Elementary Physical Education: Fitness Sessions or Whole-Child Development?

  • Timothy Scott Fletcher OISE/UT
Keywords: Physical education, Elementary teachers, Constructivism


Physical education is being positioned as an important vehicle for combating public health concerns such as increases in the rates of childhood obesity and physical inactivity. However, programs that emphasize physical fitness may neglect opportunities to develop students’ learning in cognitive, social, and emotional domains. By considering how physical education has been conceptualized in policy and in research, this paper draws on holistic education theories to argue that school physical education programs may be in danger of becoming too narrow in their focus. Several holistic approaches to physical education are presented, and their potential for providing children with positive learning experiences is discussed.

Author Biography

Timothy Scott Fletcher, OISE/UT
PhD candidate Dept. of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning, OISE/UT
Position Paper/Essai