Philosophy of Physical Education

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Each and every person has a different view of what physical education really is. “Is it education in sport?” asks Siedentop “Is it fitness education? Is it social development? Is it development through risk and adventure? Is it movement? Instead,” he says, “it is all of these things – and maybe more?” (1998, p.237). Whereas Wuest and Butcher feel that physical activity is “a means to help individuals acquire skills, fitness, knowledge, and attitudes that contribute to their optimal development and well-being” (2003, p.9). I believe that both of these aspects are important when defining physical education. I feel that physical education is a means of movement and social interaction, but also an activity that will help to develop ones skills, fitness and attitudes.

Having defined physical education, this paper will now analyse the value that physical activity can have on an individual. Physical Education can be divided into two main areas: the biophysical and the socio-cultural. To begin, the biophysical benefits will be explored which include both the benefits physiologically and motorlogically. Then the three sub categories of the socio-cultural will be explored including the psychological, sociological and educational benefits of participating in regular physical activity.

Physiologically, there are many benefits to completing regular physical activity. Children with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, benefit greatly from participating in physical activity, so encouraging children from an early age to partake in activities of a physical nature will give them the best possible chance at leading a long and healthy life. According to Wuest and Butcher (2003), “Enhanced cardiovascular function is one health benefit of physical activity”. (p.256) They also mention that physical activity will help to reduce the risk of heart disease, help to strengthen the heart muscles, lower the heart rate, reduce blood pressure, increase oxygen-carrying capacity of



References: Abernethy, B., Kippers, V., Mackinnon, L. & Hanrahan, S., The Biophysical Foundations of Human Movement; 2nd edition, Macmillan, 2004. Auweele, Y., Bakker, F., Biddle, S., Durand M. & Seiler, R., Psychology for Physical Educators; Human Kinetics, Champaign, 1999 Brown, R., Today’s Active Child, Workshop Handout, HLPE 1521, Flinders University, 2005 Kirk, D., Nauright, S., Hanrahan, D., Macdonald, D. & Jobling, I., The Sociocultural Foundations of Human Movement; Macmillan, 1996. Nunan & Carter 2003, Aspects of Health and Physical Ed http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/education/DLT/2003/group6/physiological.htm, Date accessed 14/6/05 Siedentop, D., Introduction to Physical Education, Fitness and Sport, 4th edition, Mayfield, 2001. Wuest, D. & Butcher, C., Foundations of Physical Education, and Sport, 13th edition, McGraw-Hill, 1999. Wuest, D. & Butcher, C., Foundations of Physical Education, Exercise Science and Sport, 14th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2003.

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