Situated learning in physical education

David Kirk, Doune Macdonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

217 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we argue that a version of situated learning theory, as one component of a broader constructivist theory of learning in physical education, can be integrated with other forms of social constructionist research to provide some new ways of thinking about a range of challenges currently facing physical educators, such as the alienation of many young people from physical education. The paper begins with a brief comment on some uses of the term "constructivism" in the physical activity pedagogy literature, then provides a more detailed outline of some of the key tenets of Lave and Wenger's (1991) theory of situated learning. We then go on to show how this theory of situated learning can be applied to thinking about the social construction of school physical education, using the example of sport education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-387
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 1998


  • physical education
  • situated learning theory
  • constructivism
  • Lave and Wenger


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