and other physical activities, that began during the inter-war era and continued into the 1940s were an attempt to repair “the national physique” and perhaps in consideration of as well as boys, such concepts as confidence, enjoyment and play were beginning to be encouraged and made explicit. It was at this time a common notion that the playing of sports could benefit all, not just the socially privileged, elite or talented (Kirk, 1997). The publication of a textbook in 1946 on physical education, for use in Victorian schools which became known colloquially as The Grey Book, set in writing this new, reformed agenda

for physical education It sought to displace the hitherto previous mainstay, the drilling and exercising form of physical education. It argued that “formal exercises are artificial, unrelated to life situations, and generally lacking in interest; they also completely ignore the strong influence emotions exert on the physical well-being of the individual” (p. xii). Therefore emphasising the notion of enjoyment and enthusiasm as separate outcomes from the conformist drill and exercise regimes. Kirk notes that this student-centred approach whereby “every child has the right to play, and this right must be restored to all children who have lost it” (p. vi), then equates the games ethic with the progressivist notion of play and all children in government schools have the right to play competitive games, he adds judiciously “this probably continues to be the single most significant conjoining of concepts underpinning contemporary physical education programs in Australia, since it positioned sport as pivotal to the educational legitimation of physical education” (Kirk 1997)

The UK throughout this era also went through a paradigm shift. In the years immediately following the war, the leaving age for school was raised to 15. With the mass expansion of the secondary school system and the associated rise in the number of school-age children was a need for more PE teachers. A large number of these new recruits to the profession were men and with that influx was a differing perspective from the women delivering Ling and educational gymnastics. The experiences of the war helped shape these perspectives. The work of scientists in the USA, like T.L de Lorme (1945), who developed and utilised the training principles of progressive overload, for use with the rehabilitation of medical patients with muscular disabilities, was now in the early years of the war, being used to develop soldiers out of civilians. Circuit training was developed out of these ideas by Morgan and Adamson in Leeds during the 1950s and solidified the new thinking that related exercising and physical performance. The method was being used primarily for the training of male competitive sporting teams with the emphasis was on cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength gains, mimicking the demands of these competitive sports. The men involved in secondary school education then made the leap that therefore sport would be the best way to develop these desirable effects in their student population, far more superior than either Ling or educational gymnastics (Kirk 2006). In 1955, David Munrow, the then Director of Physical Education at Birmingham University, published a text called Pure and Applied Gymnastics. In it, he writes in a manner that is a thinly veiled challenge to the gymnasticsoriented programs of the past and applauds the radical shift towards sport as physical education.

“The men have made overt acknowledgement that other skills are as important and have ‘diluted’ the gymnastic skill content of gymnasium work so that now boys

may be seen practising basketball shots and manoeuvres, carrying out heading practices or practising sprint starting … The women, in the main, have…’diluted’ the traditional gymnastic skills by a quite different device. They have ceased both to name and to teach them. Instead, a description is given, in general terms, of a task involving apparatus and individual solutions are encouraged. A much wider range of solutions is thus possible; some may include traditional skills but many will not.” (Munrow, 1955, p.276)

Munrow is stating that the work of gymnastics can be supplanted by sports skills that are broken down, analysed biomechanically, practised and then reintroduced into the whole form of the sport. The whole/part/whole method of teaching sport and using it as a pillar of physical education was to become a long-lasting tenet for many years to come.

Schiro’s Curriculum Ideologies in the Post-War Era

In the post-war era, we can see that more than one of Schiro’s curriculum ideologies are competing or pulling at the others. The clear movement away from the Social Efficiency of drill gymnastics producing diligent and obliging citizens for the work or war-force begins to give ground to the Social Reconstruction ideology, as the rights or dynamics emerge of a new post-war society that is seeking opportunities to experience and access more from their leisure time activities through sport. The desire of these social reconstructionists is for people to gain meaning in their lives through their social and cultural experiences (Schiro 2013). This is also apparent in this era, as in both Australia and in the UK, we saw the emergence for the equity of access to sport that was previously the domain of the bourgeois. In Australia, the first world war exposed religious and class divides within society and sport was seen as a liberating activity, unlike the coercive compliance of the drilled gymnastics. The formalisation and unilateral acceptance of the 40 hour work week in the 1920s had created a significant increase in leisure time for working-class families and sport became a major fascination for them (Kirk 1992).

