Physical education schools play a critical role in increasing physical activity by offering quality, daily physical education and other opportunities to recreate. Physical education is the only program that provides students with opportunities to learn motor skills, develop fitness, and gain understanding about the importance of physical activity. Physical education teaches children the skills they need to be active through out their lifetime.
Physical education can also enhance academic learning. Regular aerobic exercise produces an increased number of capillaries servicing the brain, which allows for a greater exchange of nutrients and waste products. Additionally, physical education incorporates concepts of math, reading/English language arts, and science into the physical education realm. Technology has integrated into the curriculum with heart rate monitors, pedometers, and computer-based fitness stations.
Another way physical education helps academic learning by children receiving additional physical education show an acceleration of their psychomotor development, and this could provide a mechanism for accelerated learning of academic skills. “Other potential mechanisms include increased cerebral blood flow, greater arousal, changes in hormone levels, enhanced nutrient intake, changes in body build, and increased self esteem,” as mention in the Pediatric Exercise Science (Shepard, 1997, p. 113). In other words, exercise boost oxygen and glucose delivery to the brain, which can help, improve brain function.
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Physical Education plays a critical role in educating the whole student. Like other academic courses of study, physical education is upon rigorous national standards that define what students should know and be able to do because of participation. Physical education improves children’s relationships with children in their classroom. Children learn how to play as a team player. Physical education includes all children, which helps the children think of others not just themselves. In a quality physical education program, students can achieve physical and individual benefits.
Teamwork is very important in everyday life. Most professions are team-oriented style of work. Managers value teamwork because it results in a more cost-effective and useful organization. Physical education is for every child regardless of physical ability, ethnicity, gender, language, race, or religion, the opportunities not only to succeed in physical education, but also to develop a lifelong commitment the health benefits of physical activity. Teachers are able to manage the student’s time more effectively.
Physical education prepares students to live physically active, healthy lives through learning experiences at school. International Society of Sport Psychology state, “Exercise can have beneficial emotional effects across all ages and for both sexes” (p. 183). The major reason for having physical education in secondary schools is to lead the students toward better lifestyles and to be physically fit. There was an article published in 1992 by, The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), stating what "The Physically Fit Person" should consist of.
This article states five factors of a physical fit person. One factor is that a physically fit person "has learned skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities. ” The second factor "is the person physically fit. ” The third factor is "does this person participates regularly in physical activity. ” The fourth is a physically fit person "knows the implications of and the benefits from involvement in physical activity. ” The last factor is that a physically fit person "values physical activity and its contributions to a healthful lifestyle.
The plan as physical educators is to have each child be a physically fit person, by their exit of high school. Quality Physical Education means a planned program of instruction and activity for all students through the entire school year. Quality Physical Education programs are essential in helping students gain competence and confidence in a variety of movement forms such as: aquatics, dance, gymnastics, recreational and activities. It should provide a sound framework for the design and assessment that develop the students' motivation, fitness, cognitive, affective, and active lifestyle needs, and should focus on lifetime involvement.
American Heart Association quote, “Today, about one of three American kids and teens are overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963 (American Heart Association Learn and Live – Healthier Kids) (2010). National Academics state, (2005), “If healthier students are, in fact, more attentive and academically successful students, then parents, principals, and policy makers alike may be supportive of obesity prevention efforts” (p. 6). "National Health Education Standards offer a coherent vision of what it means to be health literate.
These Standards describe the knowledge and skills essential to the development of health literacy. That "knowledge" includes the most important and enduring ideas, issues, and concepts related to achieving good health. Those "skills" include the ways of communicating, reasoning, and investigating which characterize a health-literate person. National Standards are not a federal mandate nor do they define a national curriculum. The Standards are intended to serve as a framework for organizing health knowledge and skills into curricula at the state and local levels. " Here are the National Standards:
Demonstrates competency in many movement forms and proficiency in a few movement forms. Applies movement concepts and principles to the learning and development of motor skills. Exhibits a physically active lifestyle. Achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness. Demonstrates responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings. Demonstrates understanding and respect for differences among people in physical Activity settings. Understands that physical activity provides opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, self- expression and social interaction.
Student involve in physical education will develop:
- Teamwork- the ability and willingness to work within a group for the good of the group. (leadership, trustworthiness. )
- Cooperation- the ability and willingness to follow group or team strategies. (followership)
- Communication skills- knowing when to speak and when to listen in order to help the group achieve its goals.
- An awareness and appreciation of personal and group safety.
- Honesty- playing within the rules for the good of the group and game.
- Courage- the willingness to try new things to expand one's horizons. Goal setting ability- the willingness to set appropriately challenging goals for oneself and the group.
- Perseverance- the ability and willingness to continue pressing towards the goal in the face of normal adversity.
- Creativity- the ability to come up with solutions to problems and physical challenges.
- An increased level of agility, coordination, and physical fitness. Physical education is the only program that provides students with opportunities to learn motor skills, develop fitness, and gain understanding about the importance of physical activity.
It is the aspect of education that contributes to the total growth and development of the child mostly through selected movement and physical activities. It also enhances academic learning, helps meet the overall elementary school mission, treats students with dignity and respect, and applies instructional and Physical education helps develop the whole child, including the child's cognitive development, physical Development, social development and helps develop psychomotor skills. The ultimate goal of physical education will always be participation in health-enhancing physical activity for a lifetime.
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