The national curriculum as a vehicle for promoting a healthy lifestyle and lifelong participation in physical activity

ANTHONY MAHER, Wesley Johnrose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper examines the increasing use of physical education (PE) and school sport generally, and the new National Curriculum Physical Education (NCPE) 2008 (QCA, 2007) in particular, as a vehicle for promoting a healthy lifestyle and lifelong participation in physical activity. The use of PE as a vehicle to promote good heath gained particular support amongst PE teachers and policy makers around the start of the 1970s. This inference is based largely upon the apparent increase during the 1970s and 1980s in so-called ‘lifestyles diseases’, which focused the government’s attention towards the potential role that PE could play in the prevention of health-related diseases. Against this backdrop, the NCPE 2008 aims to, amongst other things, enable young people to make informed choices about adopting a healthy, active lifestyle by providing more PE and school sport through a wider choice of activities. For those young people who are no longer in formal education, community providers in partnership with local authorities are expected to lay on affordable opportunities for post school physical activities which may help to ensure that more young people continue participating in physical activity once they leave school. The paper concludes by suggesting that the NCPE 2008 may be revised before enough time has been given to attempt to measure its albeit vague, idealistic and somewhat dogmatic intended outcomes (Sellers and Palmer, 2008). After all, the new coalition government will want to stamp their own mark on education and health, which are both at the forefront of their political agenda and, at present, PE and health remain a juxtaposed ‘political football’ that can be kicked back and forth at the whims of government.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Qualitative Research in Sports Studies
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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