Physical Education concepts in context of human resource development theory


Dr.Hab., Professor G.N. Germanov1
Dr.Sc.Soc. A.E. Stradze1
Dr.Hab., Associate Professor I.A. Sabirova2
Pedagogical Institute of Physical Culture and Sport of Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow
2Voronezh State Institute of Physical Culture, Voronezh

Keywords: physical education, motor abilities, physical qualities, physical education process concepts, motor activity, interdisciplinary approach.

Background. The existing system of physical education and sports theories and databases may be classified into the frame physical education theory channeling the ongoing research and its sector-specific disciplines including physical development theory, sport-specific theories etc. It should be mentioned that the existing physical education theory shall not and cannot embrace the whole accumulated physical culture knowledgebase. On the other hand, it is quite common for the modern researchers and analysts acting in the subject field to overstate the existing physical education theory to make a universal science out of it. The modern physical education theory as it is has its own clearly identified subject and object for research, its own theoretical and practical knowledge domains, and its own operation logics providing a basis for the research process management in the field. These considerations urged us to give a high priority to the research subject.

Objective of the study was to outline the human physical education and perfection resource development logics supported by the relevant interdisciplinary knowledge in the context of the motor skills mastering process.

Study results and discussion. As a result of the research-and-theoretical analysis, we clarified the gnosiological knowledge of the physical education logics/ concepts providing a basis for physical progress and motor skills building systems.

1. Physical education interpreted as the uninterrupted education and cultural process designed to balance and harmonize educational (skills and knowledge building) and developmental (physical qualities and abilities shaping) process aspects for the individual physical progress

The motor activity encouragement concept developed back in the 1950-80ies was designed based on a didactical approach as opposed to the physical abilities development methods. This conceptual design was largely based on the classical interpretation of the human aptitudes as provided by prominent national psychologist B.M. Teplov [6], who stated the following: “...the notion of aptitude shall not be limited to individual knowledge, skills and movement patterns”.  Such an interpretation in application to the physical education theory has resulted in the gap between and special consideration of motor skills and qualities viewed as two aspects of a motor function; and this gap has resulted in two separate theoretical and practical domains later on, namely the motor skills mastering and the individual physical qualities development systems.

It is only based on certain individual aptitudes that one can successfully master some movement sequences and shape up some motor skills and abilities. Physical aptitudes in the motor skills mastering domain may be interpreted as the individual capacities for the relevant activity, with their manifestations making it possible to assess the individual motor skills mastering potential and progress. Presently most of the researchers tend to believe that physical aptitudes and motor skills may be viewed as the inseparable aspects of the physical practicing process that cannot be opposed nor exist independently of one another. Physical aptitudes are correlated in a certain manner with the skills and abilities forming their basis; to put it in other words, physical aptitudes may be interpreted as an integral constituent of motor skills. Based on the above considerations, a motor skill may be defined as the physical aptitude development level with the relevant qualitative and quantitative characteristics jointly providing a measure of the motor skill.

2. Physical education meaning the individual active development and excellence process largely determined by the applied development model

High personal physical culture with the relevant harmonious development, physical perfection, health improvement and active longevity components may be secured by a reasonably designed physical activity and progress. Activity may be described as the individual interaction with the environment geared to understand and transform both the nature and own self, with the mental and physical progress being secured to satisfy the natural need for an active life. Body-development-centered motor activity requires a variety of special provisions to facilitate the multisided personality development process with the spiritual progress being duly harmonized with the physical development component in the physical education system.

3. Synergy of aptitudes and practical activity

This tenet refers to the correlation of the individual aptitudes with the practical activity and implies the latter being formatted by the individual aptitudes which, in their turn, are developed by the practical activity. The individual performance in a specific activity format is largely determined by the personal aptitudes and, when the latter are insufficient for the activity, it provides motivations for the aptitudes building process.

