About Physical Education
The goal of Pre K-12 physical education is to help students become responsible citizens who are both physically educated and health literate. Each student will set and achieve personally challenging goals in physical activity, apply higher order thinking skills to human movement, and design personal movement and fitness plans. Students will be able to display the skills and practices of a physically active lifestyle, knowing the benefits of their choices to be involved in physical activity. They will be physically fit and have a mindset that values physical activity and its benefits in sustaining healthy lifestyles.
- Physical education develops motor skills that allow for safe, successful, and satisfying participation in physical activities, sport, and dance.
- Physical education provides a wide range of developmentally appropriate activities.
- Physical education improves cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, and body composition.
- Physical education reinforces knowledge learned across the curriculum and serves as a laboratory for application of content in science, math, reading, writing, and social studies.
- Physical education facilitates development of responsibility for personal health, safety, and fitness.
- Physical education promotes leadership, cooperation, and responsibility.
- Physical activity enhances emotional stability and resilience.
- Physical education instills a stronger sense of self-worth based on mastery of skills and concepts in physical activity.
- Physical education affords the opportunity to set and strive for personal, achievable goals.
Specific content expectations direct students towards becoming physically educated and health literate. Content provides:
- instruction in a variety of motor skills that are designed to enhance the physical, mental, and social/emotional development of every student.
- fitness education and assessment to help children understand, improve, and/or maintain their physical well-being.
- development of cognitive concepts about motor skill and fitness.
- opportunities to improve emerging social and cooperative skill and gain a multicultural perspective.
- promotion of regular amounts of appropriate physical activity now and throughout life.
The concepts and processes of physical education are reflected in the Maryland State Standards:
- Standard I: Exercise Physiology - The ability to use scientific principles to design and participate in a regular, moderate to vigorous physical activity program that contributes to personal health and enhances cognitive and physical performance in a variety of academic, recreational, and life tasks.
- Standard II: Biomechanical Principles – The ability to use the principles of biomechanics to generate and control force to improve movement effectiveness and safety.
- Standard III: Social Psychological Principles – The ability to use skills essential for developing self-efficacy, fostering a sense of community, and working effectively with others in physical activity settings.
- Standard IV: Motor Learning Principles – The ability to use motor skill principles to learn and develop proficiency through frequent practice opportunities in which skills are repeatedly performed correctly in a variety of situations.
- Standard V: Physical Activity – The ability to use the principles of exercise physiology, social psychology, and biomechanics to design and adhere to a regular, personalized, purposeful program of physical activity consistent with health, performance, and fitness goals in order to gain health and cognitive/academic benefits.
- Standard VI: Skillfulness – The ability to enhance performance of a variety of physical skills by developing fundamental movement skills, creating original skill combinations, combining skill effectively in skills themes, and applying skills.
The Physical Education curriculum recognizes the developmental stages of students’ physical and cognitive growth and therefore moves from general to specific (content) across grade levels.
Instruction for physical education engages the learner and reflects the complex nature of the discipline. This requires consistent, yet varied opportunities for students to be actively involved in physical education activities. The physical education curriculum promotes instruction that:
- values all learners as individuals and is differentiated for strengths, interests, and learning styles.
- emphasizes application of knowledge, procedures, strategies, tactics, and concepts.
- models critical thinking, problem solving, and guided discovery to enhance learning.
- promotes enjoyment of movement, sport, and dance.
- provides choices of movement experiences.
- uses ongoing authentic assessments (formative and summative) to guide instruction and monitor student progress.
- relies on rubrics, scoring tools, and data collection to clearly identify the expectations and desired outcomes.
- emphasizes flexible and varied groupings to encourage full inclusion and equitable opportunities.
- maximizes practice opportunities that are developmentally appropriate.
- incorporates and encourages the use of technology.
- provides real world, authentic, interdisciplinary experiences that make logical and meaningful connections.
- supports practice, learning, and the development of life-long habits through out-of-school experiences.