ABSTRACT

In this chapter we set out to answer the question “Why Models-based Practice?” In doing so we seek to avoid adopting a deficit perspective and, instead, take a positive approach, arguing that physical education is too important and valuable to young people’s education for it not to be high quality. We reason that the currently dominant approach to physical education is not inclusive of many of the young people who need access most, especially when, for many, it is the only access they get to physical education and the only chance they have to develop the physical competencies and knowledge they need for health and well-being. In short, we show that multi-activity approaches are not inclusive and, as such, alternatives are needed – one of which may be Models-based Practice (MbP). In positioning MbP as a viable alternative form of physical education we describe four principles underpinning the pedagogical models that make up MbP. Pedagogical models: (1) are new organising centres for program design; (2) are design specifications for developing local programs; (3) offer a means of managing the tension between local agency and external support; and (4) require the co-construction of physical education among teachers, students and stakeholders. We conclude by suggesting that the dominant approach of multi-activity, sport technique-based programs are unreasonably expected to realise all subject matter goals or learning aspiration of physical education. In place of this approach we propose pedagogical models and MbP.