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PE center stage: It’s your turn!

by Guy Le Masurier
Vancouver Island University




Promoting movement and providing children with opportunities to move are central to what we do as physical educators. We’ve always known the tangible and intangible benefits of movement; however, others are finally realizing what we’ve known all the time: Movement is good. Emerging research is documenting the mental benefits of movement, the National Physical Activity Plan recommends a comprehensive physical activity program in schools anchored by physical education (www.physicalactivityplan.org/education.htm), and the first lady of the United States is focused on getting kids moving more and eating well (www.letsmove.gov). The spotlight on physical activity and healthy eating in schools puts us at center stage. As the key characters, physical educators will need to understand the plot, learn the lines, and share skills and resources with supporting actors. Following are some notes on this new production that will help you get into character.

The Plot

In addition to providing high-quality physical education that meets national and state standards, physical educators will become physical activity directors. In this role, physical educators will create active schools (www.letsmove.gov/activeschools.php) by helping classroom teachers integrate physical activity into other subject areas throughout the school day.

The Lines

Following are some of the key phrases and words that are important in this new stage of physical education:

  • Standards-based physical education: Delivering physical education lessons that meet age-appropriate NASPE and state standards.
  • Moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA): Children should spend at least 50 percent of PE class time in MVPA.
  • Coordinated and comprehensive school wellness programs: A coordinated effort between faculty, staff, students, and parents to create a school and community culture that promotes physical activity, healthy eating, and healthy behaviors. Physical and health educators should play a leading role in developing these programs.
  • Cross-curricular activities: Just as physical educators will enjoy seeing physical activity in science classes, physical educators should work to include concepts from other subject areas in physical education. In fact, the great thing about physical education is that it is multidisciplinary because it draws on science (biomechanics, anatomy, physiology), social studies (culture of sport, history of sport), and math (statistics, scoring, measuring).

Sharing skills and Resources

Your colleagues might need help integrating physical activity into their curricula and communicating nutrition information to their students. For example, the task of managing large groups of students in movement settings can be very intimidating for some classroom teachers. Engaged physical education professionals who are members of AAHPERD and NASPE have a wealth of resources and information that can be shared with colleagues. If we want to create active schools and a comprehensive school wellness program that includes physical activity throughout the school day, we have to make it easy to get kids moving. This will require sharing some of our pedagogy skills, lesson plan ideas, Web resources, and enthusiasm for movement.

When the curtain rises, physical educators will be asked to perform. Human Kinetics has worked with professionals and scholars in our field to develop resources to help you deliver standards-based physical education that maximizes physical activity in physical education classes, resources to implement a coordinated school wellness program, and resources with lesson plans that have numerous ideas for cross-curricular activities. This is a great opportunity for our profession and your chance to play a starring role in the health of our nation’s youth. It’s your turn! Take advantage of resources that will help you perform your best.


Guy Le Masurier, PhD is a coauthor of the Fitness for Life K-12 curriculum. He is also a fellow of the Research Consortium of
AAHPERD, the associate editor of the Epidemiology section of the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, and a professor of sport, health, and physical education at Vancouver Island University.



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