Wednesday 22 January 2020

How To Plan for Meaningful Physical Education (MPE)

Submitted by: Jodi Harding-Kuriger, HPEC President-Elect

“What distinguishes our conceptualization of pedagogies geared toward meaningful experiences from general
descriptions of “good” PE teaching and teacher education practice is that we position personally meaningful physical
activity participation as the main priority or filter for pedagogical decision-making. The MPE approach facilitates how
young people set goals and take action in physical activity settings to align with meanings that are both personal and
intrinsic. We will develop a set of evidence-based pedagogies that support how PE teachers foster physical activity experiences that are personally meaningful for children and youth.”

Individualized planning yes, BUT common threads to consider:
List/Share the Features - be open to additions from students
Co-create a meaningfulness scale with students
Shared language (eg. head, heart, hands, & spirit)

Social Interaction
- consider groupings - dynamics, choice,
- class culture
- alone and with others
- peda-logical choices for meaning

- aim for deeper than “fun” -- surface distraction
- aim for joy/delight -- FLOW
- less adult-controlled
- less structured
- vehicle for meaningfulness NOT the primary focus

- appropriate level of challenge: relative difficulty of the task
- consider how competition is presented and valued
- focus on the challenge itself, the journey; not the outcome winning

Motor Competence
- students’ perception of motor competence is high = participation/motivation
- scaffolding for FMS, activity skills and strategies

Personally Relevant Learning
- GSA and SE
- link the learning outcomes with the activity with the current and future daily lives of students
- offer choice (equipment, groups, 
- reflect on experiences in PE
- identify the purpose, what they are learning and WHY


Teacher Reflection
- What did you change before/during/after the lesson?
- How did you gage meaningfulness?

Pedagogical Principles

Explicitly prioritise meaningful participation
- plan for meaningful activities
- explicitly share the what, how, and why with students

Model pedagogies that support meaningful participation
- make pedo-logical decisions → use teaching methods that facilitate meaningful experiences
E.g., TGfU, SE

Support engagement with features of meaningful participation as a learner and as a teacher
- make time to reflect and dialogue with the learners about the explicit features being considered during learning activities

Frame learning activities using features of meaningful participation
- share your decision making with students based on the MPE features

Support reflection on meaningfulness of physical education experiences
- make time to reflect during learning activities; allow students time to reflect during learning activities
- use a common language during discussions and reflections

Please visit: for more information on Meaningful Physical Education