Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Physical Fitness Profiles of Lower-Level Students in Elementary Schools Based on Observation Guidelines

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Physical Fitness Profiles of Lower-Level Students in Elementary Schools Based on Observation Guidelines

Article excerpt

Introduction

To this day, the performance test is used as the primary instrument for the Physical Education teachers to evaluate the physical fitness of the students. This test is used not only in senior and junior high schools, but also in elementary schools, even to test the lower-level students. The performance test, which is usually used by the Physical Education teachers, is the Indonesian Physical Fitness Test (IPFT). This test is adaptable to the age of the student under evaluation. For example, IPFT for the 16-19 year old students is used in a senior high school. IPFT for the 13-15 year old students is used in a junior high school. IPFT for the 10-12 year old students is used for the upper-level elementary school students. IPFT for the 6-9 year old students is used for the lowerlevel elementary school students.

The main consideration for using the performance test, such as IPFT, is the practicality of the test because it provides the implementation guidelines that make it easier to be implemented. Additionally, IPFT provides the assessment guidelines that make it easier to process the raw data to produce the score. Physical Education teachers have never before thought as comprehensively when considering the safety factor of the students during the physical fitness test.

The performance test becomes the primary instrument for evaluating the physical fitness of the students because the Physical Education teachers lack the information. Physical Education teachers from senior high schools, junior high schools, and elementary schools have been using the performance test, such as IPFT, the 2.4 km run test, or the 12 minute run test as the instrument for evaluating the physical fitness of the students. Physical Education teachers lack the capability of using various types of physical tests. This has constrained the use of other physical fitness tests.

Physical education teachers do not realize that the performance test can cause physical and psychological stress to the students especially the lower-level elementary school students (first, second, and third graders). The physical stress that is experienced by the students during the performance test can cause injury because the physical abilities of the students are still weak and cannot withstand the heavy loads. Furthermore, the performance test can cause psychological stress. Specifically, when the students are afraid of performing the test, they start crying or even urinate during the test.

Based on the unpleasant empirical evidence, Thomas, Lee, and Thomas (1998, p.186) suggest that the Physical Education teachers should not implement the performance test to evaluate the physical fitness of the lower-level elementary school students. They suggest that the Physical Education teachers should conduct multiple observations when the students are performing physical activity to evaluate their physical fitness. However, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) (2005, p.224) states that the authentic test is appropriate for the lower-level elementary school students.

According to Rink (2009, p.26), teachers are the most responsible people for developing and preserving the physical fitness of students through physical activities and sports. Lutan (2001, p.26) states that Physical Education teachers have very strategic roles and are one of the main aspects that form the attitude towards active lifestyle. Physical Education teachers, as educators in this case, are expected to create and try different strategies to maximize the competence and responsibility of their students (Hortiguela-Alcala, Perez-Pueyo, and MoncadaJimenez, 2015, p.203), specifically towards their own fitness. There are many factors that determine fitness of a person. One such factor is the concern for his/her own physical activity. Physical activity is widely recognized as an important behavioural characteristic for promoting health and preventing disease (Marta, Marinho, and Marques, 2012, p. …

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