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From the creation of a concept to the globalisation of physical literacyThe growth of ‘physical literacy’ from the insights gained from a PhD study to an internationally recognised concept is a remarkable journey. Advocacy developed from a small group of UK-based professionals, mainly in the ﬁeld of physical education, to a larger group of colleagues in Europe, Canada and Australia. Physical literacy is now known in very many countries and is generating a re-examination of the goal of physical activity throughout the lifecourse. Interest has also spread to other professionals in related ﬁelds such as those in coaching and the leisure industry. That physical literacy has blossomed into a world-wide topic of interest would seem to indicate that the concept is making a timely contribution to the thinking in this area. Throughout this process Margaret Talbot has been unerringly supportive and her national and international advocacy has been highly signiﬁcant throughout the course of this development. The chapter is divided into three Parts. Part one, ‘The beginnings’, will outline brieﬂy the research which formed the foundation of physical literacy and this will be put into context by setting out what was perceived as the general attitude to physical education and physical activity at the turn of the century. Also included will be mention of some of the projects and programmes that were created at this time, in many ways mirroring the developments concerning physical literacy. Part two is entitled ‘Developmental milestones since 2009’. In the main this will be presented in a series of sections showing the range of activity that developed from the initial interest in the work, namely publications, conferences and the establishment of the International Physical Literacy Association (IPLA). An example of research into an aspect of physical literacy is also outlined here, as well as a diagram setting out examples of Margaret Talbot’s advocacy in her various positions of responsibility. The ﬁnal Part, ‘Current challenges and future plans’, looks at the challenges facing the International Physical Literacy Association and a sample of future plans.
Laying the foundations for physical literacy in Wales: the contribution of the Foundation Phase to the development of physical literacyBackground: The Foundation Phase in Wales is a play-based curriculum for pupils aged 3–7 years old. Children learn through more holistic areas of learning in place of traditional subjects. As such, the subject of physical education in its traditional form no longer exists for pupils under the age of 7 in Wales. In light of the role of physical education in developing physical literacy and in particular the importance of this age group for laying the foundations of movement for lifelong engagement in physical activity, the disappearance of physical education from the curriculum could be deemed to be a concern. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the Foundation Phase as a naturalistic intervention and examine its contribution to the development of physical literacy. Participants and setting: Participants included year 1 pupils (N = 49) aged 5 and 6 from two schools in contrasting locations. A smaller group within each class was selected through purposive sampling for the repeated measures assessments (N = 18). Research design and methods: A complementarity mixed-method design combined quantitative and qualitative methods to study the Foundation Phase as a naturalistic intervention. Quantitative data were generated with the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 administered to the sample group of children from both schools as a quasi-repeated measure, the physical competence subscale of the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance and the Leuven Involvement Scale for Young Children. Qualitative data were generated throughout the study from the analysis of video and field notes through participant observation. Data from the mixed methods were analysed through complementarity to give a rich insight into pupils’ progress and experiences in relation to physical literacy. Results: Overall analysis of the data from TGMD-2 showed significant improvements in the Gross Motor Quotient and Locomotor skills from T1 to T3, but no significant improvement in object control. Data from qualitative methods were analysed to explore processes that may account for these findings. Video and field notes complement the quantitative data highlighting that children were developing their locomotor skills in many aspects of their learning. Observations using the Leuven Involvement Scale indicated that children had high levels of involvement in their learning and apparent in video and field notes was pupils’ motivation for movement. Paired sample t-tests (N = 18) conducted on the Harter and Pike perceived physical competence six-item score subscales (T1 and T3) indicated a significant difference in the mean perceived physical competence scores on the six-item scale between T1and T3. Qualitative data explored pupils’ confidence for movement in many areas of learning. Conclusion: The combination of quantitative and qualitative data indicates that the Foundation Phase is an early childhood curriculum that lays the foundations of physical literacy with the exception of aspects of the physical competence, specifically object control skills. Although these skills only contribute to psychomotor aspects of physical literacy they are strongly associated with later engagement in physical activity. The development of specific physical skills such as object control skills may need more specialist input with early childhood pedagogy teachers trained in motor development to see significant improvements.
Operationalizing physical literacy: special issue editorialPhysical literacy has been described as a "longed for concept" and has in turn gained much interest worldwide. This interest has also given rise for calls for physical literacy to be operationalized, providing clarity and guidance on developing physical literacy informed practice. Operationalizing physical literacy is crucial in moving the concept forward by providing "substance to the claims made by (physical literacy) advocates." This special issue aims to respond to calls for research to "unpack" physical literacy across a number of areas in pursuit of operationalizing physical literacy in practice. Nine articles are included within this special issue.
Physical literacy: throughout the lifecourseWhat is physical literacy? What are the benefits of being physically literate? The term 'physical literacy' describes the motivation, confidence, physical competence, understanding and knowledge that individuals develop in order to maintain physical activity at an appropriate level throughout their life. Physical literacy encompasses far more than physical education in schools or structured sporting activities, offering instead a broader conception of physical activity, unrelated to ability. Through the use of particular pedagogies and the adoption of new modes of thinking, physical literacy promises more realistic models of physical competence and physical activity for a wider population, offering opportunities for everyone to become active and motivated participants. This is the first book to fully explore the meaning and significance of this important and emerging concept, and also the first book to apply the concept to physical activity across the lifecourse, from infancy to old age. Physical Literacy - explaining the philosophical rationale behind the concept and also including contributions from leading thinkers, educationalists and practitioners - is essential reading for all students and professionals working in physical education, all areas of sport and exercise, and health.