The Evaluation of Physical Literacy of Preservice Physical Educators


  • Chih-Chia (JJ) Chen Mississippi State University
  • Pamela Hodges Kulinna Arizona State University
  • Katherine E. Spring Auburn University
  • Yonjoong Ryuh Sonoma State University
  • Megan E. Holmes Mississippi State University



Physical Literacy, Physical Fitness, Physical Education Teacher Education


The term “physical literacy” has been integrated into national physical education standards. This study was designed to better

understand how preservice physical educators put physical literacy into practice and prepare to be role models within the school context. Sixty preservice physical educators (46 males, 14 females, aged 19 to 25) participated and performed multiple tests in accordance with the second edition of the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy testing battery, as well a questionnaire about their perceived physical competence. Participants had significantly poorer performance than the standard for a 12-year-old child in cardiorespiratory endurance, motor performance, and overall physical activity level. In addition, waist circumference was significantly negatively related to physical competence and physical activity level. A significant positive relationship was found between perceived physical competence and physical activity level among participants. Waist circumference size and low cardiorespiratory endurance were the areas of greatest difficulty and concern for preservice teachers. Also, there was not a significant relationship between actual competence and perceived competence. Our findings suggest a need for a review of the current teacher education curriculum to draw attention to the benefits of physical fitness and motor skills competence for physical education teachers as possible role models.

Author Biographies

Chih-Chia (JJ) Chen, Mississippi State University

Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Arizona State University

Professor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Katherine E. Spring, Auburn University

PhD Student, Department of Kinesiology

Yonjoong Ryuh, Sonoma State University

Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Megan E. Holmes, Mississippi State University

Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology