Saturday, February 21, 2015

Integration of Core Curriculum into Physical Education Class

These days, school can be very difficult for children especially with the high standards and expectations they are required to stand up to.  The concept of integrated curriculum has been around since the 19th century and it is once again being focused on for educational change.1  While many school districts are putting Physical Education (PE) on the chopping block there may be a better solution.  Besides the benefits of the physical exercise and promotion of fitness that PE classes strive for, there is also another aspect that can be focused on.  Integration of core curriculum classes such as Math, Science, English, and Social Studies allows students to continue to master the concepts while participating in their PE class.  This requires both the participation of the PE teacher as well as the core curriculum teacher.  With both teachers teaming up together, the benefits are endless.

There are many simple ways to integrate in a PE class. To start, at a younger age such as Elementary school level, teachers can integrate math practices such as counting, adding and subtracting, and using odd and even numbers into their lesson plans.  Having students work on these concepts outside of the normal classroom will help them to realize how important and useful this information is.  This allows students to be able to recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of the class.1 If educators can show students the importance of this information it will help to motivate and encourage the students to learn the information.
More physical educators need to design and develop integrated lessons and share them with their colleagues in order to improve the interdisciplinary fit.1 Examples of school physical education curricula exist today that differ quite radically from a traditional sport and game oriented curriculum.2 In core curriculum, there are other aspects that teachers can integrate.  Skills such as social interaction and personal development skills, or thinking skills are selected and specifically taught as a significant part of the curriculum.2 If schools are able to participate in having integrated teachers, it will help to develop a well rounded and well educated student.
1Hatch, G. & Smith, D. (2013) Integrating Physical Education, Math and Physics. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. 75(1). 42-50 DOI:10.1080/07303084.2004.10608541
2Placek, J. & O’Sullivan, M. (2013). The Many Faces of Integrated Physical Education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. 68(1). 20-24 DOI:10.1080/07303084.1997.10604872


  1. I feel like this blogs relates back a lot to what we do in our program at Tarleton, through classes like Games & Activities and Integrated Movement, we learn to work in physical activity to a core class.

  2. During my time as a Student Teacher at Morgan Mill, I asked the elementary core teachers what they were teaching that week. I would design games that reinforced what the students were learning in the classroom. I loved being creative in the games designs and the teachers were always glad to help. From what I witnessed, it was really helping the students retain their knowledge. If PE teachers could implement more core material into their lessons, more credit could be given to PE in school.

  3. Elementary school level and Physical education curricula do a masterful job of explaining.
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  4. While much has been written on this topic, your article expresses both the positive and negative aspects, I think that it is very helpful for me and others
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