International approaches to the definition, philosophical tenets, and core elements of physical literacy: a scoping review

João Martins*, Marcos Onofre, João Mota, Chris Murphy, Rose Marie Repond, Helen Vost, Bruno Cremosini, Andjelko Svrdlim, Mojca Markovic, Dean Dudley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper addresses the inadequate understanding of the concept of physical literacy (PL), often originating from complex terminology and philosophical language used in the current literature, that discourages non-native English-speaking professionals from engaging deeper into the subject. Specifically, this scoping review seeks to identify international approaches to the definition, philosophical tenets, and core elements of PL. Multi-search databases, seminal works/reports/books, and websites were sourced and analysed. While most analysed definitions were influenced by Whiteheadian interpretations of PL, many divergences exist in the literature concerning the holistic and lifelong journey conceptions of PL. The three philosophical tenets proposed by Whitehead were found in a minority of works. More contemporary versions of PL were related to physical, psychological, cognitive, and social learning. Notions of communication and a lifelong journey also permeate some literature. Considering the plethora of recent literature on PL, we have to simplify current knowledge and terminology, making it useful to those who perform direct education and experimental research in the fields of education, sport, and public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13–30
Number of pages18
JournalProspects
Volume50
Issue number1-2
Early online date28 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • physical literacy
  • physical education
  • physical activity
  • literacy
  • learning

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