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Sample Essay “How New Physical Education Programs Differ from the Old Ones?”

December 16th, 2015 No comments

football players on a fieldAs the level of physical activity among kids has become lower in recent years, the little ones have become more overweight and of course, less fit. In order to turn this trend around, some fitness experts believe, PE classes must be reorganized so there’s more emphasis on various fitness activities, instead of team sports. So, in terms of kids’ health benefits, how far have we progressed over the last twenty years?

Beginnings

In Colonial times, no physical education programs existed due to certain hardships settlers incurred in America. In 1776, the first gymnastics lessons were brought to America by the immigrants from Europe. But in contrast to what we have nowadays, early American physical education was concentrated mainly on writing, reading and arithmetic. Moreover, it wasn’t a part of a school curriculum till the moment, when the Civil War was over.

Mid 20th Century

It was President Eisenhower, who set the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. The recommendations described in it included providing more equipment, time and staff for physical education instruction in the country’s schools. The typical activities included 600-yard run or walk, the broad jump and softball throw.

Late 20th Century

There was no improvement in PE in 1970s. However, by the middle of 1980s, the school fitness elements included pull-ups, sit-ups and flexed-arm hangs, as well as one-mile run or walk. Nowadays, these physical activities have been strengthened greatly to match the modern PE programs.

Early 21st Century

At the beginning of the 21st century, the majority of states did not require any specific time to be spent in PE classes. According to the journal ‘Education Next’ (edition 2006), from 1991 to 2003, the number of high school students in the United States participating in everyday physical education classes dropped from 42% to 28%. Comparing it to the present days, it is important to mention that in accordance with the recent studies, secondary and middle schools all over the country devote too little time in their curriculum to PE. As for the everyday physical education programs among the grades from 6 to 12, they are simply almost non-existent.

Helping little kids and youth find enjoyment, success and self-confidence in what is related to their physical strength and abilities is crucial. The physical education personnel must provide instructional experiences that involve students and require them to be engaged in the most appropriate ways. The programs of physical education segment should enable the high school students to set goals, make serious decisions, solve the severest problems, as well as demonstrate the most important learning outcomes.

Experts say that now there is still no special measure that can be used to evaluate the PE programs quality, despite the variety of standards set by the US Heart Association and National Association of Sport and PE. The experts suggest that all these standards leave a lot to be desired.

References
Dauer, Victor P., and Robert P. Pangrazi. 1983. Physical Education for Elementary School Children.Minneapolis: Burges Publishing Company.
Massengale, John D. and Richard A. Swanson, ed. 1997. The History of Exercise and Sport Science.Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1997. “Guidelines for School and Community Programs to Promote Lifelong Physical Activity Among Young People.” Journal of School Health 67: 202–219.
Van Dalen, Deobold, and Bruce L. Bennett. 1971. A World History of Physical Education, Cultural, Philosophical, Comparative. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1999. Physical Education for Lifelong Fitness, the Physical Best Teacher’s Guide. Windsor, ON: Human Kinetics.
Ontario Physical and Health Education Association. 2000. Health and Physical Education Curriculum Support: Kindergarten to Grade 10. Toronto, ON: Ontario Physical and Health Education Association.
Internicola, Dorene. Physical Education: How Innovative School Programs Can Boost Kids’ Fitness, Reuters, February 9, 2015.