Physical Education Didactics PPUFRIL30

Course Objectives

Aims and target areas

The course qualifies candidates to teach gymnastics in primary and secondary schools, and physical education in secondary schools. The objective is to train skilled teachers who have mastered and are able to reflect on both the practical field and the relevant theoretical aspects. Consequently, the target areas for this course will be closely related to specific applications to the four educational levels:

  • Primary school
  • Lower secondary school (5th-7th grades)
  • Lower secondary school (8th-10th grades)
  • Upper secondary school

With regards to each of these educational levels, the course will focus on the following aspects: approaches to physical education and the subject’s distinct character, development and legitimisation, curricula at the various levels, organisation of teaching, assessment and supervision of pupils and research and development activities related to the field as outlined in the relevant curriculum from the Ministry of Education and Research.

Course Description


Human beings are designed for movement. Small children develop quickly and we stimulate them to exploit their potential. They first learn to crawl diagonally, then they learn to stand, and it’s not long before they take their first hesitant steps. Crawling, hopping, jumping and running are basic human skills that are important to a child’s overall development. We encourage children to develop their movement skills, and we think it is a fine thing when children are active and strongly coordinated. Then the child starts school and is systematically taught to sit still. Children with a great need of movement, or who greatly enjoy movement, are tamed and learn discipline. Some children do not learn this discipline and become a ‘problem’ in the discipline-oriented school; others learn it all too quickly and become physically inactive; others manage to combine the joy of participating in movement activities, while managing to adhere to periods of inactivity. Once a child has learnt to sit still, it is not unusual to regard them as being listless. Why are young people so inactive we may ask? We have taught them to be this way. We have not listened to the child and what he/she is ready for, or to what opportunities for movement development young people really want.

Of course, reality is more nuanced than the above description, but the paradoxes inherent in such a description are nevertheless of great relevance. Physical Education as a school subject is part of a larger educational context, both in and outside of the school, and may contribute greatly to stimulating the overall development of each individual. Those of us who work within the subject field can contribute to recognising movement as a personal form of expression, playing, expressing oneself in movement and the joy of mastering challenges in free play and teamwork.

Physical Education Didactics at Telemark University College aims to relate to practice as far as possible. The practice aspect is also related to theoretical perspectives, discussion and reflection, but it is the field of practice that determines the focus of the study. If, in addition, we adopt the belief that learning is active then the students in the Physical Education Didactics course will learn to be good teachers in Physical Education through active participation in relation to practice.

