Debate – What is the purpose of physical education?

As with most things concerning education, the are many different perspectives concerning the purpose of physical education.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Karen Eliot

“For a half century or more we’ve debated whether physical education should be an education of or through the physical. Should we be focusing exclusively on the body, or emphasizing social, emotional, and cognitive benefits?” (Jefferies, 2012).

“Should physical education’s purpose be to contribute to physical activity, or is physical activity the way we help people become physically educated?”  (Jefferies, 2012).

Should we be teaching sports specific skills, or more general movement based activities? Is there room for tests and paper assignments in the physical education classroom? Should participation be for marks?

What do you think?

No really, we want to know! Use the comment button in the top right hand corner of this post and have your say!


Jefferies, S. (2012, November). Eggs and Chickens: What’s Fresh and Foul in Physical Education? pelinks4u. Volume 14, Number 9. Retrieved from


3 thoughts on “Debate – What is the purpose of physical education?

  1. Movement can expose the participent to his emotional, cogntional, moral and motorical world.movement can be the first layer in developping a high level thinking( a thinking that require prediction of more then one move a head) when the lesson content is being treated rightly. In that way it is possible to produce insights who regards to the activity way of the participent and his decision making process.
    oren lalo, movement teacher

  2. For me as a student, learning physical education like sports or any exercises is a very good thing. Specially on our generation right now which is the generation of technologies. Most children just choose to sit down or lying in their beds with their gadgets. With that attitude our body will become weak and the blood circulation is not gonna be normal. We will not have a healthy mind and body. In PE we or I learn how to use my brain while doing movements like in sports. It needs coordination. PE is fun more than sitting and lying in the bed with those gadgets that can destroy our eyes and which can make us so addicted.

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