At last, a Wiki for physical educators!

Welcome to PE from A to Z, the online dictionary for PHYSICAL EDUCATION terms and ideas. The author of this wiki-text is Neil Williams (Williams, Neil). The objective is for these linked pages to serve as a simple, readable, and practical source of information basic to the field of physical education.

It is organized in a “dictionary” format. The terms are are always defined in the first lines of the entry and usually followed by a brief discussion. There is very little “filler” in here; just a few examples to clarify and help you understand the main point. It is not an encyclopedia.

Since so much of the vocabulary requires an understanding of other physical education terminology, the hundreds of pages in this wiki-document are linked to each other. Just click on any highlighted word and you will be taken to the appropriate page. Or type a term in CAPITAL LETTERS in the search window at the left side of the page.

There are almost no textbook or journal citations to get in the way or impress you. The information presented in the book comes from the author’s 42 years of experience in the field. Most textbooks have very long bibliographies. Since no one ever looks at them, so there is no bibliography here. There are also some ideas in here that might be slightly different from the ones you normally get in your classes and textbooks. They are intended to make you think… and read.

It is, of course, not possible to include every term that ever was used in connection with PHYS. ED. and plenty have been left out. Thousands of books and hundreds of thousands of articles have been published. Each sub-discipline such as ANATOMY, each SPORT (e.g. archery), and each activity (e.g. square dance) has its own peculiar and particular language–a jargon all its own. Impossible.

What is possible, however, is to identify most of the important terms and concepts basic to the profession, and then to define and explain them in a way having some meaning to a college student or beginning teacher.

I’ve taught physical education for over 40 years from nursery school to graduate school, and with all types of students from special needs to the gifted. If I haven’t used, needed or wanted to know a “general term” after all of that, neither do you. What is in this book is what you should know about physical education after you have forgotten everything you memorized for your exams.

If you have suggestions or ideas for PE From A to Z, or to report errors or broken links, please use this contact form:

Thank you.


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