Another of Schiro’s ideologies coming to the fore in this era was that of the Scholarly Academic. As mentioned earlier, physical education had been legitimised in Australia through the creation of a distinct discipline in universities. Schiro describes a hierarchical relationship of an academic discipline that

“Consist of inquirers into the truth (the scholars at the top of the hierarchy), teachers of the truth (those who disseminate the truth that has been discovered by the scholars), and learners of the truth (student’s whose job it is to learn the truth so that they may become proficient members of the discipline). (Schiro, 2013)

It is clear that the changes over time in ideology for physical education demonstrate a relative dominance or decline due to what Kirk (2006) calls a ‘battleground of ideas’. This consistent push and pull has led to a middle ground of trying to ensure that as many possible physical activities are covered as possible, leading to the emergence of what is known as multi-activity practice (MAP).

The Shortcomings of the Multi-Activity Model

So emerged from this idea of liberation and expression of the body through sport and a wide range of activities, what has become known as sport-as-sport techniques (Kirk 2010). This is the student demonstration of sport-specific fundamental skills. It has grown to be the predominant pedagogical expression with a repetitive drill and skill practice as a learning experience and the overarching ‘PE method’ of the post-war era to present day (Metzler, 2011). When this approach is used to deliver many different physical activities in a learning period it can be referred to by what Alexander (2008) called ‘multi-activity programming’ (MAP). He goes on to decry the value of this approach whereby units are neither long enough, nor contain substantial skill competency and thus result in negligible transferable concepts to other units of work. Drummond & Pill (2011) also suggest that while the intent is to cover as broad a base of knowledge and skills as possible, it frequently remains disparate, unlinked and lacking in coherence as to what is available to students in their community and ‘life beyond the school gate’. Pill (2016) also highlights what was characterised by Alexander, Taggart and Medland (1993) called ‘teaching perspectives’, in that PE grading and assessment is commonly on perceptions of student effort and compliance and not on evidence of learning content of substance. Pill (2016) goes on to assert the findings of O’Connor (2006), whereby many Australian students feel that after eleven years of compulsory physical education, they have learnt what they cannot do rather than what is possible, due to MAP program design and a behaviourist teaching approach. Alexander (2013) suggests that schools ‘keep secrets’ from outsiders.

1. Due to MAP they struggle to show confirmation of PE’s evidential contribution to motor skills development;

2. Due to substantially directive and practice style pedagogy emphasising technical reproduction of stylised sport specific movements they don’t develop game performance (as this requires a conceptual- tactical focus uncommon in many MAPs);

3. That while often tested, they don’t develop fitness due to the dominance of drill and practice style tasks that invoke low levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).

I have long been of the view that PE teachers were once students in PE that adapted well to the MAP model. That is, they already had the requisite physical skills that enabled them to adapt and thrive in a range of activities and this success perpetuates an ongoing cycle of repetition of the MAP model. PE is often taught by teachers that have a background in competitive sports and games and this may be at the heart of why PE teachers struggle in an alternative approach. It is interesting to note that PE teachers from non-traditional PE backgrounds place greater emphasis on learning (Curtner-Smith & Meek, 2000).

The Creation and Context of a New Curriculum Based on Contemporary Views – ACHPE

The ACHPE has been created to deliver teaching using what MacDonald (2013) labels as a ‘futures perspective’. These predictions of what students may need in the future are of course topics of debate and certainly not an exact science. Some guidance, however, can be obtained by looking at what possible futures may exist and beginning to prepare for these. Within the rationale of the ACHPE there is more than a cursory nod to the needs and unknowns of the future.

“In an increasingly complex, sedentary and rapidly changing world it is critical for every young Australian to not only be able to cope with life’s challenges but also to flourish as healthy, safe and active citizens in the 21st century. This is a strong investment in the future of the Australian population. Technology and media will continue to transform our lives and change the way we communicate. Some health issues will endure while new ones will emerge. New forms of physical activity will become available. Students need critical inquiry skills to research and analyse knowledge and to understand the influences on their own and others’ health, safety, wellbeing and physical activity participation. They also need to be resilient, to develop empathy and to be actively engaged in their own and others’ wellbeing, using health, safety and physical activity resources for the benefit of themselves and their communities.” (ACHPE, p.4)

It is also extremely relevant to note that the movement component of the ACHPE is broken into three sub-strands.

