Encyclopedia of Teacher Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

The Professional Knowledge Base of Primary Physical Educators

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-1179-6_342-1


Across educational systems, physical education is recognized as having an important place within the primary school curriculum. For many countries such as England, New Zealand, and Greece, a generalist teacher will teach physical education alongside a host of other subject disciplines. Although traditionally valued as a pastorally focused role, a generalist is required to have a broad ranging knowledge across the primary age-phase (defined in this entry as 5–11 years old). The competence in which to teach physical education effectively is, therefore, often questioned. In this entry I discuss what knowledge teachers need to have in order to teach primary physical education and present a Professional Knowledge Model (PKM) (Randall 2019) that recognizes the breadth of understanding required. While critics might argue that such truths about the epistemology of teaching rarely exist, there is broad consensus that in order to plan, teach, and assess primary physical education...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Curtner-Smith, M. D. (2001). The occupational socialization of a first-year physical education teacher with a teaching orientation. Sport, Education and Society, 6, 81–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Green, K. (2010). Exploring the everyday ‘philosophies’ of physical education teachers from a sociological perspective. Sport, Education and Society, 5, 109–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hegarty, S. (2000). Characterizing the knowledge base in education. In OECD (Ed.), Knowledge management in the learning society. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  4. Jess, M., Atencio, M., & Thorburn, M. (2011). Complexity theory: Supporting curriculum and pedagogy developments in Scottish physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 16, 179–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lawson, H. A. (1986). Occupational socialisation and the design of teacher education programs. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 7, 265–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Pascual, C. (2006). The initial training of physical education teachers – In search of the lost meaning of professionalism. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 11, 69–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Randall, V. (2019). Becoming a primary physical educator. Education, 3–13, 1–14.Google Scholar
  8. Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15, 4–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Turner-Bisset, R. (1999). Knowledge bases for teaching. British Educational Research Journal, 25, 39–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EducationUniversity of WinchesterWinchesterUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emile Bojesen
    • 1
  • Vicky Randall
    • 2
  1. 1.University of WinchesterWinchesterUK
  2. 2.University of Winchester, UKWinchesterUK