Interrogating Assumptions of a Curriculum: Queensland Senior Physical Education Syllabus


  • Brendan SueSee University of Southern Queensland
  • Shane Pill
  • Ken Edwards



Curriculum documents, Intelligent Performer, Physical Education


This study analyzes the 2004 Queensland Physical Education (PE) Senior Syllabus to ascertain to what extent it is developing physically educated students. The 2004 QSPES is a fundamental document relevant to the teaching of PE (in Years 11 and 12 of high school) in the Australian state of Queensland. Kirk's (1988) notion of a physically educated person being an intelligent performer guides the research and frames the discussion. The 2004 QSPES syllabus was examined via content inquiry. The 2004 QSPES included concepts such as intelligent performance and complex environments, and it suggested teaching styles to meet these concept developments. It was found that the development of physically educated students was ill-defined, contradictory, and questionable. It is likely that teachers will have trouble applying, teaching, and assessing the concept of intelligent performance.

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Author Biography

Brendan SueSee, University of Southern Queensland

Dr Brendan SueSee obtained his PhD from QUT, Brisbane in 2012. He taught health and physical education, geography and history for 20 years. He is working as Lecturer in the Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts at the Springfield Campus of the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). Brendan lectures in courses related to HPE curriculum and pedagogy, His research areas include teaching styles, alignment between HPE syllabus documents and reporting, and cognition.