Question: Is Motor Learning Applicable to Practitioners?

JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, October 1996 | Go to article overview

Question: Is Motor Learning Applicable to Practitioners?


YOU ARE AN ELEMENTARY PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER in an urban school district. You have been an elementary physical education teacher for four years. You teach physical education in a school with 400 children, preschool through grade 6. Among these students are several mainstreamed children with mental and physical disabilities. You teach physical education twice a week for 45 minutes. This 45-minute time period is the classroom teacher's planning period. You also coach a track team of fourth, fifth, and sixth graders; coach football for the fifth- and sixth-grade boys; and direct a dance group of third, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.

A representative from AAHPERD has requested an interview on why motor learning is important to physical education teachers. Your position is that motor learning is not important to elementary physical educators for the following reasons:

* Physical educators need to focus on content development with children and youth at various stages of development. Within one grade there are wide variations in skill level.

* Theoretical courses are not relevant to the day-to-day teaching of physical education. As an undergraduate physical education major, you did not learn to apply any motor learning concepts to real-world problems.

* Researchers in their ivory towers do not make information applicable for teachers in the trenches.

* The state physical education curriculum is developed without information about the application of principles and theories.

Whether or not you believe this position, argue for it as strongly as you can. Use arguments that make sense and are rational. Be creative and invent new supporting arguments. Remember to learn the rationale for both your position and the researchers' position. …

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