Original Research - Special Collection: Life Orientation or Life Disorientation

Values-based Physical Education for the intermediate schooling phase in a diverse South African context

Cherese F. Jones, Charl J. Roux
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 17, No 1 | a1092 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v17i1.1092 | © 2021 Cherese F. Jones, Charl J. Roux | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 May 2021 | Published: 27 September 2021

About the author(s)

Cherese F. Jones, Department of Humanities Education, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and Department of Education and Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Charl J. Roux, Department of Sport and Human Movement Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Participation in physical activity, Physical Education (PE) and sport has been recognised as a powerful learning tool for education, providing a universal language for contributing to valuable life principles. Values-based education implies that learners are educated about the aspects determining their behaviour. Values-based PE, physical activities and sport have the potential to transcend diversity and achieve cohesion, promote tolerance and trust and affirm respect between individuals and communities. The goal of PE can be to contribute to the acceptance of the infinite qualities of South Africa’s diversity and to claim the country’s diversity as a source of strength that forms a bond of a common set of values. There has been a global change in the interaction of learners with their environment; their lives are shaped by forces that do not necessarily assist them to learn and apply values. A PE programme infused with the values of Olympism and Ubuntuism can offer an investment in individual and societal improvement as the co-evolutionary interaction of these values and how they affect each learner can add to the celebration of human diversity. The question this study set out to answer was how can PE be used as a tool to teach values. Thus, the study aimed to inform the development of a values-based PE programme for the intermediate schooling phase. This qualitative study, from a constructivist paradigm, has enhanced the understanding of individuals’ cultures, beliefs and values, human experiences and situations. Purposeful sampling, of 10 intermediate phase teachers from five different public primary schools sought information-rich cases. The theoretical perspectives of the experiential learning theory were applied to teaching PE during in-service PE teacher training workshops. The process was documented by collecting data from multiple sources. Participatory action research was used, determining how data were collected, analysed and presented on an ongoing, cyclical basis. This study developed material for the intermediate phase PE curriculum that underpins the values of Olympism and Ubuntuism as core values, which were modelled by teachers and guided their work. The PE programme included key elements of and aligned with the study aims of the subject Life Skills. The outcomes of using PE as a tool to teach values propose recommendations to the Department of Basic Education of South Africa, to improve and implement a quality PE curriculum that is applicable to practice and that will optimise the chances of meeting National Curriculum Statement standards. Further research is recommended on the rest of the intermediate phase PE curriculum over the entire year, which includes other movement phenomena infused with values.


diversity; intermediate phase; Olympism; physical education; Ubuntuism; values-based education; values-based physical education.


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