Critical Analysis of Canadian Physical Education Curriculum

Dianne Thomson, Lorayne Robertson


Physical education curriculum policies, like other government policies, are influenced by historical and societal contexts. This study reviews the literature on a range of approaches to physical education from traditional models to critical physical literacy, creates a policy analysis framework and uses it to examine Canadian Physical Education (PE) curriculum policies.  The policy analysis framework and discourse analysis are combined to determine the dominant messages in Canadian PE policies and to determine relative areas of emphasis.  The findings indicate that most policies include critical approaches in the policy rationale but the learning outcomes reflect primarily traditional models of physical education. This research is intended to encourage a national dialogue about PE policies in order to encourage a broader range of approaches, including more empowering approaches in PE curriculum policies.


Critical Pedagogy; Physical Education; Curriculum;

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education