As a professional physical educator I believe there a three major ideas that frame what i do and value in the field. These ideas are creating experienced and competent movers, educating students on the benefits of physical education and providing students with all the tools to be physically active for a lifetime.
For the majority of students school day they sit in a classroom and learn everything from who founded the world to how atoms form. Physical education gives students a chance to learn a variety of exercises and activities that will provide them with a lifetime of health. Physical education gives students a chance to learn about how to move and what their body can do. By teaching students fundamental motor skills and a variety of activities they start to gain knowledge of how to be more experienced movers. The better students become at the skills and activities the more excited they will be to be physically active. No one enjoys doing things they are bad at that’s why it is important to develop the students skills and create activities that are appropriate for their skill level. If the students skill level prevents them from being able to play competitive sports they still have opportunity to be physically active during physical education class.
Physical education class is a chance for students to try a variety of different activities that help them learn how to use their bodies. The human body is an extraordinary thing there are so many different mechanisms and so many things need to be working simultaneously just to do simply everyday tasks. Teaching students about how and why their bodies do the things they do will help them to understand that it needs to be taken care of. If students are not being educated about why they need to keep their body healthy they might miss the importance of it. Students need to be informed about how much harder the body has to work if it is not healthy. The obesity epidemic that is going on in the world right now is not something that should be taken lightly, and the only way to beat it is with knowledge. A knowledge of how to stay at a healthy weight and what could happen if that doesn’t happen. Aside from that they also need to understand all the limits of the human body and why it is a bad idea to push those limits without proper training. Students tend to think they are invincible and they can bounce back from anything but they need to be reminded that the body can only take so much abuse. We only get one body in our lives and it is important to keep it healthy so it will last us a long time.
The purpose of school is to teach students everything they need to be successful for a life time, physical education aims to serve the same purpose. Physical education class needs to get students ready for a life time of physical activity. By teaching students individual sports and activities they will be able to utilize their skills in those for the rest of their lives. In order to obtain lifelong fitness it is necessary to step away from traditional PE which focuses more on team sports than anything else. Trying to find teams to compete on as one gets older can prove to be very difficult. That is why teaching activities like zumba, yoga, hiking and golf will be much more beneficial to students. Not to say that team sports don’t still serve a purpose in physical education because they do. When students are younger being part of a team is very beneficial for character growth. However once students get older they need to be directed towards more activities that they will be able to do for the rest of their lives. Creating experienced lifelong physically active movers is what physical education is all about.