Assessing physical literacy in health and physical education

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This paper utilises Bernstein's theorising of curriculum and pedagogical relations to analyse Physical Literacy (PL) assessment with implications for the field of Health and/Physical Education (H/PE). It acknowledges the significance of assessment for what knowledge and skills are valued in PL and in turn, H/PE. PL takes different forms and is assessed in a range of ways. Bernstein's concepts of classification and framing are used to analyse six PL assessment tools identified through a systematic review of literature. Findings suggest that current PL assessment tools mainly feature strong classification and framing, pointing towards enactment of PL that both tightens and narrows curriculum and pedagogic possibilities. Examples are also identified with weaker classification and framing. We conclude that PL and its assessment, could have a role to play in opening up the domains considered important for lifelong and life wide participation, across schooling and community, individually tailored to accommodate student ownership and voice. Or not.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-179
Number of pages24
JournalCurriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • assessment
  • Bernstein
  • health and physical education
  • physical education and sport pedagogy
  • Physical literacy

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