A couple of weeks ago our daughter came home with an informative sheet from her Physical Education (Gym) teacher that I thought was worth sharing with our readers. On the sheet was a list of the seven New York State Standards for Phys. Ed that stem from the 1995 work published by the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE). There are many reasons I believe in the value of physical education and play in education. Many facets of my belief are stated in Understanding Children and Adolescents by Judith A. Schickedanz, Karen Hansen, and Peggy D. Forsyth when they state:
“A healthy body contributes to healthy growth in every other area of development. Good motor coordination and appropriate body strength can support cognitive growth and provide children with positive feelings about themselves. Participation in games and sports can help children learn individual and group social skills. Overall, physical activity can give children a sense of health and general well-being.”
The NASPE standards and benchmarks help establish a way to guide and monitor a child’s progress towards physical preparation. According to the seven standards a physically educated person:
- Demonstrates competency in many movement forms and proficiency in a few movement forms.
- Applies movement concepts and principles to the learning and development of motor skills.
- Exhibits a physically active lifestyle.
- Achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.
- Demonstrates responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings.
- Demonstrates understanding and respect for differences among people in physical activity settings.
- Understands that physical activity provides opportunity for enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and social interaction.
I found the list to be a good way to confirm my own physical fitness routine. It also helps create a common dialogue between my daughter and I that is grounded. It provides some structure to her activities and helps her know we care about her health and support her efforts to exercise and eat healthy. Not bad for a six year-old!