Meaningful Physical Education: What Does that Mean? Part II

In the previous post we explained what meaningful physical education means, using a definition provided by Kretchmar (2007).  In this post we will expand upon this definition by outlining some specific elements of meaningful experiences in physical education.  Again, we use Kretchmar’s (2006) work to help move our thinking forward.  He suggests that personally meaningful experiences typically involve:

  • Fun
  • Social interaction
  • Challenge
  • Motor competence
  • Delight

Although these elements may seem straightforward at first glance, each comes with its own complex set of definitions, ideas, and sub-elements (we will do some “unpacking” of the five elements in later posts).  One of the major challenges of teaching in ways that promote meaningful experiences is that we don’t know much about how to do it.  We feel that these elements above can be helpful in driving forward our understanding of how we might go about planning, implementing, and assessing physical education lessons and outcomes that prioritize meaningful experiences.

In the next few posts we will outline some of the reasons why we believe a focus on meaningful physical education is so important and so needed.

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