Teaching fundamental movement skills through play-based pedagogy

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The teaching of fundamental movement skills (FMS) such as catching, throwing, running, jumping and rolling is widely accepted as the cornerstone of physical education in the primary school. However, there is limited debate about the use of different pedagogical approaches when teaching FMS. In this article, advice is offered for teachers vis-à-vis how FMS can be effectively learned, and the potential benefits of doing so for young children are revealed. A review of the traditional ‘technocratic’ teaching of physical education is given in order to subsequently highlight the possibility of learning FMS in alternative holistic and child-centred ways. Notably, play-based pedagogy is explored as a meaningful medium for skill learning, enabling children to make significant transformations in their physical, cognitive and social capacities. Several practical ideas for teaching FMS through play are provided, and tangible examples of how to differentiate these FMS learning activities are shared, with an inclusive mindset for skill teaching advocated. Recommendations are made to place play at the heart of every physical education experience, in order to facilitate inclusive practice in tandem with improved acquisition of FMS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2022


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