Learning Methods

The course at Notodden places the subject in context and is organised around the following four target areas (themes):
. Play
. Adapted teaching
. The discipline - disciplinary/interdisciplinary aspects
. Outdoor activities
Each theme is intended to form a basis for subject specialisation, theoretical and practical approaches and individual studies.
Each of the four themes corresponds to 6 ECTS. In addition, students will complete course assignments in the form of written articles. These articles will be individual efforts. Each written article corresponds to 3 ECTS.
The course requires a high degree of student participation. If we are serious in our claim that teaching requires active initiative, then we must assume that the students will also become actively engaged. The course assignments are a fundamental part of the course. The approach known as problem-based learning (PBL) will pervade our working methods. We will also, in some situations, approach what is known as ‘investigative learning’. We will raise questions and acquire experience. We cannot always expect to find ‘textbook’ answers, since there are always more questions than answers. Our objectives lie more in the direction of stimulating independence, cooperation and practical competence. Improving understanding of the subject and recognising overall approaches and interdisciplinary opportunities, while practising adapted-learning techniques, are also important. This will require, among other things, that students participate in drafting assignments within a given framework; that there is dialogue rather than monologue; and that guidance and seminars will predominate over ordinary lectures. This also implies that some of the syllabus texts will be chosen in advance and that other syllabus texts will be selected by the students.
Students’ work
Each of the four target areas includes two student assignments: 1) course assignment for written submission and 2) subject didactics training assignment, which students should plan, execute and evaluate individually or in groups. The subject didactics training assignments will be completed in connection with the students’ practice periods.
Students who have 30 ECTS credits in Physical Education must write a subject article in relation to two of the four target areas, each comprising 3 ECTS. In relation to the other two target areas students must submit a reflection note without the scientific requirements expected in the completion of the articles.
Students must also complete a subject didactics training assignment in relation to the target areas; they must submit a written plan beforehand and an evaluation after carrying out the assignment.
Theme 1: Play
Written article/reflection note:
Alternative 1: Students formulate an assignment question and then complete the assignment.
Alternative 2: Physical Education for grades 1-4, Curriculum (LK-06): Main area: Activity in various movement environments, Basic skills in the subject and competence aims after 4th grade. Consider these elements in the curriculum and discuss them from the perspective of play.
Subject didactics training assignment:
Plan, implement and evaluate a play session as the main theme for a target group in the school.
Theme 2: Adapted teaching
Subject article/reflection note:
Alternative 1: Provide a description of the sport of climbing and how it is practised as an outdoor activity and sport in Norway today.
Alternative 2: In the Curriculum, LK06, Physical Education for grades 5-7 is divided into two topics: Sports activities and dance, and outdoor life. Discuss which adjustments should be made so that a particular sport/branch of athletics/various outdoor activities will be suited to children with varying needs and different levels of maturity, and so that the training may contribute to the aims of LK-06. Use climbing or another sport as an example.
Alternative 3: Students formulate an assignment question and then complete the assignment.
Subject didactics training assignment:
Plan, implement and evaluate a session which involves the clear adaptation of a sport discipline / outdoor life activity to a defined target group in the school.
Theme 3: The discipline - disciplinary/interdisciplinary aspects
Written article/Reflection note
Alternative 1: Describe a movement culture which includes diversity of expression, and discuss, on the basis of the movement culture’s characteristics, the potential for interdisciplinary work.
Alternative 2: Discuss the role of the subject in the curriculum and the possibilities which the curriculum provides for interdisciplinary cooperation in which physical education/sport is included.
Alternative 3: Formulate an assignment question related to the theme and then complete the assignment.
Subject didactics training assignment:
Plan, implement and evaluate a winter activities’ session: skating, sledging, skiing and/or board activities, and where there is the possibility for interdisciplinary links to youth culture / lifestyle clearly emerges.
Theme 4: Outdoor activities
Subject article/Reflection note
Alternative 1: Discuss the relationship between sport and outdoor activities from a historical perspective.
Alternative 2: Consider outdoor activities as they are described in the curriculum. Discuss the pedagogical potential associated with outdoor activities.
Alternative 3: Formulate an assignment question within the field of outdoor activities and then complete the assignment.
Subject didactics training assignment:
Plan, implement and evaluate a trip, possibly a camping trip, in the countryside with a clearly defined subject perspective related to outdoor life for a school class.
Subject seminar
All the students will participate in presentation activities at the subject seminar for PPU-Physical Education. The student will select one of four target areas for the presentation theme at the subject seminar. Students will prepare presentations for the seminar related to a theme. The presentation manuscript must be submitted.

Assessment Methods

A final individual grade will be awarded, where the continual assessment counts for 40% and the final examination, 60%. The 6-hour final examination will be given a lettered grade.
Continuous assessment is made on the basis of the submitted subject articles, each of which will receive a graded mark.
The subject seminar, reflection notes, and the subject didactics training assignments will be assessed as pass/fail.
All the course assignments must receive passing marks before students will be allowed to sit the final examination.
A single grade is entered on the diploma, graded from A to F, where A represents the highest grade, and E the lowest passing grade. Each part of the assessment must receive a passing grade in order for the candidate to receive a final passing grade for the course.
Please refer to Telemark University College’s examination regulations for further information.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Ian Harkness <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 01/04/2011