Developing Physical Literacy in Children

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Global and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 June 2024 | Viewed by 10445

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Education and Humanities, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham GL50 2RH, UK
Interests: physical literacy; physical education; physical activity; health and wellbeing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical literacy is increasing in popularity in both policy and practice in the fields of sport, health, education, and recreation in several countries around the globe. Whilst physical literacy is a concept applicable throughout life, significant attention has been given to providing the foundations for a full, physically active, and flourishing life.

This Special Issue will focus on how physical literacy can be developed in children and youth sharing leading research and practice from across the world and from a range of contexts. Early positive physical activity experiences have the potential to support the development of physical literacy. Sharing examples of and guidance on how to nurture physical literacy in children and youth from a range of sectors is much needed within the field. Providing physical-literacy-informed physical activity experiences in children and youth can instill a lifetime love of physical activity. We invite contributions from research and practice to share expertise in how physical literacy can be developed within the populations of children and youth.

Dr. Liz Durden-Myers
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • childhood
  • adolescence
  • physical activity
  • child development
  • health

Published Papers (7 papers)

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12 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
Role of Satisfaction with Life, Sex and Body Mass Index in Physical Literacy of Spanish Children
by Javier Urbano-Mairena, María Mendoza-Muñoz, Jorge Carlos-Vivas, Raquel Pastor-Cisneros, Antonio Castillo-Paredes, Miguel Rodal and Laura Muñoz-Bermejo
Children 2024, 11(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020181 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 681
Abstract
Physical activity (PL) is essential to achieve good health, prevent cardiovascular diseases, obesity and overweight, as well as to achieve a better quality of life. Therefore, PL could become the tool to increase the practice of physical activity among young people, thus increasing [...] Read more.
Physical activity (PL) is essential to achieve good health, prevent cardiovascular diseases, obesity and overweight, as well as to achieve a better quality of life. Therefore, PL could become the tool to increase the practice of physical activity among young people, thus increasing life satisfaction (LS) given its positive relationship with physical activity. A single-measure cross-sectional correlational study was carried out, involving 135 children aged 8–12 years from Extremadura. They were administered the SWLS questionnaire and the Canadian assessment of physical literacy (CAPL-2). Significantly higher levels of PL (p = 0.010) were found in normal-weight children compared to overweight and obese children, due to the physical competence domain score (p < 0.001). PL was directly related to SWLS (p < 0.001), but inversely related to BMI (p = 0.018). The daily physical activity behaviour domain was explained by SWLS (p < 0.001) and sex (p < 0.001). Physical competence was described by SWLS (p < 0.001) and BMI (p = 0.045). Finally, the motivation and confidence domain were only significantly associated with SWLS (p < 0.001). It was concluded that boys and girls of normal weight achieved higher levels of PL and LS than those with overweight and obesity, establishing a negative relationship of PL with BMI and positive with LS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Physical Literacy in Children)
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11 pages, 978 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Physical Literacy in 9- to 11-Year-Old Children: Reliability and Validity of Two Measurement Tools in Three Southeastern European Countries
by Petra Rajkovic Vuletic, Marijana Geets Kesic, Barbara Gilic, Miran Pehar, Edin Uzicanin, Kemal Idrizovic and Damir Sekulic
Children 2023, 10(11), 1722; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10111722 - 24 Oct 2023
Viewed by 946
Abstract
The awareness of the importance of physical literacy (PL) is globally increasing; however, knowledge of the applicability of PL measurement tools in southeastern Europe is limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of translated versions of the [...] Read more.
The awareness of the importance of physical literacy (PL) is globally increasing; however, knowledge of the applicability of PL measurement tools in southeastern Europe is limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of translated versions of the CAPL-2 and PLAYself questionnaires in 9- to 11-year-old elementary school children from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. The participants were 303 children (141 girls; all 9 to 11 years of age) from Croatia (n = 71), Bosnia and Herzegovina (n = 162), and Montenegro (n = 70), enrolled in regular elementary school. The participants were tested throughout a test–retest procedure using two PL evaluation tools, i.e., the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (shorter version, CAPL-2) and the Physical Literacy Assessment of Youth (PLAYself) questionnaires. With an intraclass correlation (ICC) of 0.70–0.80 for specific questionnaire subscales and 0.84 for the total score, PLAYself was found to be reliable. With Kappa values of 0.11–0.23 and a percentage of absolute agreement of less than 62%, CAPL-2 appeared to be less reliable. Factors related to sport participation were significantly positively associated with the PLAYself score, indicating its proper validity. In conclusion, we suggest the usage of the PLAYself questionnaire in further studies examining PL in children of a similar age in the region. Future studies in other age groups and languages are also warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Physical Literacy in Children)
