What is Physical Education? Why Physical Education?

We start the year with enthusiasm and we get ready with engaging and fun games. We all do it with passion and our students benefit from this play and fun. But… is this enough?

As Pill (2018) mentioned in his article, physical education doesn’t include just the physical nature, but the relations of physical training to attain a complete education and the making of it as a integrative part of individual’s life. The dimensions of physical education we emphasize are social, emotional, physical and cognitive and this is what the PSPE in the IB framework is concerned with: the individual’s well-being and the understanding of self, through the promotion and development of knwoledge, concepts, attitudes and skills.

Physical education is commonly perceived and described by students and parents as play and fun, so I decided to inquire with my cohorts into the meaning of our subject and for a better understanding of the ‘whys’. Defining ourselves as a team of learners we construct the believe that physical education is more than games and sports and we purposefully transfer the skills we learn, we encourage present and future choices and we promote cultural understanding.

Together, we identified the meanings of physical education and we formulated our learning goals that will keep us engaged and motivated throughout the entire year. It is an ongoing process and I find it essential in the transformation that we all undergo in the upcoming year.

Singh (2017) suggests in his article that fun, by its nature, does not create learning and is mostly a by-product. He proposes instead the theme Learning for Joy, which, together with Play with Purpose (Game Sense Approach), have become purposeful mantras for myself, as an educator.

Our students should enjoy the PE sessions through play and the fun must be connected to it. If this play is connected thoroughly to the planned learning we just make one step further in this becoming adventure and we are setting the bar high. Can we keep it up there?


Pill, S. 2018. What IS Physical Education? A Siendentopian Answer. Available: https://learningthroughsport.blogspot.com/2018/12/what-is-physical-education-siedentopian.html

Singh, B. 2017. Understanding, Appreciation, Learning and Fun – How Do They Connect In Physical Education? Available: https://reinventingthegame.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/understanding-appreciation-learning-and-fun-how-do-they-connect/

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