Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education New Zealand

The Challenge of Change

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education New Zealand

The Challenge of Change

Article excerpt

The other day I was talking to various Physical Education Teachers over a coffee during a Unit Standards course.

The conversation was about academic Physical Education blah blah as you do.... Why am I writing this now?

I need to express my utter shock, disbelief, and concern that maybe we Physical educators have not travelled as far along the path of progress as we may like to think.

One person (in our coffee group) said to me that they didn't really believe in Academic Physical Education because Physical Education was really only about physical activity. That to focus on activity at the lower levels was far more important than academic pursuits at the top end.

Noah's Ark came to mind, not for any religious reason but merely to represent the time warp I found myself in.

How can a physical educator in a senior management role be thinking and truly believing this? Have they not heard of "Hauora", or the notion of the total person. Of course I expressed my thoughts aloud.

I ask now; why are people still thinking like this?

It's my opinion that physical activity, although important, is not what physical education is.

This is how I see it:

We are not just physical alone (there are however, people who are just physical, who, I'm sure, are very lonely). We are made up of a complex system of interacting forces which are often simply grouped as emotional / spiritual / mental and physical. Physical Education takes these forces and endeavours to pave a critical thinking path between them so they interact together and at the same time are aware of one anothers presence. …

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