4. Synergy of mental and somatic constituents in a motor activity. Progress of psychomotor aptitudes as a key goal of modern physical education

Psychophysical synergy principle is in high priority in the modern psychological studies. V.D. Shadrikov [8] interprets “aptitudes as some qualities of the functional systems responsible for the relevant cognitive and psychomotor functions” and underlines that every specific activity may be classified into the elementary mental functions responsible for the basic activity forms i.e. the “activity units” that need to be specified in the input data arrays for the activity analysis. It is the relevant bodily functional system that is responsible for the specific mental function, with the systems controlled by the superior cerebral control system; with the resultant performance depending on how efficient the arrangement of these elementary structures is. In this context, the qualitative aspects of aptitudes may be referred to as the general/ universal ones.

5. Physical aptitudes play a primary role as they provide a summarized measure of the individual capacity for the specific physical activity. Motor/ physical qualities are interdisciplinary versus the aptitudes and provide a qualitative measure of how adequate the aptitude for the subject motor activity is.

V.S. Farfel [7] gave up the notion of “physical qualities” which he defines as certain qualitative measures of physical activity and recommended the term “physical aptitudes” that are still applied in the relevant scientific studies. The opposing researchers argue [1, 2, 4] that different physical aptitudes are rather the means to express the qualitative levels of the individual physical capacities/ resources. V.M. Zatsiorsky, for instance, argues that “they provide a certain characteristic of some person rather than a motor skill; for we commonly discuss the strength of L. Zhabotinskiy, endurance of P. Bolotnikov et al.; i.e. their capacities for the certain movement sequences” [2, p.12]. Presently the key theoretical concepts and doctrines define the human aptitudes with reference to the individual physical capacities, their manifestations and contributions to success of a physical process– when, for instance, “the physical aptitudes are viewed as the individual physical capacities that determine the individual motor resource”. As seen from the above, opinions in the research communities still widely vary when it comes to the question if it makes sense to define aptitudes as the qualitative functionality characteristics of some person or qualitative aspects of the individual physical functionality [3].

It may be beneficial to consider the issue of aptitudes using qualitative rather than quantitative rating criteria. This provision by B.M. Teplov [6] may be highly relevant nowadays for the reason that in most of the present studies related to physical education and sports the authors tend to apply quantitative measures for the physical performance rating rather than sets of efficient qualitative criteria. It does not mean that the quantitative approach is outdated today albeit it is still applicable “only when it supports and follows the qualitative analysis, stems from it and is determined by it” [6].

6. Unity of general and special aptitudes for physical activity in the modern physical education process

General aptitudes mean the integrated individual capacities for a few activities. Special aptitudes may be described as the individual capacities required for specific activities in a specific field. The issue of general and special aptitudes is still subject for discussions. S.L. Rubinstein [5] was the first to consider the general and special aptitudes in their unity as the genuine factor of any human activity, and this finding is of high influence on the modern research of the physical activity matters. He mentioned among other things that the “individual aptitudes are always granted as the unity of general and special qualities in their special and occasional manifestations. They cannot be opposed, and their unity and differences need to be recognized... The general and special aptitudes in this context are largely interrelated and may be viewed as the two constituents of the whole... It may be stated that general and special aspects may be found in every gift.…[5, p. 541]. It is this unity that forms a basis for every modern athletic training concept and is commonly referred to as the “unity of general and special athletic training methods”.

In his later work “Psychology development principles and avenues” [p. 125-134], S.L. Rubinstein outlines the aptitude formation mechanisms. “It is important for the aptitudes formation process that the relevant mental constituents are summarized… with the quality of the aptitude being largely dependent on the generalization procedure... [5, p. 546]. When the generalization process is comprehensive enough, the subject quality may be transferred from one activity to another to give the means to speed up, analyze and focus such an activity. The generalizing ability apparently contributes to the skills mastering process”.

7. Physical aptitude compensation by volitional, ethical and mental efforts in the physical education process

In the context of the general and special aptitudes differentiation aspect, the science considers the issue of some components of the aptitudes being compensated by the others, and this problem is still ranked among the most complicated in the subject domain due to the compensation mechanisms being differently viewed and treated by different researchers. In some cases the compensatory mechanism is considered very narrowly – as the weakness of one mental function being compensated by strength of the other; and in other cases it is considered in a much broader sense, with the deficient aptitude viewed as being offset by the other relevant capacities and qualities including patience, determination and other volitional qualities. Thus, the weakness or deficiency of one specific capacity may be compensated/ offset by the intensive progress of the other(s).

