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Definitions, Foundations and Associations of Physical Literacy: A Systematic Review
Sports Medicine, Volume: 47, Issue: 1, Pages: 113 - 126
Swansea University Author: Lowri Edwards
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Background: The concept of physical literacy has stimulated increased research attention in recent years—being deployed in physical education, sport participation, and the promotion of physical activity. Independent research groups currently operationalize the construct differently. Objective The pu...
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Background: The concept of physical literacy has stimulated increased research attention in recent years—being deployed in physical education, sport participation, and the promotion of physical activity. Independent research groups currently operationalize the construct differently. Objective The purpose of this systematic review was to conduct a systematic review of the physical literacy construct,as reflected in contemporary research literature. Methods: Five databases were searched using the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines for systematic reviews. Inclusion criteria were English language, peer reviewed, published by March 2016, and seeking to conceptualize physical literacy. Articles that met these criteria were analysed in relation to three core areas: properties/attributes, philosophicalfoundations and theoretical associations with other constructs. A total of 50 published articles met the inclusion criteria and were analysed qualitatively using inductive thematic analysis.Results: The thematic analysis addressed the three core areas. Under definitions, core attributes that define physical literacy were identified, as well as areas of conflict between different approaches currently being adopted. One relatively clear philosophical approach was prominent in approximately half of the papers, based on a monist/holistic ontology and phenomenological epistemology. Finally, theanalysis identified a number of theoretical associations, including health, physical activity and academic performance.Conclusions: Current literature contains different representations of the physical literacy construct. The costs and benefits of adopting an exclusive approach versus pluralism are considered. Recommendations for both researchers and practitioners focus on identifying and clearly articulating the definitions, philosophical assumptions and expected outcomes prior to evaluating the effectiveness of this emerging concept.
This paper was published whilst at my previous institution, Cardiff Metropolitan University. Anna Bryant, Kevin Morgan & Anwen Jones - affiliated to Cardiff Metropolitan University.Richard Keegan - affiliated with the University of Canberra.
Physical literacy, physical education,
College of Engineering