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|Submission Title:||PE2020: HIGH SCHOOL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY EDUCATION IN 2020 by Chuck Corbin|
|Submission Entry:||Since I started my teacher preparation in 1957, I have heard about the problems associated with physical education in our high schools. Many of the same problems are still talked about in college classes today. No doubt, some of these problems will still confront us in 2020. But this essay is not about our problems. Rather it is about what physical activity education could look like in 2020.
Tomorrow High School has an exemplary physical activity education program. All students are required to take physical activity education every year and there are no exemptions for band, ROTC, athletics or anything else. Those who previously sought exemptions realize that participation in physical activity education enhances their chances of success in band, athletics, and the military. Student with special needs get individual prescriptions and find physical activity education to be their favorite class, as do many other students in the school.
During the first year in high school students take a conceptual physical activity education class that helps them learn basic concepts, consumer skills, and self-management skills such as self-assessment, goal setting, program planning, self-monitoring to name a few. The class teaches them to become independent consumers who are able to make good decisions about physical activity. The well-equipped school Fitness Center provides students and members of the community (after school) a place to carry out their personal activity programs.
All other required physical activity education is “elective” in nature. Students get to choose from a wide variety of contemporary lifetime activities and sports. Teachers, including the department chair, are certified physical activity educators who do not coach sports. Their full attention is directed to providing quality physical activity education. The teachers are provided support for attending conventions and workshops that keep them abreast of the most recent developments. These programs allow them to develop the skills necessary to provide classes of greatest interest to students.
Student portfolios are kept digitally and are periodically reviewed by a team of reviewers employed by the state. No single indicator of student achievement is used to determine student success; rather the student portfolios include a comprehensive profile of student achievements (much like a professional resume used to apply for a job). The reviewers periodically assess the school’s master physical activity education plan and visit classes to see that appropriate practices are being followed.
The administration and parents are supportive of the program that also teaches key nutrition concepts. Financial support is strong because of the awareness that quality physical activity education contributes to lifelong fitness, health, and wellness (quality of life) and enhances performance in academic areas.
Graduates of Tomorrow High School look back on physical activity education as a pleasurable experience because of the use of appropriate practices in physical activity education. Physical activity education classes and teachers are no longer characterized as insensitive, uncaring, taskmasters as was the case in earlier times. Teachers are viewed as physical activity experts and are frequently asked for advice by other teachers and members of the community.
Note: The term Physical Activity Education is used to describe what was physical education in the past.