Introduction to Physical Literacy

Understanding the ABC's of Movement and how to Implement Into the Classroom

Course author Steve Boyle

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  • Give a clear definition of Physical Literacy
  • Understand the history of Physical Literacy and the global
    initiatives that are taking place around it
  • See how a sports sampling approach will improve Physical Literacy
  • Consider a plan for making Physical Literacy part of the
    culture of your school, district and/or club


We are excited about your interest in taking this Physical Literacy Course from PE Central. We offer this course as the first part of a developing series known as 2-4-1 P.L.U.S.S. (Physical Literacy Using Sports Sampling). Below you will find a brief course description, the instructor's biography, and course FAQ's. We estimate that this course will take 4 hours to complete. Once you have completed it, you may request the 4 hours towards your teacher licensure recertification.

We know you will find this course valuable and enjoyable. If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected]

Best of Luck!
PE Central and Human Kinetics Professional Development

Target Audience

We have designed this course for K-12 physical education teachers as well as youth coaches and program directors who are interested in learning more about Physical Literacy (PL).

Course Purpose:

The purpose of this course is to introduce the overall concept of physical literacy and to get you thinking about how to bring it into your class, school, district or club.

Course Description:

We recognize that the earlier we can expose children to written and oral language, the better chance they will have of being successful and confident with that language as an adult. The same goes for Physical Literacy. This course is designed to give you a general understanding of what Physical Literacy is as well as how it differs from Physical Education specifically. It takes a holistic approach to the concept moving beyond promotion and into provision and should get the student thinking about how to bring it and use it in their particular community.

This course addresses the following standards:

Standard 5 - The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction. (Source: SHAPE America National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education (2014)).

Students who complete this course will have directly addressed Standard 5 with the course readings and authentic reflections.

Course Goals:

On completion of this course students will be able to:

  • give a clear definition of Physical Literacy
  • understand the history of Physical Literacy and the global initiatives that are taking place around it
  • see how a sports sampling approach will improve Physical Literacy
  • consider a plan for making Physical Literacy part of the culture of your school, district and/or club

Learning Materials:

All reading and video materials are available to read in the form of PDF files or accessible video files from within the course module. You will find them under each assignment.

Your Instructor

Steve Boyle
Steve Boyle

Steve Boyle, M.S.Ed., LC, describes it as his life mission to leave a sustainable legacy that will have every citizen in America with the ability, confidence and desire to be physically active for life. He wants physical literacy to be as commonplace - and as expected - as reading literacy and numeracy.

A former Division 1 athlete born to Irish immigrants, Steve has taught and coached throughout the United States. His diverse background in teaching, working with children with cancer, athletic coaching, life-coaching, college advising and counseling makes him extremely well rounded and lends to his tireless desire to get all people healthy and active.

The happily married father of three teenage daughters is the Founder/Director of 2-4-1 Sports whose “Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport” philosophy helped lead them to being recognized as one of 8 model programs in the United States by the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. He is also the Principal of the Crossover Consulting Group, an educational consulting and life-coaching company as well as a long time public school counselor. Steve’s “No Regrets” approach to his work as a counselor and coach has touched literally thousands throughout the U.S.A.


"I think the biggest take away I had for this course is the importance of confidence and desire on the persons ability, and therefore likely hood to continue to be physically active throughout life. I think that we as P.E. teachers play an important role in that. I can recall a time back when I was young trying to play baseball and didn't have the ability to hit fast pitch. Because I didn't receive proper instruction, feedback, or encouragement, it ultimately affected my confidence and eventually my desire to play the game and I ended up quitting. This course reminded me of that time in my life and I hope to me more sensitive of that moving forward in my teaching and coaching." - Scott

"From this course I learned what the term physical literacy truly means and how I can apply this to more and more of my students." - Beckie

"Physically Literate but it will look a little different for each of one based upon where they are at physically and where they started from. Each person has the potential to become Physically Literate with guidance and direction just as each person has the potential to become Academically Literate with the same assistance. Being Physically Literate is just as essential in life as it is to be academically literate." - Faith

"One thing I'll take away from this course is the CONFIDENCE part of the definition. It's obvious to me that a physical literate person has the skills to be active and values being active for a lifetime, but the connection between the two is confidence. Those basic skills require confidence to grow, learn, try, which in turn leads to desire to participate more. Whether that confidence is conscious or subconscious for the student, it really has to be there in order for them to apply their skills in an enjoyable way." - Sarah C.

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