Joseph J. Scott
School of Education
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme
Sport Australia released the Australian Physical Literacy Framework (APLF) in 2019 to advance a national agenda for physical literacy (PL) and specifically, clarify and promote the development of PL in Australian sport and education sectors. For teachers, this policy initiative followed a period of curriculum development guided by the Australian Curriculum for Health and Physical Education (AC: HPE). The AC: HPE makes no explicit reference to PL, but nevertheless seeks to support young people to lead active healthy lives. This study acknowledged that HPE teachers are now challenged to navigate the divide between the APLF and AC: HPE and find ways to appropriately integrate the APLF into HPE programmes. The premise for the study was that investigating conceptual ‘common ground’ between the APLF and AC: HPE in relation to PL could provide an important foundation for coherent policy enactment. Accordingly, Whitehead’s (2001) foundational conceptualisation of PL was employed as an analytic framework for examination of both policy texts. The purpose was to identify points of conceptual connection between the APLF, AC: HPE and Whitehead’s conceptualisation of PL, and thereby strategically extend the PL discourses ‘at play’ across the Australian sport and education sectors. Findings suggest that while the AC: HPE and the APLF reflect differing policy agendas, the two texts both have some points of alignment with dimensions of Whitehead’s framework. Discussion pursues the significance of distinctions and commonalities identified and addresses issues that HPE teachers and other stakeholders need to consider to promote a coherent approach to PL in Australia.
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