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15 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
The Meaning of Physical Literacy for Instructors of Children Experiencing Disability, from an Ecological Systems Perspective
by Kyle Pushkarenko, Janice Causgrove Dunn and Donna Goodwin
Children 2023, 10(7), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071185 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
With the rapid and widespread uptake of physical literacy (PL), there is potential for instructors to devalue participation of children who experience disability. The aim of the investigation was to understand how instructors who facilitate physical activity for children experiencing disability make sense [...] Read more.
With the rapid and widespread uptake of physical literacy (PL), there is potential for instructors to devalue participation of children who experience disability. The aim of the investigation was to understand how instructors who facilitate physical activity for children experiencing disability make sense of PL, and more specifically, how these instructors bring meaning to PL. Using interpretive phenomenological analysis, six instructors engaged in individual, semi-structured interviews. The study rationale was underpinned by the conceptual framework of ecological systems theory, which provided a foundation for the research, guided the structure of the interview guide, and facilitated a reflexive interpretation of the findings. Four themes were generated: Recognizing unique embodiments, The importance of context, Beyond physical competence, and Navigating PL’s dominant discourse. The instructors’ meaning of PL, impacted by relational and environmental influences, reflected the importance of movement skill development, while also embracing diverse embodiment and pedagogical flexibility by giving value to exploratory play, partial participation, family involvement, and willingness to abandon rigid lessons plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Physical Literacy in Children)
21 pages, 995 KiB  
Article
Piloting the Virtual PLAYshop Program: A Parent-Focused Physical Literacy Intervention for Early Childhood
by Yeongho Hwang, Madison Boyd, Patti-Jean Naylor, Ryan E. Rhodes, Sam Liu, Ramiah Moldenhauer, Joshua Li, Chris Wright, E. Jean Buckler and Valerie Carson
Children 2023, 10(4), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10040720 - 13 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1461
Abstract
The PLAYshop program is a parent-focused physical literacy intervention for early childhood. This single-group mixed-methods pilot study aimed to explore the feasibility of virtually delivering and assessing the PLAYshop program. The virtual PLAYshop program included a virtual workshop, resources/basic equipment, and two booster [...] Read more.
The PLAYshop program is a parent-focused physical literacy intervention for early childhood. This single-group mixed-methods pilot study aimed to explore the feasibility of virtually delivering and assessing the PLAYshop program. The virtual PLAYshop program included a virtual workshop, resources/basic equipment, and two booster emails (3-week and 6-week follow-up). Data on 34 preschool-aged children (3–5 years) and their parents from Edmonton and Victoria, Canada, were collected via an online questionnaire, virtual assessment session, and interview at single or multiple time points (baseline, post-workshop, 2-month follow-up). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs), paired t-tests, repeated measures ANOVAs, and thematic analyses were conducted. Regarding feasibility, most parents (≥94%) were satisfied/extremely satisfied with the virtual workshop and planned to continue physical literacy activities post-workshop. The virtual assessment protocol for children’s fundamental movement skills (FMS; overhand throw, underhand throw, horizontal jump, hop, one-leg balance) was feasible, with high completion rates (>90%) and reliable scoring (ICC = 0.79–0.99). For positive changes in potential outcomes, a medium effect size was observed for children’s hopping skills (d = 0.54), and large effect sizes were observed for several parental outcomes (partial η2 = 0.20–0.54). The findings support the feasibility and potential positive outcomes of the virtual PLAYshop program. A larger randomized controlled efficacy trial is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Physical Literacy in Children)
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15 pages, 1738 KiB  
Article
A Bibliometric Analysis of Physical Literacy Studies in Relation to Health of Children and Adolescents
by Javier Urbano-Mairena, Antonio Castillo-Paredes, Laura Muñoz-Bermejo, Ángel Denche-Zamorano, Jorge Rojo-Ramos, Raquel Pastor-Cisneros and María Mendoza-Muñoz
Children 2023, 10(4), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10040660 - 30 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Regular physical activity (PA) is an essential component of maintaining good health, thereby improving the physical and psychological well-being of the population. PA performed during childhood and adolescence can have repercussions in adulthood, contributing to the prevention of chronic activities and improving quality [...] Read more.
Regular physical activity (PA) is an essential component of maintaining good health, thereby improving the physical and psychological well-being of the population. PA performed during childhood and adolescence can have repercussions in adulthood, contributing to the prevention of chronic activities and improving quality of life. Given its high relationship with PA, physical literacy could play a crucial role in valuing and participating in a physically active lifestyle, thus addressing low rates of PA participation from an early age. This bibliometric analysis provides a globalized view of physical literacy (PL) and its relationship with health, pathologies, prevention, or intervention among children and adolescents. Publications registered on Web of Science were analyzed using bibliometrics based on data from 141 documents published between 2014 and 2022, while the VOSviewer software v. 1.6.18. was used for the processing and visualization of the data and metadata. The results show an exponential growth in scientific research over the last 8 years, with an accumulation of documents in four journals and a distribution of publications spanning thirty-seven countries and regions. The network of researchers consists of 500 researchers, with the largest number of publications corresponding to 18 co-authors with at least 5 publications. The principal purpose of this research was to identify the most prolific co-authors, most-cited journals and co-authors, and the most relevant keywords. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Physical Literacy in Children)
