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Physical Education 1 Aims & Goals

K–12 Aim and Goals of Physical Education

The K–12 aim of the physical education curriculum is to support students in becoming physically educated individuals who have the understandings and skills to engage in movement activity, and the confidence and disposition to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

The K-12 goals are broad statements identifying what students are expected to know and be able to do upon completion of study in a particular area of study. The goals of physical education are interdependent and are of equal importance. The three goals for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 are:

Active Living Goal

Active living is a concept that goes beyond the physiological aspects of participation in movement activity to encompass the mental, emotional, spiritual, and social dimensions that make up the entire physical experience. Active living is about individual well-being. How we experience well-being is uniquely personal; it varies over time and among individuals. Active living is also social and it goes beyond a traditional focus on individual lifestyle choices and emphasizes the physical and social environments that facilitate or hinder people’s ability and motivation to be active. These environments are shaped by and with families, in the communities where people live, learn, work, and play. Active living comes to life in community settings of all kinds.

The Active Living goal emphasizes the need for children to participate in “authentic” learning experiences that are enjoyable and that lead to deeper understandings about physical fitness. Children benefit from play and purposeful play will support students in being active for life. To support personal well-being, opportunities for students to enhance each of the components of health-related fitness are interwoven throughout the program. A well-balanced physical education program goes a long way towards ensuring that the Active Living goal is achieved by all students.

Skillful Movement Goal

The opportunity to move is important but learning the hows and whys of movement is more important if children are to gain the confidence and ability to participate in a variety of movement activities. This Skillful Movement goal addresses all aspects of effective motor learning with students gaining a deeper understanding of the transferability of movement skills from one movement activity to another. Rather than students learning the skills of a particular game or sport, students learn the foundations of movement. They continue to develop an understanding of how to move their bodies efficiently and effectively.

Students are more willing to engage in movement activities if they know how to move skillfully, and understand the concepts, tactics, and strategies that support skillful and enjoyable participation. Through involvement in authentic learning experiences, students deepen their understanding of how to move which transfers to using these skills within meaningful contexts in future years. A life of active living is more likely to be a reality if students are confident in their ability to move, and if they have an understanding of, and have the ability to apply, the whats, whys, and hows of skillful movement.

Relationships Goal

“Relationships” is a multi-faceted word in the context of the Relationships goal for physical education. On a personal level, students will develop a deeper understanding that will enhance their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual selves through and within movement experiences. Students will also engage in a variety of experiences to support growth as social beings, whether it be cooperatively creating and performing movements, making decisions collectively about tactics to use in games, or leading others in movement activities. In turn, as students develop their social skills, students will strengthen who they are as individuals.

The Relationships goal also promotes the translation of cultural awareness into action. Authentic multicultural curricula in physical education honour and help to preserve the cultural traditions of the many groups that are part of our society. This includes the games, dances, languages, celebrations, and other forms of physical culture. When students become aware of cultural groups, values, and practices of various cultures, students are better able to engage in multiple, diverse relationships.

Through experiences in physical education, students interact both with and within their environment. Practising and internalizing the behaviours that show a respect for both the natural and the constructed environment has a significant impact on lifelong practices. This focus within the Relationships goal includes everything from proper use of equipment in the gymnasium, to making enhancements to the natural environment.

Figure 1. Physical Education Connections to other Areas of Study

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