Moving our body

  • Refining movement skills
  • Developing movement concepts and strategies

Understanding movement

  • Fitness and physical activity
  • Elements of movement
  • Cultural significance of physical activity

Learning through movement

  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Critical and creative thinking in movement
  • Ethical behaviour in movement settings (ACHPE, p.8)

The organisation of the strands in this manner is purposeful as to give relevance to all competing ‘ideas’ for physical education, yet remaining broad and conceptual without being heavily context specific and mandating which activities or topics are to be explored. These decisions are left to the discretion of the PE teacher. It is additionally pertinent that these sub-strands are aligned with an Arnoldian perspective, which is ‘in’, ‘through’ and ‘about’ movement (Arnold, 1979), a view that I discuss in a subsequent paragraph.

Social Reconstruction and what of the future of sport and physical activity?

Research from the Roy Morgan company suggests that competitive sport participation has been in a state of steady decline since 2001. Mirroring that change has been an increase in the uptake of individual activities that are done for the sake of exercise and social camaraderie (Morgan, 2017). When designing curriculum change, state, national and non-governmental bodies have had to contend with multiple and diverse interests. As is evidenced by the change in participation rates of competitive sport, congruent with the maintenance or even slight uptake in non-competitive physical activity we see a need for a curriculum that can deliver both values in participation and high performance in sport. Together with the changing nature of participation in physical activities, is an increase in the awareness and explicit teaching of the values and attitudes that go hand in hand with it.

“Sporting excellence, participation in physically active and/or healthy lifestyles, the development of competitive and cooperative behaviours that are seen to have relevance in many social (and particularly employment) contexts, concerns to dissuade young people from engagement in behaviours that are identified as “antisocial”, and crime prevention have all variously been identified as shaping political thinking about contemporary curriculum developments” Penney (2012)

It can be seen now that the discipline of physical education has seen a broadening of its scope and now is far more than keeping idle bodies moving and an academic discipline of study in that realm. It now encompasses the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills required for successful participation and achievement. A common way of compartmentalising these competing and complementary interests into what is referred to as ‘domains’, namely the psychomotor, cognitive and affective (social and emotional) (Bloom, 1956). The ACHPE has thus conceived of five propositions for dealing with the current realities of possible futures of physical education, ‘taking a strengths-based approach to health education’, ‘developing health literacy’, ‘focus on educative purposes’, ‘value movement’ and ‘include a critical inquiry approach’. Pill (2016) suggests that the challenge for the implementation of these propositions is elaborated by engaging with the new curriculum in three common directions, which he claims are supported by the literature. The directions are; Arnoldian concepts of PE, constructivist perspectives, and Models Based Practice.

An Arnoldian View

In 1979, Peter Arnold wrote Meaning in Movement, Sport and Physical Education, in it he details an education ‘in, through and about movement’. This is a very powerful construction of how students may learn in physical education. Arnold contested the view that physical education needed to be solely academically worthy and had the point of view that education ‘in movement” was itself worthy (Brown 2012). Arnold (1979) explains “education ‘in’ movement upholds the view that movement activities… are in and of themselves worthwhile” (p. 176). Examples are when an individual may ‘dance like no one is watching’, just for the sake of how it makes them feel, or a runner who goes out and just enjoys the way their body feels during this effort, not merely for the resultant benefits in cardiovascular endurance or stamina. The aim of education ‘in movement’ is for students to become aware of their bodies, expressing how activity makes them feel and finding joy in the process (Brown 2008). Education ‘through’ movement happens when students participate in an activity but it is not the activity itself that they are learning. They may directly or indirectly gain related understandings or knowledge as a result of the activity (Brown & Penney, 2012). Students may gain knowledge with social interactions, cognitive function, relationships, teamwork and morals. An example is a course which I teach called ‘Personal Fitness’. In this course, I use a group workout structure and set tasks that involve weightlifting, bodyweight and cyclical movements in a planned and varied manner. The students are learning the techniques of these movements, increasing their levels of fitness and developing positive behaviours towards regular exercise; however, in my view as instructor, more importantly, they are learning ‘through’ doing the activities, the qualities of resilience, vulnerability, ethics (as they required to monitor their own repetition count) and the social benefits of exercising in a group setting. When describing education ‘about movement’ Arnold describes movement as a subject to be studied and covers fields in the areas of “anatomy, physiology, physics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, aesthetics and philosophy” (p.169).

