What’s in a concept? : a Leximancer text mining analysis of physical literacy across the international literature

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Was ist in einem Konzept enthalten? : eine Leximancer Textmining-Analyse zur Physical Literacy in der internationalen Literatur
Author:Hyndman, Brendon; Pill, Shane
Published in:European physical education review : EPER
Published:24 (2018), 3, S. 292-313, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Electronic resource (online) Print resource
ISSN:1356-336X, 1741-2749
Online Access:
Identification number:PU201810006969

Author's abstract

Physical literacy is developing as a contested concept with definitional blurring across international contexts, confusing both practitioners and researchers. This paper serves the dual purpose of reporting on an interrogation of concepts associated with physical literacy in academic writing and exploring the use of a text mining data analysis tool. The Leximancer text mining software was applied to 49 research papers relating to physical literacy from 2001–2016, sourced from academic repositories and scholarly search engines. The findings from the text mining analysis revealed that the concept of physical literacy is used in a variety of contexts, specifically in connection with ‘education’, ‘activity’, ‘fitness’, ‘health’, ‘concept’, ‘competence’, ‘understanding’, ‘roles’, ‘curriculum’ and ‘assessment’. The concept with the most relevance connected to physical literacy is ‘education’, the very term that is commonly being replaced by ‘literacy’. A number of concepts were identified from the text mining analysis that were not explicitly mentioned within the definitions of physical literacy, including educational components such as ‘curriculum’, ‘teaching’ and ‘assessment’. It was also revealed that many of the strongest relational concepts from the text mining of the physical literacy literature were of a physical domain, with less relevance and connection to concepts of cognitive, social and emotional domains. The study fills an important gap in the literature by showing that while a multiplicity of conceptions of physical literacy exists, the concept gives dominance to the physical domain and the marginalisation of cognitive and affective domains in various constructions of physical literacy.