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13 pages, 506 KiB  
Article
A Nature’s Way—Our Way Pilot Project Case Assemblage: (Re)Storying Child/Physical Literacy/Land Relationships for Indigenous Preschool-Aged Children’s Wholistic Wellness
by Kathryn Riley, Amanda Froehlich Chow, Kathleen Wahpepah, Natalie Houser, Mariana Brussoni, Erica Stevenson, Marta C. Erlandson and M. Louise Humbert
Children 2023, 10(3), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10030497 - 02 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1688
Abstract
Physical literacy (PL) is gaining more attention from educational policy-makers, practitioners, and researchers as a way to improve health and wellness outcomes for children and youth. While the development of PL is important for early years children, there is limited attention in the [...] Read more.
Physical literacy (PL) is gaining more attention from educational policy-makers, practitioners, and researchers as a way to improve health and wellness outcomes for children and youth. While the development of PL is important for early years children, there is limited attention in the literature that explores the political, cultural, and social discourses imbued in colonialism that implicate how PL is actualized in Indigenous early childhood education (ECE) contexts. This case assemblage explores how the culturally rooted, interdisciplinary, and community-based PL initiative, Nature’s Way–Our Way (NWOW), negotiated movement with three early childhood educators in the pilot project with an early childhood education centre (ECEC) in Saskatchewan, Canada. Through postqualitative approaches to research, this case assemblage adopts new materialist methodologies to show how the natural order of knowing in movement was disrupted through moments of rupture generating stories of PL to encompass radical relationality with land. As land becomes a vital and lively part of PL storying, it can function as an important protective factor for Indigenous preschool-aged children’s wholistic wellness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Physical Literacy in Children)
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15 pages, 504 KiB  
Perspective
Physical-Literacy-Enriched Physical Education: A Capabilities Perspective
by Elizabeth Durden-Myers and Gillian Bartle
Children 2023, 10(9), 1503; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10091503 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1920
Abstract
(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 [...] Read more.
(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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Physical Literacy in Children)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Aligning extracurricular activities at primary schools with physical literacy – Intervention development through the lens of analytical auto-ethnography
Authors: Louisa Schmittwilken; Katharina Pöppel; Jodi Harding-Kuriger; Johannes Carl
Affiliation: Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Department of Sport Science and Sport
Abstract: Although several important documents of education and health promotion on the international level favor practices geared toward physical literacy (PL), not all countries have yet gained experiences with this concept. Given that such experiences are also lacking for Germany, the present study adopted an analytical auto-ethnographic perspective (female pedagogue, 27 years old, previously unexperienced with PL) to describe the process of developing and refining a PL-driven intervention for extracurricular physical education (60-90 minutes) of children in grades three and four at primary schools in Bremen. The refinement process was embedded within pilot cycles 1 and 2 of the PLACE study and enriched by continuous reflexivity involving: (a) session protocols; (b) biweekly discussions with another coach delivering the same intervention; (c) weekly discussions between scientists and stakeholders of youth development (“multi-perspective panel”); (d) weekly observations and impressions during field work; and (e) group interviews with children at the end of each cycle. Despite explicit links between the theoretical PL domains and the intervention content, the character of how PL informed the intervention level was dominated by the stance and atmosphere implemented by the deliverer. Accordingly, the team revised the intervention primarily on the levels of organization (temporal schedule and sequences), instruction, and materials. After initial stages of didactically “surviving” within classes, it was increasingly possible throughout the pilot phases to integrate tasks of cognitive engagement and provide choice for students enabling individual autonomy for nurturing the PL aspiration of a person-centered approach. This study encourages teachers and stakeholders of physical education to demonstrate patience in comprehensively internalizing PL and identifying ways to efficiently translate the concept into practices and routines in line with individual’s quality standards.

Title: Evidence based Concepts toward Assessing Physical Literacy: An Exploratory Study Using Repertory Grid Analysis
Author: Shortt
Highlights: This study reinforces the importance of the personalized position and complexity of PL. This study provides PL researchers with initial groundwork for developing more person-centered conceptions of PL that can be used to design appropriate assessments for application with U.S. adolescents.

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