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Physical Literacy in Canada

PHE Canada Passport for Life and Canadian Sport for Life PLAYTools Assessment Rubrics 

Passport for Life terminology and assessments are consistent with the Canadian Sport for Life physical literacy movement and with their Long-Term Athlete Development model. It is important that various sectors involved in enhancing the lifestyles of our children and youth be aligned. 

However, Passport for Life’s accomplished level is not consistent with PLAY’s proficient level. For the PLAY tool, the proficient level is anchored at the top of the scale by a “perfect” rendition or expert execution of the task being assessed. Whereas, Passport for Life’s accomplished level depicts an execution of the task that simply exceeds the age and developmentally expected level (i.e. better than acquired). This type of rubric is consistent with delivery of educational curricular objectives—“meeting versus exceeding educational expectations.” In the sport context, there is a need to be able to differentiate between adequate or competent (entry level) and proficient (expert).

PHE Canada: Passport for Life

PHE Canada has created a new program to aid physical and health education teachers foster in children an active, healthy lifestyle that will last a lifetime. Passport for Life focuses on the development of physical literacy of children—a foundation of physical and health curricula across this country. Passport for Life employs assessments of active participation, life skills, movement and fitness skills. Passport for Life is currently designed for children from grades 3 to 9, with future expansions planned for K to grade 2, and grades 10 to 12. Passport for Life assessments are used for child-centred goal setting over the scholastic year, facilitated by teachers and fostered by parents.
Passport for Life uses a four-point scoring rubric (see below) for assessment of movement and fitness elements. Four-point scoring rubrics are commonplace in education settings. The curricular-based goal is to have all children attain the Acquired level.

Emerging         Developing            Acquired         Accomplished

Canadian Sport for Life: PLAY Tools

The Canadian Sport for Life movement uses the following rubric in their Physical Literacy Assessment of Youth (PLAY) toolkit that includes objective assessment of children in movement skills and tasks.

The rubric uses a nested assessment matrix, where the assessor first determines if the participant is in the developing or acquired category—that is, the participant does or does not have the skill essentials. Then, following that determination the assessor categorizes into sub-classes within each major category: initial or emerging for the developing category; competent or proficient for the acquired category. The PLAY tool originally used a visual analogue scale embedded into the anchoring terminology (described above) permitting rapid assessment over a 100 point range. Recently, the PLAY tool was simplified to also use a four-point marking approach. 

  • Developing
    • Initial
    • Emerging
  • Acquired
    • Competent
    • Proficient