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In order to become a more effective practitioner every teacher needs to have a sound understanding of the theoretical, social and historical context in which their work takes place. Understanding Primary Physical Education goes further than any other textbook in exploring the development of physical education teaching at the primary and elementary level, drawing together important research from across the educational and sociological literature. The book goes beyond everyday teaching practice at an operational level to encourage students, trainee teachers and researchers to develop a critical understanding of policy, process and practice in primary physical education. By rooting everyday documents and everyday issues in a broader, connected educational and developmental landscape, this book challenges casual assumptions and encourages a better, more thoughtful teaching practice. It is an essential companion for any degree level course in primary physical education.