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Physical Education Tools and Resources:

The following is excerted from: Promoting Better Health for Young People Through Physical Activity and Sports, A Report to the President From the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Education.

"Strategy 3: Publicize and disseminate tools to help schools improve their physical education and other physical activity programs.

In recent years, federal agencies and national organizations have developed a large number of practical tools that can help schools improve their physical education and other physical activity programs. These tools include

  • Guidelines for School and Community Programs to Promote Lifelong Physical Activity Among Young People (CDC; Appendix 5).21

  • School Health Index for Physical Activity and Healthy Eating: A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide (CDC; Appendix 16).31

  • Moving into the Future: National Standards for Physical Education (NASPE; Appendix 11).24

  • Adapted Physical Education National Standards (National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities; Appendix 15).30

  • National Standards for Beginning Physical Education Teachers (NASPE; Appendix 14).29

  • Concepts of Physical Education: What Every Student Needs to Know (NASPE).32

  • Fit, Healthy, and Ready to Learn: A School Health Policy Guide (National Association of State Boards of Education; Appendix 17).27

  • Physical Fitness Demonstration Centers (PCPFS; Appendix 18).

  • Programs That Work (CDC; Appendix 19).

  • Quality Coaches, Quality Sports: National Standards for Athletic Coaches (NASPE).33

  • Guidelines for School Intramural Programs (National Intramural Sports Council; Appendix 20).34

  • The NSACA Standards for Quality School-Age Care (National School-Age Care Alliance; Appendix 21).35

  • Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Movement Programs for Young Children, Ages 3-5 (NASPE).36

Many school administrators and educators do not have these materials, and only modest efforts have been made to disseminate them. Relevant Department of Health and Human Services agencies, working in close collaboration with the Department of Education, state and local agencies, and nongovernmental organizations, should implement an ongoing marketing initiative to systematically distribute these resources to the nationís educators at the school district and school levels. Staff development must be provided to ensure the effective use of these tools.

One of the best ways to promote the widespread use of innovative practices and build support for quality school initiatives is to identify model programs that allow educators to learn from the successes of their peers. Two existing federal programs could be expanded to identify model programs:

  • PCPFSís Physical Fitness Demonstration Centers (Appendix 18) initiative recognizes individual schools that do an outstanding job of emphasizing the physical fitness component of physical education, as determined by state departments of education according to criteria developed in cooperation with PCPFS. Expanding this initiative to more schools in more states would facilitate the dissemination of innovative practices.

  • CDCís Programs That Work initiative (Appendix 19) identifies curricula with credible evidence of effectiveness in reducing health risk behaviors among young people. Training on implementing these curricula is provided for interested educators from state and local education agencies, departments of health, and national non-governmental organizations. To date, curricula have been identified that address tobacco-use prevention and HIV, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and pregnancy prevention. Expanding this initiative to include programs that promote physical activity would help states and school districts make more informed curricular decisions.

Perhaps the most urgently needed tool that has not yet been developed is a standardized assessment of student performance in physical education. Such a tool would measure achievement in knowledge, motor skills, and self-management skills. It could

  • Help educators monitor and improve the quality of physical education programs.

  • Provide a means of holding programs accountable.

  • Enable physical education to be included among the subjects on which students are tested as part of the state education assessments that are increasingly driving school management decisions.

Without the data on student performance that such a tool could provide, physical education will continue to be relegated to a low priority in school reform efforts.

Most states have not developed assessments of student performance in physical education and have not included physical education among the subjects that all schools must assess. NASPE has developed materials that could guide an assessment process, and several states have independently begun to develop their own assessments. These efforts should be sup-ported and final products should be widely disseminated by relevant Department of Health and Human Services agencies, in collaboration with the Department of Education, state and local agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.

Without a qualified, dedicated person coordinating efforts in each state, a national initiative to promote physical activity among young people will inevitably fall through the cracks."

Contact Information

Kristy Blower
Physical Activity Coordinator
West Virginia Bureau for Public Health
Division of Health Promotion
Room 206
350 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301-3715

(304) 558-0644

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This page was last updated 03/2010.
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