Thursday, 16 February 2012

Effectiveness in Physical Education

There are six characteristics emphasized in the SaskatchewanPhysical Education Curriculum that are components of an effective physical education program.

“Student Learning is supported by a program that:
·         focuses on achieving physical literacy

·         provides meaningful contexts, key idea, and questions for Elementary Level students to explore

·         teaches students how to use critical, creative, and powerful learning strategies

·         see teachers planning to meet the needs of all students

·         is planned purposefully based on the curriculum

·         is defined by the grade specific outcomes.”

Now what does physical literacy in a physical education class actually involve? At first I was thinking does that mean having the students read articles or books about physical education? Well that seemed rather silly. So as I am trying to understand what physical literacy is, I read about it in the curriculum documents. I find out that physically literate students are those who can move properly and with confidence in a range of physically challenging situations, can read the physical environment, anticipate movement and responding appropriately. The students can identify and articulate the essential qualities that influence the effectiveness of their own movement performances, and a sense of understanding of a whole health lifestyle. Taking this information (found in the curriculum document) into what my original thoughts about physical literacy meant, is completely different. These qualities make sense to having students become physically literate in your physical education program.

The second point, providing meaningful contexts, key ideas, and questions, reminds me about inquiry learning. Inquiry learning in physical education can lead to students having a deeper and enriched understanding of why physical education is important to their education and for themselves.

The third characteristics, teaches students how to use critical, creative and powerful learning strategies, means for students to be able to make decisions about movement, offensive/defensive skills and plan, and also about other’s movements. These will help students understand the quality of the game or activities they are playing and help them achieve greatness in that area. This will lead to feelings of success and lead to lifelong fitness.

The fourth of which is seeing teachers planning to meet the needs of all students. I have talked about inclusion in another blog post, but in recap, if you allow opportunities for everyone, everyone will have a chance to feel involved, be part of a team, and have feelings of success. These opportunities are important and making them happen for meeting the needs of everyone is of utmost important to my physical education philosophy.

The fifth characteristic, is planned purposefully on curriculum, well this makes sense. Curriculum is made for a reason, it is to lay out the things all students should be able to do, know and understand by the end of each grade. These outcomes are not only important for education but important for the students. They will help develop skills and movement, active living, and building relationships.
Found in the Saskatchewan Curriculum

The last characteristic which is defined by the grade specific outcomes; it is important to recognize at what point in a student’s physical education program do certain skills and movements are possible for physical development of the children you are working with, and know at which grade the students should have the outcome explored, progressing towards, have control or utilization of. These developmental progression help identify where students are at each outcome and help plan for what needs need to be met next.

I believe that these six characteristics are important for having an effective physical education program and effective teaching style for all teachers in a physical education classroom.

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