The Theory of Multiple Fitnesses

January 20, 2008

I am writing to inform any PE teachers reading this about a great new innovation in PE teaching. In the old days teachers tended to assume that the only way to learn football was to play it, and the only way to develop as a sprinter would be to do some running. Now we know that this is not how people learn.

Just as other subjects were changed by the discovery of Multiple Intelligences and the development of different Learning Styles, we can now make similar changes to PE teaching.

Scientists have discovered that there is no such thing as physical fitness. It turns out that instead of some people being fitter than others we all have Multiple Fitnesses. The Theory of Multiple Fitnesses has shown that people are better at some physical activities than others, which is something that nobody ever knew before. So for instance, a child may have one of eight fitnesses:

  • Running-Really-Fast Fitness
  • Lifting-Heavy-Things Fitness
  • Jumping Fitness
  • Ball-Games Fitness
  • Running-Long-Distances fitness
  • Dancing Fitness
  • Swimming Fitness
  • Playing-Darts Fitness

There may also be other fitnesses that can soon be added to the list once sports scientists have adequately researched them, such as Ass-Whooping Fitness and Drinking-Ten-Pints-And-Not-Throwing-Up Fitness.

We can assume that each of these Fitnesses has a corresponding learning style. So for instance a child with Running-Really-Fast Fitness will learn best by running away from their PE teacher screaming, a child with Lifting-Things Fitness will learn most if they are holding a 40kg weight, and a child with Dancing Fitness will learn more if they are wearing tights. As PE teachers we need to adjust our lesson planning each child’s individual learning style.

First we must identify their learning style. The most effective way to discover what physical abilities somebody has (a method we hope the Olympic selectors will switch to in the near future) is to give them a multiple-choice questionnaire about what they like doing, and then getting them to colour in a bar-chart. We can then split them into different classes based on their learning styles.

So for instance, in the old unscientific days we would have taught children to run the hundred metres by using the traditional method of getting them all to run for a hundred metres. Now we know better and can get them to run one hundred metres in a way suited to their individual learning style:

Students with a Running-Really-Fast Learning Style: These students will run from one end of the track to the other in the traditional fashion.

Students with a Lifting-Heavy-Things Learning Style: These will be expected to grunt heavily while running and have to carry a medicine ball.

Students with a Jumping Learning Style: students with this learning style will be expected to leap from one end of the track to the other.

Students with a Ball-Games Learning Style: These will be expected to dribble a ball while they are running, and will be encouraged to go faster by the other students running up behind them and making sliding tackles.

Students with a Running-Long-Distances Learning Style: These students should mainly follow the traditional method, but the track will be located three miles away from the school.

Students with a Dancing Learning Style: They will be expected to run with a backing of Salsa music and will be expected to pirouette on the starting block.

Students with a Swimming Learning Style: This is a difficult one to organise, but we hope to be able to flood the athletics track before they run it.

Students with a Playing-Darts Learning Style: This is close to the traditional method, but the students will drink three pints of lager and eat a packet of pork-scratchings before they start.

Once these innovations have been followed by all schools across the country I confidently predict Britain will have unprecedented Olympic success. Our only worry is that they may be unsympathetic to the Dosing-Yourself-With-Anabolic-Steroids Learning Style our experts are currently researching.



  1. brilliant analogy!

  2. “Students with a Ball-Games Learning Style: These will be expected to dribble a football…”

    An American football – basically a 3D ellipse with pointed ends.

  3. The Carnival Of Education – 155th Edition…

    Welcome to the 155th edition of the Carnival of Education.  Thanks to everyone who participated.  Now, on with the Carnival!
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  4. “An American football – basically a 3D ellipse with pointed ends.”

    Sounds like a rugby ball to me.

    Nevertheless, I think I’ll change it to something less culturally biased.

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