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Physical Literacy II: Dynamic Systems

Course Code: SPSC 5493
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Sport Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course uses a dynamic learning systems approach to understand the interactions of learner, task, and environment to address the pillars of physical literacy: motor competence, confidence, attitude and knowledge. Building on the course, “Physical Literacy I: Foundations,” this course delves into learning theory and constraints-led pedagogy in order to foster optimal challenge for the learner.

Course Content

1. Dynamic systems theory

1.1.   Individual constraints (Learner)

1.2.   Task constraints

1.3.   Environment constraints

2. Physical Literacy - Theoretical underpinnings

2.1.   Confidence

2.1.1.  Vygotsky – Zone of proximal development

2.1.2.  Mastery-based learner progression

2.1.3.  Social factors

2.2.   Attitude

2.2.1.  Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan)

2.2.2.  Personal and social responsibility (Hellison, Goleman)

2.3.   Knowledge

2.3.1.  Procedural knowledge of physical determinants of health

2.3.2.  Scope and sequence of core personal health/activity knowledge

2.4.   Competence

2.4.1.  Motor abilities - Fleishman

2.4.2.  Fundamental movement skills (FMS) Locomotion skills of children: walk, run, jump, hop, gallop, slide and skip, etc. Object control skills of children: throw, catch, kick, strike, punt, grasp, draw, etc. Fundamental movement patterns: body space awareness, static and dynamic balance, body roll, rotations, etc.

2.4.3.  Functional movement skills

2.4.4.  Motor Development Factors influencing motor development: direction, rate of growth, differentiation and integration, variability and readiness, critical and sensitive learning periods Gentiles classification systems to daily physical activity Principles of movement to physical activity: balance (static and dynamic), Newton’s law of inertia, action-reaction, open kinetic chain, stability, absorption and production of force, acceleration Perceptual issues: vision, attention, information processing, speed accuracy paradox Psycho-social considerations: arousal, self-esteem, social factors: race, gender, family context

3. Pedagogical considerations

3.1.   Physical literacy assessment tools

3.1.1.  Standardized vs authentic

3.1.2.  Pre- and post-assessment

3.1.3.  Assessment for learning, of learning, as learning

3.1.4.  Examples Passport for life – PHE Canada PLAY tools – Canadian Sport 4 Life (CS4L) Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL)

3.2.   Models conducive to pedagogical thinking

3.2.1.  Constraints-led pedagogy

3.2.2.  Teaching games for understanding

3.2.3.  Sport education

3.2.4.  Gentile's taxonomy of progression

3.3.   Teaching tools

3.3.1.  Body scaling

3.3.2.  Progressions

3.3.3.  Peer-based modeling (mirror neurons)

3.3.4.  Error detection and correction of basic movements

3.3.5.  Feedback: Video/visual Augmented/direct Timing Knowledge of results vs process

4. Learner considerations

4.1.   Cognitive ability and executive function

4.2.   Jean Piaget -  stages of Cognitive Development

4.3.   Motor abilities (health/fitness and coordination/stability factors)

4.4.   Socio-emotional factors

Methods of Instruction


Discussion Groups

Practical Applications:

-          Labs

-          Peer teaching

Field Observation

Peer-led Seminar

Guest Speakers



Means of Assessment

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

Microteaching 0-25%
Journals 0-30%
Article or book review 0-30%
Inquiry into practice 0-30%
Physical literacy assessment 0-30%
Total 100%

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Use dynamic systems theory to describe the interactions of teacher, task, learner, and environment in a learning moment,
2. Differentiate learning and performance using physical education examples,
3. Use constraints-led pedagogy in a practical setting to:
    3.1.    Increase motor learning affordances for a group and/or individual,
    3.2.    Increase inclusion, and
    3.3.    Meet differentiated learner needs,
4. Describe and assess specific fundamental movement patterns,
5. Create a comprehensive physical literacy assessment for a specific age of student,
6. Use self-determination theory to explain student motivation in physical education or activity,
7. Use expectancy-theory to describe how teacher feedback and expectations shape physical activity disposition and attitude, and
8. Use stages of learning theory to describe a learner’s motor development in relation to a specific task.

course prerequisites

SPSC 5391

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.