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|Submission Title:||Call to Action!|
|Submission Entry:||More strongly every day, I believe the future of physical education depends on our ability as physical educators to change both the way we teach and think about our profession. We continue in our attempt to answer the question “How do we get our students to be physically active?” This at a time when a focus towards high stakes testing in math, science, reading and writing, and decreased funding for schools have lead to a decrease in physical education opportunities for young people. We are approaching a tipping point in our profession and the question we must now ask is, “How do we support every student in becoming physically active now, while giving them the tools to continue into the future?” I believe it requires a systemic approach with support from the health related fields, parents and communities, educators and politicians.
Imagine in the year 2020 a nation of physical educators with a common/clear vision. It is a vision that supports and encourages lifelong wellness for our young people. A vision focused on rigor, relevance, and relationships, creating an environment where students want to learn and teachers want to teach. It must happen if we are going to achieve the level of success necessary to change the culture around physical education.
Research over the next decade will further link a physically active lifestyle with increased brain function. Decision makers at the highest level in education will connect this data to increased standardized test scores and develop a plan to implement quality physical education Pre-K through 12th grade. Administrators across the country will hold their physical educators accountable to a quality program because of the connection between healthy/active students and learning.
A strong partnership between education and pediatric medicine will take place leading to quality, activity-based programs for pre-school aged children. At the elementary grade levels students will participate in a program which focuses on standards-based curriculum and assessment. They will participate for at least thirty minutes each day and teachers will have smaller classes (25 or less) so they can be effective in evaluating their students.
Students at the middle level lead an active life infused with technology. The physical education classroom will emphasize technology and draw students away from their sedentary tendencies and into an interactive world that satisfies their taste for gaming while increasing their physical activity. Relevance is the motivator for these students and technology is their language.
The goal for our school systems will be to produce active and physically educated adults for a lifetime. To achieve this goal the high school experience will have to look different in that students must become independent in their fitness. They will demonstrate their ability to plan and implement both technology and physical activity including: fitness scores, fitness goals, reflective writing about their experiences, evidence of lifelong activities, exposure to the outdoors and the development of an outdoor ethic, a plan for their working future and a plan to track their progress. Our young people will be ready to live healthy, successful lives dependent on physical activity; and the physical educator will have given them the tools necessary to reach this goal.