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.
Cara Shearer, Hannah R. Goss, Lowri C. Edwards, Richard J. Keegan, Zoe R. Knowles, Lynne M. Boddy, Elizabeth J. Durden-Myers, and Lawrence Foweather
Lowri C. Edwards, Anna S. Bryant, Kevin Morgan, Stephen-Mark Cooper, Anwen M. Jones, and Richard J. Keegan
Introduction: Despite increases in research and implementation, physical literacy continues to be largely misinterpreted by practitioners. The purpose of this study was to devise, implement, and evaluate a professional development program that works in a primary school environment to enhance their knowledge and operationalization of physical literacy. Methods: Following a 3-month needs assessment phase, data were collected from structured observations, reflections, and semistructured interviews with the teachers, before, during, and after an introductory workshop and 6-month physical literacy intervention. Thematic analysis was used to evaluate perceptions of program effectiveness. Results: The needs assessment phase identified notable differences between teachers’ classroom and physical education practice. Results of the physical literacy workshop and intervention detailed an increase in teachers’ knowledge of, and operationalization of, physical literacy. Discussion/Conclusions: Applying established principles of effective professional development in a contextually sensitive manner was viewed as effective in enhancing primary school teachers’ knowledge and practice regarding physical literacy.