A separate report, Physical Education Matters: Success Stories from California Low Resource Schools That Have Achieved Excellent Physical Education Programs San Diego State University, , notes that when funding from a variety of grant resources, including federal funding, became available, schools were able to transition to high-quality programs using innovative instructional strategies. Those strategies included well-. NOTE: Sample is taken from a teacher schedule in a traditional elementary school.
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Administrative support was found to be a key factor in turning programs around, along with staff commitment and professional development. Having certified physical education teachers and making physical education a priority in the schools were other key factors.
External factors further strengthened programs, including having school district support, having a physical education coordinator, and using state standards to provide accountability. Additional ways to overcome the barriers to quality physical education include scheduling time for physical education, ensuring reasonable class size, providing nontraditional physical education activities, making classes more active and fun for all students, and acknowledging the importance of role modeling and personal investment and involvement in participation in physical activity among staff.
Still another way to overcome the barriers to quality physical education is to assist administrative decision makers and policy makers in understand-. Physical education is a formal content area of study in schools, it is standards based, and it encompasses assessment according to standards and benchmarks. Select curriculum-based physical education programs have been described in this chapter to show the potential of high-quality physical education in developing children into active adults. Such models provide the only opportunity for all school-age children to access health-enhancing physical activities.
Curriculum models for physical education programs include movement education, which emphasizes the importance of fundamental motor skills competence as a prerequisite for engagement in physical activity throughout the life span; sport education, which emphasizes helping students become skillful players in lifetime sports of their choosing; and fitness education, which imparts physical fitness concepts to students, including the benefits and scientific principles of exercise, with the goal of developing and maintaining individual fitness and positive lifestyle change.
The emergence of a technology-focused fitness education curriculum and the new Presidential Youth Fitness Program offer further motivational opportunities for students to engage in lifelong physical activities.
Because quality physical education programs are standards based and assessed, they are characterized by 1 instruction by certified physical education teachers, 2 a minimum of minutes per week for elementary schools and minutes per week for middle and high schools, and 3 tangible standards for student achievement and for high school graduation. Quality professional development programs are an essential component for both novice and veteran teachers to ensure the continued delivery of quality physical education.
Because physical education is not a high-stakes tested content area, the implementation of supportive policies often is hindered by other education priorities. Although the above analysis indicates that 30 states In addition, an unintended consequence of the No Child Left Behind Act has been disparities in access to physical education and physical activity opportunities during the school day for Hispanic students and those of lower socioeconomic status.
In high school, relying on students to elect physical education after meeting the minimum required credit hours one credit in all states but one appears to be unfruitful. Strengthening of school physical education has received support from the public, health agencies, and parents. Parents recently surveyed expressed favorable views of physical education. Additionally, many public and private organizations have proposed initiatives aimed at developing a comprehensive school-based strategy centered on curriculum physical education.
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