Friday, February 13, 2015

Physical Education: Rolling out the Ball

It seems that in today’s society some schools are not giving physical education (PE) the attention it deserves.  Some people think that all PE teachers do is sit back and “roll out the ball” and don’t put much effort into their classes.  No different than other core curriculum teachers, a good PE teacher will bring out the best in their students in a fun and engaging environment that will benefit everyone in the program.
Physical education classes have been in the educational system for a long time.  Research has found that 97% of elementary school children are enrolled in physical education programs in grades 1 through 6, although only around 50% are enrolled by the end of high school.1 When physical education first entered the school system, it was focused on competitive sports, beginning as early as third grade and continuing through high school.1 This made for a class setting that was competitive and worked on enhancing the students skills in various sporting events.  PE classes today are now focused on large scale fitness testing programs and health related fitness.
Evidence suggests that PE classes have tremendous benefits to students.  Well-designed physical education programs have produced significant health benefits, further development and evaluation of health-related physical education programs are needed in order to continue this trend living healthier lives.2 PE classes should also help to promote a lifestyle of fitness at a young age.  For public health benefit, physical education should promote physical activity outside of school, because physical activity recommendations cannot be met through physical education alone.2 For these reasons it is important to educate people about the importance of PE classes especially for elementary school students.

1Sallis, J.F. and McKenzie, T. (1991). Physical Education’s Role in Public Health. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 62.2. doi: 10.1080/02701367.1991.10608701
2Alcaraz, J., Kolody B., Faucette, N. and Hovell, M.  The effects of a 2-year physical education program (SPARK) on physical activity and fitness in elementary school students. Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids. American Journal of Public Health August 1997: Vol. 87, No. 8, pp. 1328-1334. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.87.8.1328


  1. I will never understand how athletics or P.E. isn't required for ALL students in public or even private schools, but great comments on physical ed. and how it can be better.

  2. What are your thoughts when it comes to PE at the high school setting? I know my old high school's PE class was an absolute joke. All they did was show up, walk around the gym, and get an easy A. Do you think that there should be a set curriculum or guidelines that all PE coaches should follow to ensure everyone can benefit from the class?