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