8. Current performance dependence on the actual aptitudes with the physical activity focused on the individual potential resource mobilization and development

Depending on the actual conditions for the individual aptitudes development process, the latter may be either mobilized or remain latent/ potential; with the actual aptitudes being measurable by the relevant current tests and the potential aptitudes ratable by the aptitudes development statistics for the last few years. Actual aptitudes, therefore, may be referred to as the capacities required at the moment for some specific activity i.e. the aptitudes mobilized by the facilitating conditions and employed for specific purposes. It should be emphasized that the actual aptitudes form a part of potential ones. The potential aptitudes mean the latent ones that have not been employed for the specific activities within the specific timeframe albeit still may be mobilized if needed. It is important to have due tools to rate the quantitative aspects of the actual aptitudes and qualitative aspects of the potential ones.

9. Aptitudes development process dependence on the activity conditions. Practical basics of physical education to facilitate physical progress including the reasonable continuity and efficiency of the physical education and its focus on the integrated development goals

It is commonly acknowledged that due aptitudes are critical for success of any activity. On the other hand, successful activity may facilitate progress of the relevant aptitudes, and this is the reason why aptitudes should not be considered separately from the process conditions. Both of the components are critical for success of the activity, and potential accomplishments in some activity are determined by both the aptitudes and conditions for the activity. In the physical education domain, the facilitating conditions may include adequacy, efficiency and consistency of the process conditions.

The adequacy securing requirements imply that a due priority shall be given to the leading individual psychophysical qualities, capacities, specifics and the relevant dominating physical fitness factors in the context of specific activity, with the qualitative and quantitative effects of the training system being designed as required by the physical progress mission; with the claimed physiological resource being reasonably minimized; and with the bodily responses being tested and managed to secure their efficiency and harmony. Efficiency means the best activity design format to secure its success under the actual conditions and process factors.

The activity success generally depends on the array of aptitudes of the process actor, with the same high accomplishments in some field being potentially achieved by different sets of aptitudes. Thus, it is important to classify the aptitudes by their types, forms and designs.

10. Age-specific development logics taken into account in the individual aptitude development and employment process

It is a common knowledge that certain periods in the human ontogenesis require certain conditions to facilitate progress and counter the irregularities, leaps and disharmonies in the bodily development and maturing process. The age periods most favourable for one or another aptitude to be developed are commonly referred to as the sensitive periods when the training/ educational process is much more effective as verified by the physical progress rates.

Conclusion. Further development and consolidation of the theoretical views with the proved concepts being accepted to interpret aptitudes in the modern general psychology and activity psychology will facilitate progress of the physical education theory on the whole and the aptitudes development theory in particular; with the accumulated psychological and educational database being extrapolated and applied to deeper understand the physical education process logics at the new theoretical progress stage in the context of the motor skills building process.


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  7. Farfel V.S. Upravlenie dvizheniyami v sporte [Movement control in sports]. 2nd ed., ster.. Moscow: Sovetskiy sport publ., 2011, 202 p.

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With the practical research knowledgebase being expanded, the research community tends to forget the primary basics of the theories used to channel the integrated knowledge accumulation process so as to consolidate the general theory of physical culture. For the purposes of the study we consider the research knowledgebase for the physical education theory and practice. As things now stand, its theoretical sources are mixed up with other sector disciplines and include, for instance, athletic training concepts (including, as provided by L.P. Matveyev, the concepts of integration, load variation logics, cyclic structure, age-specific training process design and management etc.). The modern theoretical and practical ideas for further progress of the physical education theory are not only generated by the classical general pedagogics but also benefit from the modern knowledgebase accumulated by the relevant philosophical, sociological, educational and psychological research disciplines that tend to consider the human development and cultural process in the context of interdisciplinary knowledge system and based on the general research concepts laying a gnoseological basis for this theory. One of these concepts is the human resource development concept (that addresses the physical culture issues among other things). Objective of the study was to outline the human physical education and perfection resource development logics supported by the relevant interdisciplinary knowledge in the context of the motor skills mastering process.