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History of Passport for Life

Passport for Life Timeline

Passport for Life is the result of many years and many hours of collaborative efforts from researchers, physical literacy experts and teachers. The following timeline outlines the steps that have in the development of Passport for Life.

Feasibility Study (2006-07)

Following interest from stakeholders, a Feasibility Study was conducted in 2006-2007 to gain insight, awareness, and understanding of past “Award of Excellence” programs. Funding from the Ministry of Health Promotion of Ontario and partnership with ParticipACTION enabled Physical and Health Education Canada to begin plans to develop a new educationally sound “Award of Excellence” program to build upon the strengths and lessons learned from the feasibility study.

Physical Literacy Forum (October, 2010)

In October of 2010, a Physical Literacy Forum was held in Ottawa with approximately 30 Physical Education (PHE) experts from universities across Canada. Results of this conference concerning the nature of physical literacy helped to inform and guide subsequent discussions related to a potential new “Physical Literacy Achievement Program.”

Expert Focus Group Meeting (January, 2011)

A focus group meeting of approximately twenty Physical and Health Education (PHE) experts representing schools (teachers, principals), universities, and organizations (e.g., ParticipACTION, OPHEA) from several school districts and provinces/territories was held in Ottawa on January 20 to21, 2011.  The overall goal was the creation of resources and tools as part of a national “Physical Literacy Achievement Program” to assist teachers (and other intermediaries) in assessing levels of physical literacy among K-12 students, while working with those students to set and meet individualized goals that enhanced physical literacy levels. Within this goal was building knowledge and awareness of relevant living skills and the importance of regular participation in sport and physical activity. 

Expert Focus Group Meeting (June, 2011)

A second focus group meeting with similar participants was held in Ottawa on June 21 to22, 2011 to provide recommendations to PHE Canada on the direction and planning of the new “Physical Literacy Achievement Program.” There was an overwhelming agreement amongst the group that developing another reward program was insufficient and unnecessary. Although previous awards programs had merits, studies to gain insight, awareness and understanding of such norm-based Award of Excellence programs have reported several potential hazards. Discussion centered on the nature of physical literacy, assessment, and the potential issues, features, components, and application of the program.  The concept of presenting the program as an online “Passport for Life” was first discussed here as was the need to pilot test the initiative in certain grades and schools prior to broader application. Work was done by PHE Canada on the development of a potential prototype, pilot project, and an ongoing implementation plan, partnerships, and funding. 

Writers’ and Advisors’ Meeting (August, 2011)

A primary team including writers and several advisors was formulated and first met at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario from August 16 to18, 2011 to develop Passport for Life more concretely.  The guiding principles of the program were reviewed, the pilot focus was determined, and the four components of the program (active participation, living skills, fitness skills and movement skills) were finalized. Planning began for the specific content, assessments, standards, and resources of each component.

Writing and Review (2011-12)

Writing and review of the program features continued. Each writer worked on their specific section and then shared those sections with the other writers for feedback and consistency.  The Advisory Group reviewed the first draft of the content and provided written feedback and a conference call took place.  The writers incorporated this feedback into subsequent drafts and also continued to share and review with the writing team.

Pilot Project (January, 2012)

The first pilot test of “Passport for Life” online was implemented with 640 students in grades 4-5 from 20 schools.

Long-Term Pilot Project (October, 2012)

A second longer-term pilot of the grades 4 and 5 program was implemented with over 850 students across Canada. Students completed assessments in Fall 2012 and in Spring 2013.

Feedback Review and Revisions (2013)

The students’ assessment results and feedback from teachers was reviewed by PHE Canada, the writers, and other experts culminating in a planning meeting of writers in Ottawa on February 18-19, 2013. Modifications to the assessments were discussed, planned, and implemented and new, more user-friendly content and features were added to the relevant teacher, parent, and student sections of the Passport for Life website. Passport for Life expanded to include grades 3 to 6. Adaptations and new features of the grade 7 to 9 program were also planned and developed.  

Passport for Life Grades 3-6 Launch

On September 18th, 2013 Passport for Life will be free to all grades 3-6 physical education classes across Canada.

Long-Term Pilot Project (October, 2013)

Beginning in the fall 2013, 67 teachers across Canada will pilot Passport for Life 7-9 assessment tools and online platform. This pilot will run from September 2013 to June 2014 and teachers will provide feedback following the initial fall assessments and following the check-in assessments at the end of the school year. Passport for Life 7-9 will be available for all teachers in Canada in the fall of 2014.

Writing and Review (2013)

In the fall of 2013, development for Passport for Life 10-12 will commence. The Advisory committee, writers and consultants will collaborate on this new set of physical literacy assessments appropriate for students in this development range.