Curriculum Issues in Physical and Health Education Settings

Science & Technology
Sport Science
Course Code
SPSC 4291
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
Curriculum, within the field of curriculum studies, refers to complex structures in which teaching and learning occur. This course explores curriculum in formal (K-12 physical and health education) as well as informal settings where physical education occurs (e.g., coaching, kinesiology, personal training). Contemporary issues impacting curriculum will be considered within broader socio-cultural, political and economic contexts and examined in educational and health-related settings. Varied curricular and pedagogical approaches will be explored with emphasis on critical perspectives to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in Physical and Health Education (PHE).
Course Content

Course Content
1. Understanding curriculum
     1.1. History and perspectives of curriculum (social efficiency, progressive reform, reconceptualization, as process of broader contexts)
     1.2. Curricular settings (e.g., school, coaching, personal training, kinesiology)

2. Curriculum terms and types
     2.1. Formal curriculum
     2.2. Informal curriculum
     2.3. Planned curriculum
     2.4. Lived curriculum
     2.5. Learned curriculum
     2.6. Hidden curriculum
     2.7. Null curriculum

3. Contexts influencing curriculum settings
     3.1. Social and cultural
     3.2. Political
     3.3. Economic

4. Theories and perspectives informing curriculum interpretation, analysis and enactment
     4.1. Post structuralism
     4.2. Cultural studies
     4.3. Critical theory
     4.4. Feminist theories
     4.5. Phenomenology
     4.6. Critical race theory

5. Pedagogy and curriculum
     5.1. Theories
          5.1.1. Critical pedagogies
          5.1.2. Feminist pedagogies
          5.1.3. Culturally relevant pedagogies
     5.2. Pedagogical work and curriculum

6. Identity and curriculum
     6.1. Professional identity and curriculum
     6.2. Theories of identity formation
     6.3. Learner identity and curriculum

7. Physical and health literacies
     7.1. Societal ideologies infusing PHE curriculum
     7.2. Situated in contemporary formal PHE curriculum
     7.3. Varied interpretations and uses in coaching, personal training and kinesiology

8. Curriculum models
     8.1. Teaching games for understanding (TGfU)
     8.2. Teaching personal and social responsibility (TPSR) 
     8.3. Sport-Education 
     8.4. Cooperative learning
     8.5. Movement-education
     8.6. Health-based education
     8.7. Adventure-education 
     8.8. Personalized system for instruction 

9. Gender and PHE curriculum 
     9.1. Social construction of gender
     9.2. Gender identity and performativity
     9.3. Feminist theories

10. Sexual orientation and PHE curriculum
     10.1. Heteronormativity 
     10.2. Queer theory

11. The body and curriculum
     11.1. Social construction of bodies
     11.2. Healthism
     11.3. Weight-based oppression
     11.4. Fat phobia
     11.5. Physical capital

12. Assessment and curriculum
     12.1. Types (e.g., formative and summative) 
     12.2. Role of assessment in curriculum
     12.3. Implications of assessment
     12.4. Authentic assessment
     12.5. Assessment tools (e.g., rubrics, checklists)
     12.6. Assessment methods, strategies and implications

13. Technology and curriculum
     13.1. Digital tools and implications for curriculum
     13.2. Critical perspectives of digital devices (e.g., wearables, apps)
     13.3. Digital health technologies
     13.4. Policies and ethics in educational settings

14. Ability and curriculum
     14.1. Social construction of ability (dis/ability)
     14.2. Inclusive physical education
     14.3. Universal design for learning (UDL) and differentiated instruction (DI)
     14.4. Ableism

15. Race, ethnicity, indigeneity and curriculum
     15.1. Culturally relevant pedagogy

16. Social class and curriculum
     16.1. Power and privilege
     16.2. Bourdieu's theory of capital (economic, social, cultural) and habitus

17. Contemporary issues impacting local PHE curriculum (e.g., youth culture, urban or rural settings, aging population)

18. Research literacy 
     18.1. Qualitative research methods
          18.1.1. Participant observations
          18.1.2. Semi-structured interviews 
          18.1.3. Autoethnography
          18.1.4. Document analysis
     18.2. Data analysis, interpretation and discussion
     18.3. Synthesis across research studies

19. Critical reflection and communication
     19.1. Dialogue and debate
     19.2. Facilitation of discussion
     19.3. Active listening
     19.4. Critical reflection
     19.5. Oral and written expression

Learning Activities
  1. Seminar
  2. Small and large group discussion (in-class and online)
  3. Lecture
  4. Case study
  5. Mini-talk recorded videos
  6. Asynchronous discussion boards


Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will include the following:

Seminar preparation and facilitation              20-30%

Curricular vision final project                        20-30%

Critical reflection journal or blog                   15-35%

Article summary and reaction writing            10-20%

Curricular interview or case study                   0-20%

Contribution and professionalism                   5-15%


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the successful student will be able to:

  1. Discuss and interpret the BC K-12 formal Physical and Health Education (PHE) curriculum in relation to social, political, and economic contexts.
  2. Identify and critically discuss contemporary curricular and pedagogical issues occuring in informal physical and health education settings such as coaching, kinesiology, and personal training.  
  3. Articulate and apply curricular and pedagogical theories, terms, and concepts in teaching, coaching and other health-related professional settings.
  4. Compare and contrast multiple curriculum models with the aim of highlighting strengths, limitations and considerations.
  5. Demonstrate literacy skills of summary, synthesis, analysis, and application using varied written, visual, and oral means. 
  6. Analyze and interpret educational research which explores contemporary curricular issues impacting PHE, coaching or health-related professions to address inequities, marginalization, or social injustice. 
  7. Identify challenges as well as means for promoting inclusive physical and health education, coaching or health-related educational environments in ways that respond to the interests and needs of all students, athletes, or clients.
  8. Apply qualitative research methods (e.g., interview, observation and case study) to critically explore a variety curricular issues.
Textbook Materials

Consult the Douglas College Bookstore for the latest required textbooks and materials. Example textbooks and materials may include:

  1. Research-based journal articles available through the Douglas College Library (online)
  2. Robinson and Randall (2016). Social justice in physical education: Critical reflections and pedagogies for change. Canadian Scholars Press.
  3. Provincial and National curricular documents available as public access (e.g., BC Ministry of Education website)


Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for SPSC 4291
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) No credit
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU EDUC 459 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU PHED 2XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HKIN 360 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) DOUG SPSC 4199 (3) & DOUG SPSC 4291 (3) = UFV KIN 221 (3) & UFV KIN 2XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC EPHE 2XX (1.5)

Course Offerings

Fall 2023

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New Westminster - South Bldg.
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