Chapter 3: PK⇓12 school physical education: conditions, lessons learned, and future directions

Phillip Ward, Murray F. Mitchell, Hans van der Mars, Hal A. Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Manifest challenges to physical education teachers merit identification, analysis, and strategic action. New designs for schools, threats to the well-being of a growing number of children and families, and financial problems confronting school systems are among the external challenges. Meanwhile, too many physical education teachers confront marginalization, isolation, and morale issues. Contributing causes include suboptimal policy; disagreements regarding subject matter, curriculum models, and purposes; working conditions that prevent teachers from implementing evidence-based practices; and two disconnects: (a) between physical education and health and (b) between school programs and community-based programs. Reflecting and fueling these challenges, the field lacks a common purpose and shared direction. This chapter addresses future alternatives for PK–12 physical education. Key recommendations include (a) integrating physical education and health, treating them both instructionally and as integrated content in the curriculum; (b) changing our focus on our instruction from a deficiency-based model to a salutogenic model of health, including stronger connections with the community in which schools exist; and (c) connecting to the community to leverage resources to support students, teachers, and schools. These alternatives derive from a grand claim: we cannot continue to do “business as usual,” producing the same results, because past–present results consistently have been suboptimal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Health education
  • School programs
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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