Moving Forward - a Movement Centred Approach to Physical Education

James Dowling (@physedjames) is a career Physical Educator. He has worked with children aged 4-18 as well as adults for the past 25 years. James is Australian, currently living and teaching in India. Apart from also teaching in his native land, he has international PE teaching experience in England, Austria, U.A.E, Vietnam and Switzerland. He has been a PE Teacher, Head of Department, Athletic Director and PE Learning Coach. James has been presenting on General Physical Preparedness (GPP) and Movement Literacy (ML) since 2011. He consults with PE teams to introduce those strands to revamp or bolster their current curriculum.

The model of Physical Education we understand today is an evolution from the earliest origins of the subject when it was primarily various forms of gymnastics. The change towards a pursuit or practice of sports skills was an attempt to ‘de-feminise’ the subject. This shift in practice has led many to criticise our current iteration as falling short of its original goal of creating a physical understanding and development of one’s own body through movement. Research citing ‘that sport participation increases rivalrous, antisocial behaviour and does not build socially valued personal attributes’ - thus creating a social hierarchy out of a ‘physical hierarchy’ - does not paint an attractive picture for a subject as essential and well intentioned as physical education. The spreading revelation for a reconceptualized PE curriculum, coupled with the increased awareness for the need for Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD), General Physical Preparedness (GPP), Functional Movement Screening (FMS), demands the application of new models. Additionally, the popularisation of these movement literacies in modern fitness trends has spread the desire for the reintroduction of the literal model of being ‘physically educated’ beyond the extrinsic construct of sport as an application of physicality.


Participants will

  • Reflect on how their own physical / movement practices impact and direct their personal pedagogy and content.

  • Understand essential commonalities between all physical endeavours.

  • Establish and apply a movement vocabulary as a language for instruction and understanding.

  • Experience movements that can be categorised, compounded, and challenged.

  • Identify and correct movement errors in any physical context.

  • Leave with a ‘toolbox’ and resources that will add perspective and depth to current practice.


There will be no test and delegates will receive a certificate of attendance upon completion.