How Important Is It to Identify Historical, Philosophical, and Social Perspectives of Physical Education to Parents and Students?

JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, February 2012 | Go to article overview

How Important Is It to Identify Historical, Philosophical, and Social Perspectives of Physical Education to Parents and Students?


As physical educators, we identify these various perspectives to ascertain what the goals of physical education should be. We study the history of physical education in order to understand the improvements that have been made. We examine the social perspectives in order to understand why certain barriers exist in physical education. We scrutinize the philosophy of physical education in order to create a mission and cause based on our values and ethics. By connecting these perspectives, we learn how to teach our students in the most effective ways possible, and we create a strong picture of what quality physical education should look like.

The physical education of our parents was not the same experience that students are having today. With the many health problems, peer pressures, and challenges our students face, we have a strong case for quality physical education in schools. In order to build support for a school's program, students and parents should be educated on these perspectives. We are not just teaching sports or fitness, but are teaching life skills that will enable students to be contributing members of society.

--Justina R, Jackson, graduate student Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.

First of all, communication with parents is a long lost skill, especially at the secondary level. With the growing number of ways in which mass communication is possible, there is little excuse for this. With that being said, it would be beneficial for physical educators to inform parents about their philosophical approach and belief in the benefits of physical education. Physical educators who discuss these views with parents give insight into the goals of the curriculum, as well as the activities students will participate in. Furthermore, by explaining their approach to the program, teachers give parents a clearer picture of their expectations for students. Outlining the benefits of the program is a way teachers can advocate for physical education, which will bring community support and open up more physical activity options for the students as well as the community as a whole. Communication with parents shows that you have a personal interest in your students and want to spark parents' interest in your program. Who knows? Maybe more parents will stop by during parent-teacher conferences.

--Andrew Updike, graduate student, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO.

Identifying the historical factors of physical education can improve people's understanding of how physical education is the foundation for an active and healthy lifestyle. Physical education started as far back as the 1800s and has made its way into almost every school system in the world. The philosophy behind this subject should be talked about with all students so they will understand why they are participating in activities and learning lifetime skills. Teachers should not only be sharing these perspectives with their students, but also with the parents in order for them to support the same goals outside of the school setting. It is vital to promote physical education for social reasons too, because students will communicate on different levels in a physical education setting compared to the ordinary classroom setting.

--Lou Santoro and Scott Donocoff, teacher candidates, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ.

All of those are important, but I feel that the most important is the social perspective. For example, students in grades six through eight are developing social skills; they need to feel wanted and accepted in a group. A goal in my classes is to get students to work together. I love using the sport education model for my units because it fosters development of the affective domain. I think that skill development is inherently important, but you can only go so far in class when students are not able to cooperate with one another. Physical education can help them develop interpersonal and teamwork skills.

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How Important Is It to Identify Historical, Philosophical, and Social Perspectives of Physical Education to Parents and Students?
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