In this article I critically examine the dominant educational justifications for physical education (PE) with specific reference to the significance of movement pleasure. I contextualize the discussion in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum but acknowledge that the argument developed applies more broadly to Western PE. Many sport pedagogues recognize the value of movement pleasure in PE but few overtly accept that the promotion of such pleasure is of legitimate educative value. In contrast, the dominant justifications for PE rest on instrumental and developmental goals. I draw on Morgan (2006) to provide a critique of these goals and emphasize the potential educational value of movement pleasure. I conclude that attempting to understand how pleasures (and displeasures) are socially constructed and effectively managed in PE is a complex but important educational challenge.