Conceptual Physical Education: A Secondary Innovation

Charles B. Corbin, Pamela H. Kulinna, Hyeonho Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Over the last 40 years, the Conceptual Physical Education (CPE) movement has played an important role in the evolution of secondary school physical education (PE). In this article, we trace the history of CPE as well as fitness education (FE) programs that share common objectives with CPE. CPE at the college/university level is almost universal and has been shown to be a longstanding innovation. The information provided here suggests that CPE/FE programs at the secondary level are also an innovation, rather than a passing fad. Among the topics explored include factors precipitating the innovation, the stages of implementation, the current status of the innovation, factors leading to success, barriers to be overcome in program implementation, and suggestions for the future. Finally, evidence is provided to show that CPE, when conducted with fidelity, can be effective in promoting the overarching objective of quality PE programs—promoting lifelong physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-56
Number of pages24
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • Conceptual physical education
  • fitness education
  • physical activity promotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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