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|Submission Title:||Linking National Health Education Standards with National Physical Education Standards|
|Submission Entry:||Linking National Health Education Standards with
National Physical Education Standards
Education continues to draw from educational psychology and the focus of my research has been in the study of elementary health education and how I can prepare my health and physical education teacher candidates and classroom teachers to teach quality health and physical education lessons. A look at National Health Education Standards (NHES) and National Physical Education Standards (NPES) will support the notion that cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains are the foundation of the purpose for NHES and NPES. Students acquire knowledge and skill; perform what they know, and reflect or use knowledge and skills to make healthy choices. For example, the intent of NHES 1 and 2 as well as NPES 2 and 4 directs teachers to provide knowledge and skills to students with the desired outcome to be an active and healthy life-style. Further, NHES 3, 6 and 7 combined with NPES 1 and 3 will suggest instruction that guides students in a process of performing or participating in activities that will help to develop healthy life skills. Finally, NHES 4, 5 and 8 along with NPES 5 and 6 will focus on the kind of instructional practice that will help students acquire an intrinsic and positive value of self and self actualization. The affective learning domain may become a result of instruction but it can also constitute an important part of how instructional planning shall occur.
Instructional strategies should embrace learning domains just as learning theories can be an important part in determining content taught, how content is taught, and the appropriate time content is taught. The learning theories described as developmental, behavioral, and cognitive are closely tied to the three learning domains. Developmental theories of Piaget and Vygotsky are generally thought to influence different teaching strategies used in elementary schools and teachers are becoming more aware of the fact that addressing the individual needs of children may call for a change in theory. Cognitive theories appear to reflect practice or use of practical knowledge and cognitive psychology or a cognitive model will most likely will be a guide for effective teaching in elementary schools.
The developmental model proposed by Piaget states that four stages of development occur from elementary through high school and this overlapping of developmental stages accounts for differences in cognitive, psychological, and affective learning of students. Some would suggest that the range of difference may greatly affect the decision on the type of instructional strategies needed
Another developmental learning theory is that proposed by Vygotsky and it addresses the learning readiness of the student. This theory addresses the notion that instructional strategies are guided by what is developmentally appropriate for the student and how students can put the knowledge into practice. Readiness to learn is influenced by many factors just as instructional strategies are constantly changing when reflective teaching is present.
The behavior theory has eluded many educators because of its complicated nature; however, the value of some portions of this theory to a large degree constitutes the use of different teaching styles. For example, physical education and health education texts describe and provide examples of a variety of teaching styles as part of the instructional planning of a lesson. Another way to describe how the behavior theory works in schools would be to encourage teachers to link skills and content knowledge with the most effective teaching style. A student-centered approach such as allowing students to collaborate in groups may be more effective than a lecture presented by the teacher. The value of the behavior theory becomes evident because it connects with the developmental theories by adding another perspective of how content and skills are presented verses when they are presented.
Learning theories guide the process of how and when teachers present concepts and skills to students. Developmental theories look at characteristics and stages of development when optimal learning will occur. Cognitive theories look at how learning develops from grasping simple concepts to complex learning skills. Standards such as NPES and NHES define the content and skills needed by students in order to live active and healthy lifestyles. Standards such as NHES and NPED are based on research of the current educational climate and health concerns for students (Moving into the Future, 2004). Learning theories, regardless of how they are used to drive instructional practices, can be more useful when they are guided by standards that reflect the needs of students.