The Content of Physical Education in Secondary Schools: An Analysis of the Physical Activities. That are Taught in the Images in Textbooks

María Inés Táboas Pais

Ana Rey Cao

*Corresponding author: María Inés Táboas Pais

Original Language

Cite this article

Táboas Pais, MI, & Rey Cao, A. (2012). The Content of Physical Education in Secondary Schools: An Analysis of the Physical Activities. That are Taught in the Images in Textbooks. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 107, 45-53.



This study examines the physical activities that are displayed to compulsory secondary education students through the photographs in textbooks in order to develop the contents of the Physical Education curriculum. The sample consisted of 3316 images published in 36 textbooks produced by 10 Spanish publishers. Content analysis was conducted using a system of categories developed ad hoc. The process of building the system was structured into 5 phases: 1) initial pilot study, 2) second pilot study, 3) expert consultation, 4) second expert consultation, and 5) triangulation with three observers. The study variables were type of physical activity, scope of practice and level. Statistical analysis was performed using univariate descriptive analysis. The findings show that the content developed in physical education textbooks is the result of a traditional model, linked to the content of fitness and sport. Although there are publishers who continue to convey a model based on competition and high performance, signs are emerging that mark the beginning of a process of change by some publishers.

Keywords: currículum, Images, Physical Education, Secondary Education, Textbooks.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: July 26, 2010

Accepted: January 25, 2011

Published: January 01, 2012