Through physical education: What teachers know and understand about children’s movement experiences

Trent Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this chapter is to present findings from a research project that aimed to uncover teacher understandings and conceptions of children’s subjective and ‘intrinsic’ movement experiences and associated meaning-making of such experiences within the context of school physical education. Subjective, ‘intrinsic’ meaning of movement experiences has not received due recognition within the physical education context. Movement is basic to bodily experiences and is at the core of the practice of physical education. A socio-ecological approach would suggest that to produce quality physical education, teachers need to understand and plan meaningful educational endeavours. Thus children’s subjective intrinsic experiences will help them understand their feelings, sensory experiences and ‘place in the world’. Eight specialist physical education teachers working in government secondary colleges were interviewed using semi-structured questions about their students subjective movement experiences, the contribution of their teacher education program to their understanding of this, and how their curricula and teaching skills could be developed in this domain in the future. Analysis of the results has indicated that most physical education teachers interviewed have a global and superficial understanding and knowledge of the concepts related to children’s subjective movement experiences, although their ability to articulate these is clouded by dominant scientific expressions. Additionally, teachers intimated that their personal experiences in physical activities provided insight into how some groups ‘felt’ when participating in physical education. Implications for physical education teacher education (PETE) unit and program development are drawn, as well as suggestions for ongoing physical education professional learning opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Socioecological Educator: A 21st Century Renewal of Physical, Health, Environment and Outdoor Education
EditorsBrian Wattchow, Ruth Jeanes, Laura Alfrey, Trent Brown, Amy Cutter-Mackenzie, Justen O'Connor
Place of PublicationThe Netherlands
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789400771673
ISBN (Print)9400771665, 9789400771666
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Physical education
  • Subjective movement experiences
  • Teacher understandings

Cite this