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Aims & Goals

Aim and Goals of K-12 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.

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 - Enjoy and engage in healthy levels of participation in movement activities to support lifelong active living in the context of self, family, and community.
  • Skillful Movement - Enhance quality of movement by understanding, developing, and transferring movement concepts, skills, tactics, and strategies to a wide variety of movement activities.
  • Relationships - Balance self through safe and respectful personal, social, cultural, and environmental interactions in a wide variety of movement activities.

These goals, while reflecting what is important in physical education, also provide "throughlines" to the Cross-curricular Competencies and Broad Areas of Learning. Teachers need to ensure that the "throughlines" from each subject area are reflected when planning and teaching.

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 students to deeper understandings about physical fitness. Opportunities for students to develop 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 youth 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 will learn a variety of skills within the context of types of games.

Students will be more willing to engage in movement activities if they understand the concepts, tactics, and strategies that support skillful and enjoyable participation. Through involvement in authentic learning experiences, students will deepen their understanding of how to apply movement skills within meaningful contexts. An example of this is knowing how to transition from defensive to offensive team play regardless of whether the game being played is an invasion/territorial game or a net/wall game. A life of active living is more likely to be a reality if students are confident in their understanding of, and have the ability to apply, the 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, cultural values and practices, and the problems faced by minority cultures, students are better able to engage in multiple, diverse relationships.

Through experiences in physical education, students will interact both with and within their environment. Practising and internalizing the behaviours that show a respect for both the natural and the constructed environment, will have 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.

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