The Content of Norwegian Primary Physical Education: Teachers’ Perspectives on Possibilities and Barriers


  • Ingrid Østgaard Buaas NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter Queen Maud University College of Early Childhood Education, Norway


Physical education (PE) in Norway and other countries has been criticized for its emphasis on sports, leading to a misalignment between curriculum intentions and classroom practices. Understanding the perspectives of PE teachers and the factors influencing their choices of activities in PE is crucial as they interpret the curriculum and plan PE classes. This mixed-methods study aims to provide more knowledge about the activities taught (content) in Norwegian PE lessons for the youngest students (primary level), as well as teachers’ perspectives on what influences their choice of content in PE classes. We conducted a quantitative survey with 450 PE teachers and obtained qualitative insights through 9 interviews. The results reveal a prevalence of ball games and play in PE classes. Time constraints, equipment, and class and gymnasium size are external factors that teachers experience as barriers for the types of activities they can include in their PE lessons. The study examines how these factors shape PE practice through the lens of the material-economic dimensions of practice architectures theory. The findings provide valuable insights into the challenges faced by PE teachers and inform the development of strategies to enhance PE education in primary schools.

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Hvordan sitere

Buaas, I. Østgaard, & Sandseter, E. B. H. (2023). The Content of Norwegian Primary Physical Education: Teachers’ Perspectives on Possibilities and Barriers. Journal for Research in Arts and Sports Education, 7(3), 1–20.




Emneord (Nøkkelord):

content, frame factors, curriculum, primary physical education