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|Submission Title:||A Day Late and A Dollar Short|
|Submission Entry:||As you can deduct from the above title, I am a little pessimistic concerning the future of the Physical Education teaching profession, especially if we continue on the path we seem determined to travel. I love this profession and have dedicated my professional career to it, but I do not believe it will continue to survive unless we embrace innovative/creative methodologies for our future programs. We are trying to do too much for too many people consequently and are no longer effective in today's rapidly evolving society. We have marginal funding and backing, yet we attempt to service all ages. Maybe, just maybe, we should consider limiting our offerings and become truly excellent in what we can realistically accomplish.
For Physical Education to survive and flourish, the entire profession needs to reassess our current situation and then dedicate our efforts to a more manageable mission. One possible solution would be to select an area of society that has definite needs and focus our energies on meeting those needs. Early in the history of the Physical Education profession we concentrated our efforts solely on the one segment of our population where we could make the most logical , long term difference - children. I believe we should "circle the wagons" and return to this idea. It remains a fact that virtually every individual in our society is required to attend elementary school to begin their education. Current statistics indicate that we have a little over 30 million youngsters enrolled in elementary schools each year. A great sage once observed - "What you learn when you are young, is what you become when you are old". This statement is probably true. Our challenge is to determine how to develop programs that meet the needs of our young students.
Following are a few suggestions for developing exciting Physical Education programs for young kids:
A. Teach both physical and social skills. Examples might be - how to play, sportsmanship principles, emphasize lifetime activities and fitness lifestyles, and focus on the benefits of cooperation instead of competition.
B. Use the most modern technologies that kids are familiar with and think are fun to convey the information ( i.e i-pods, internet, and virtual reality).
C. Use actors and characters that kids know to present the curriculum (Woody, Mickey Mouse, Yo Gabba Gabba).
D. Collaborate with children's TV shows to present information straight into the classrooms at different times of the day.
E. Make Physical Education fun, interactive instead of competitive, and have homework just like all other subjects.
F. Have more involvement from parents in the whole endeavor.
I realize that many of these ideas are unconventional, but that is exactly the type of thinking (brainstorming) we need to employ if Physical Education is to change. I have one other suggestion - remove the teacher training programs away from Research I institutions. Better teachers can be trained in situations that appreciate teaching instead of research. Level 2 and 3 colleges and universities are probably more suited for training teachers.
In summary, our profession can not only survive, but also thrive, if we concentrate our efforts on the young, no longer compete with the athletic world, re-examine our delivery methods,and become creative in program designing by using the best technologies and communication tools.