Physical Education K-8

Nicholas Lee, Director of Physical Education K-8 and Middle School Athletics


Philosophy of Physical Education
Physical education is an integral part of any school curriculum. A quality physical education program, taught by certified personnel at all levels, contributes greatly to a student's intellectual, social and emotional growth. It incorporates the best known practices gained from research and teaching experiences so as to maximize opportunities for learning.
The unique objective of physical education is to assist the student in realizing his/her potential in the areas of movement skill and total body fitness. A quality physical education program should involve developmentally appropriate skills within a logical progression for proper development of movement skills, physical fitness and dance.

Specific outcomes for each grade level are denoted within this curriculum. The outcomes indicate what skills students should learn and the knowledge and behaviors they should possess when leaving the program.

Physical education content should be clear, comprehensive and unified. The delivery of this content should provide for a most positive learning environment that consists of the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains. Within the psychomotor domain, the student should become a versatile and efficient mover within the program areas of games, dance and gymnastics.

There are four aspects of movement:

Body aspect: What the body is doing.
Spatial aspect: Where the body is going.
Effort aspect: How the body moves.
Relationship aspect: How body parts relate to each other and how the individual relates to other individuals, groups, apparatus, object and factors such as rhythms, music, boundaries and rules.

Students who develop competency of skills within these four aspects and who can apply them within games, dance and gymnastics, surely meet the objective of being an efficient and versatile mover.

Within an affective domain, the student develops and awareness of the joy of movement as a participator and observer. Students should be introduced to experiences, which enhance not only a positive self image, but also ones which will influence lifelong movement activity. Learning to make healthy choices, taking responsibility for oneself, showing self-control, following rules, participating safely, working well with others, demonstrating respect and display of good sportsmanship are key to developing abilities within the social and emotional areas.

Physical education stresses the objectives of critical thinking, decision-making and problem solving. Such is within the cognitive domain where the student "gains and applies the knowledge that governs human movement" (Logsdon et. al., 1984, pg. 17). Included within this domain are developing vocabulary, knowledge about how the body moves (the biomechanical aspects of skills and physiology of exercise), learning about safety and understanding the structure of the main program areas of games, dance and gymnastics.

Assessment is crucial to a quality physical education program for it provides a basis for proper planning to match the needs of the student. The only way to be certain that a student has truly improved within motor skills is to assess. The Physical Best and FITNESSGRAM is an example of an assessment tool used within Brockton as a supplement within the grades 1-8 physical education program. The Physical Best aspect is the educational component explaining to students why we need to assess and the FITNESSGRAM aspect is the actual tool used for all students. Assessment demand accountability of student progress and of the physical education program.

The following curriculum for the Brockton physical education program stresses the need for each student in grades 1-8 to be provided with opportunities to develop a functional understand of movement concepts and to build competence and confidence in their ability to perform various motor skills through an interdisciplinary approach to learning. The National Physical Education Standards and the Massachusetts Health Curriculum Framework are referenced within this document to assist in giving clarity and direction the Brockton's physical education program. These standards clearly identify what a student should know and be able to perform as a result of a quality program and to create guidelines for assessment.