A Constructivist Inquiry Approach

A constructivist approach to learning follows in the ideals of John Dewey who proposed that students should engage in learning that is relevant to their own lives because it carries deeper meaning and understanding (Wiggins, 2011). Students build on prior knowledge and experiences ‘constructing’ their own knowledge of concepts, rather than having learning transmitted by other sources (Eggen & Kauchak, 2013). Pill (2016) summarises the desired teaching and learning in three parts

  1. Identify the desired achievement standard, competency or outcome;
  2. List essential questions that will guide the learner to understanding; and
  3. Focus on descriptions of evidence of learning.

Constructivism in physical education is used to address the notion of creating the physically literate individual, that Whitehead (2016) defines as “the motivation, confidence, physical competence, and knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life”. Constructivists are concerned with the learner and addresses the unique backgrounds and experiences that they have. To look at constructivism through the lens of Schiro, I can see very powerful links to the learner-centered ideology of curriculum development, whereby the needs of society or academics take a back seat to the needs of the individual. Schiro states that

“Learner-centered educators believe people contain their own capabilities for growth, are the agents who must actualise their own capabilities, and are essentially good in nature. In addition, people are viewed as the source of content for the curriculum; their ends are considered to be the appropriate ends for the curriculum”

The tenets of growth, meaning and the learner are thus the core of this approach and the teacher must have clear expectations and learning outcomes which are coherent and planned from the guiding documentation.

Models Based Teaching

Following trends from the United Kingdom national curriculum, it has been suggested that teachers move away from a direct ‘teacher-centered’ pedagogy (Curtner-Smith, Todorovich, McCaughtry and Lacon, 2001). Metzler (2011) suggests that a movement toward a models based practice (MBP) of physical education be applied. The type of model selected should be relevant and carefully selected for the appropriate learning intentions for each of the domains (psychomotor, cognitive or affective). A model of PE identifies tight alignment between learning outcomes, educational design and pedagogical enactment, and subject content (Metzler, 2011) Pill (2016) puts forward three models that may deliver best, the intentions of these learning domains. The first is a model developed by American Daryl Siedentop called the Sports Education model (SEM) (Siedentop, Hastie & Van der Mars, 2012). SEM includes increased technical skills in its aims but goes much further with tactical, historical, cultural, ritual, traditional, organisational, social and motivational learning aims when delivering different sports.

The second is by choosing one of the tactical models of understanding games. Teaching Games for Understanding, Play Practice (Launder, 2013) or Games Sense models utilise a whole-part-whole methodology whereby seek first an understanding of the game through a tactical perspective and derive movement and strategic decisions that allow for more successful participation in the selected sport. (Giffen, Oslin, Launder, 2006). The third is expression is one of Health Promoting PE, whereby the value of movement for the benefit of overall health, is interwoven into the fabric of the PE curriculum. The intention is that the students will learn, value and practice activities that enhance health and wellbeing in the present and the future (Pill, 2016).


It is clear from this history of physical education that movement, integral to who and what we are as human beings, has evolved as a valued component of schooling. It is of significant value that the manner of the education of movement has been contested and evolved continuously as these opportunities for the subject to change have increased its legitimacy. The ideologies that Schiro puts forward as lenses to view how curriculum is created are useful to view for how this could be a linear progression from era to era in physical education history, from social efficiency to scholarly academic to learner centered to social reconstruction, however the reality is not like that. It should be viewed that these ideologies continually co-exist and are forces that continually pull in each direction. The value of a healthy society is indisputable and the Social Efficiency of enhancing physical health should remain a stated aim along side recognising that movement and the physical sciences are subjects worthy of subjects of study in themselves (Scholar Academic). The challenges that lay ahead for the subject and the successful delivery of the ACHPE curriculum are to keep the subject Learner Centered with students constructing their own meaning and relevance from the concepts and contexts with which they engage and ensuring we practitioners use critical pedagogy to ensure that is evolving with the needs of individuals and the society in which we live (Social Reconstruction).


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