Fundamental Movement Skills: An Important Focus

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 Deakin University
  • | 2 University of South Carolina
  • | 3 University of Newcastle
  • | 4 Ghent University
  • | 5 University of Jyväskylä
  • | 6 Macquarie University
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Recent international conference presentations have critiqued the promotion of fundamental movement skills (FMS) as a primary pedagogical focus. Presenters have called for a debate about the importance of, and rationale for teaching FMS, and this letter is a response to that call. The authors of this letter are academics who actively engage in FMS research.


We have answered a series of contentions about the promotion of FMS using the peer reviewed literature to support our perspective.


We define what we mean by FMS, discuss the context of what skills can be considered fundamental, discuss how the development of these skills is related to broader developmental health contexts, and recommend the use of different pedagogical approaches when teaching FMS.


We conclude the promotion of FMS is an important focus in Physical Education (PE) and sport and provide future research questions for investigation.

Barnett and Lander are with the Faculty of Health, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Stodden is with the Department of Physical Education & Athletic Training, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Cohen, Smith, Lubans, Miller, and Morgan are with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition and the Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Newcastle NSW, Australia. Lenoir is with the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Iivonen and Laukkanen are with the Department of Sport Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland. Dudley is with the Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Brown is with the Faculty of Health, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Lisa M. Barnett at