Physical Literacy Enriched Physical Education: A Capabilities Perspective

Elizabeth Durden-Myers (Lead / Corresponding author), Gillian Bartle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


(1) Background: Physical literacy is increasing in popularity across the world as a concept central to the promotion of lifelong engagement in physical activity across a multitude of sectors. The education sector has embraced physical literacy as a concept worthy of focus. Physical literacy literature is bold in its claim that physical literacy should be the foundation of physical education. The objective of this paper was to understand the value of physical literacy as the goal of physical education through the lens of the capability approach; (2) Positioning: This research adopted a post-qualitative sensibility whereby knowledge is decentered, favoring the inseparability of ethics, ontology, and knowledge (ethico-onto-epistemology); (3) Discussion: Throughout the discussion, traditional humanist examples are extended to include post-humanism perspectives to offer a more holistic and ecological appreciation of the relationship between capabilities, physical literacy, and physical education, using the ten capabilities of life, bodily health, bodily integrity, senses, imagination and thought, emotions, practical reason, affiliation, other species, play, and control over one’s environment; (4) Conclusions: The paper concludes with the recommendation that the capabilities approach offers a valuable framework for the continued justification of physical-literacy-enriched physical education, which, when aligned, can help to shape the opportunities provided for children and young people in support of their holistic development and lifelong engagement in physical activity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1503
Number of pages15
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2023


  • physical literacy
  • physical education
  • education
  • capability approach
  • philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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