The curriculum that I have chosen is the K-12 Physical Education curriculum of a school in the United States. The strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum were assessed and are explained below. Besides this, recommendations are also provided for improving the physical education curriculum of the school. Strengths and weaknesses of the school physical education program .The school-community environment was examined and the quality of the environment was considered to be moderately strong.
The awareness of the mission/philosophy statement of the school is strong, but the classroom instruction does not seem to be integrated with the mission/philosophy statement of the school. The curriculum should be integrated to help the “students see and make the connections between and among subjects” (ETIM, 2005). The school environment is strong. There is general concern among the staff for the welfare of the students but more should be done to strengthen the student assistance program to help students at risk right from the elementary level.
Students who have motor and fitness requirements besides emotional and other special needs are considered as at-risk students. There is strong recognition of student achievements but there is lesser recognition for the achievements of teachers and administrators. There is a need for recognizing quality teaching and this is one area where there is scope for a lot of improvement. Parent involvement is very strong and there is enough opportunities for parents to be involved in the activities of their wards.
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But there is scope for improvement in this area too, because getting parent input on their ward's development in a frequent and systematic manner. This is required especially in the school's curriculum, recognition and evaluation areas. There is scope for improvement in the communication and evaluation categories. The quality of communication needs to be improved especially at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The communication between classroom teachers and the physical education instructor needs to be improved.
An effective communication program that highlights the activities and achievements of the physical education program is very much needed to gain much needed support for the physical education program. The goals and objectives of the school physical education program needs to be clear and as such it should improved. A clear program and instruction objectives is necessary to organize, implement and evaluate the quality of the K-12 program. If the goals and objectives of the chool physical education program are clear then designing high-quality instructional material and its evaluation becomes much easier. Also, the reports of the evaluation can be sent to the students, parents and others who are keenly involved in the development of the physical education program. There is also a need to implement, monitor and refine the school physical education curriculum to make it consistent with the resources available within the community.
This is needed to eliminate redundancy and to promote a K-12 program that supports sequential learning. The secondary physical education service for students with special needs is very strong in the school overall, but there is scope for improvement of this service at the elementary school level. The quality of physical education for special students has to be improved at the elementary school level. There is scope for improvement of the program evaluation, implementation and dissemination needs for the K-12 physical education program in the school.
Staff should concentrate more on improving the physical education program in the school because “ a quality physical education program focuses on physical development, while integrating emotional, social and intellectual components” (Klungseth, 2009). Classroom instruction and class management are moderately strong but it should be improved to the level that it becomes absolutely strong. Currently, classroom instruction and class management are negatively impacted by the size of the class, the bigger the class the poorer the classroom instruction and class management, this situation should change.
The certification process for physical education instructors should be tightened especially for activities that are considered high-risk activities. Also, the variance in qualification should be reduced for staff members in the school and it should be effectively streamlined. Staff development programs should be improved and there should be periodic evaluation of the staff. There should be involvement of the physical education director in monitoring physical education instruction, and there should be a clear role for a physical education coordinator.
Information for garnering support for the physical education program should be provided to administrators by the physical education staff. The physical education facilities need to be upgraded. Currently they appear to be outdated, over-utilized and poorly maintained. Inadequate facilities can lead to injuries and poor physical education instruction. If facilities are inadequate then larger classes would thoroughly expose this problem. Poor facilities are the cause of less funds and decreased student enrollment.
Student records in the physical education planning process needs to be automated. Currently the availability of equipment for this purpose is reasonably strong along with the availability of equipment for safety and medical records categories. Safety should be a top priority issue for the school, emergency action plans have to be drawn up with emergency first aid kit, telephones and supplies being made available at each teaching station. Teachers should be provided with student health information so that students are not put at risk by the physical education regimen.
There is a need to improve the safety practices at the school that reduces risk to the well-being of students. Recommendations to improve the school physical education program The safety practices at the school needs to be improved, the safety practices should “recognize the risk and safety factors associated with regular participation in physical activity” (Griffey, Housener, 2007). There should be emergency action plans, telephones and first aid kit installed at all teaching stations. The process for getting student medical and health records should be improved.
Staff development programs should be put in place especially in areas where there is need to improve safety practices. Proper processes and procedures should be developed for continuous evaluation of the physical education program. The program evaluation should lead to a proper assessment of the specified objectives of the program. The physical education program has to be implemented fully at all grade levels and to this extent additional physical education teachers need to be hired. Also, the standards set by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) should be implemented in the school.
The NASPE standards “inform the teachers of the primary outcomes to be achieved in physical education at each grade level” (Lund, Tannehill, 2010) The goals and objectives of the physical education program needs to be implemented through the design of a curriculum framework. The framework should state the goals and objectives clearly and speak about the role of a comprehensive physical education program, besides, the program content should be matched with the local resources and prioritized based on the objectives of the program and the importance of the program content.
Also, the program content should be in synchronization with the K-12 curriculum. The physical education program results should be summarized and provided as feedback to all stakeholders concerned besides this, adequate funds should be obtained for creating physical education facilities and for the purchase of equipment to be used at the facilities to enable the smooth implementation of the physical education program. Committees should be formed to monitor the implementation of the physical education program and to suggest and implement improvements where ever needed in the physical education program.
- ETIM, J. 2005. CURRICULUM INTEGRATION K-12 – THEORY AND PRACTICE. University Press of America, Maryland. Griffey D. C. , Housener L. D. 2007. Designing effective instructional tasks for physical education and sports. Human Kinetics.
- Klungseth S. 2009. A comparison between public elementary physical education programs in South Dakota and the STARS criteria for high quality physical education programs. ProQuest LLC. Eisenhower Parkway, Ann Arbor, MI. Lund J, Tannehill D. 2010. Standards-Based Physical Education Curriculum. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC, MA 0 1776, USA.
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