physical education

Traditions of PE vs. Traditional PE

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Alex Sporticus   Traditional PE. “Traditional“. A description of the way we have always done PE against more contemporary approaches. A qualifier that is used as a pejorative. Employed indiscriminately – within the academic literature, on social media and in discourse around PE – as a substitute for practice we don’t like. I have used […]

What PE Is & Isn’t

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Alex Sporticus   “The aim is not for us to teach them to leave their chairs, so they can be better when they return. Our aim is to help them find a realm where they can experience some freedom, adventure, grace, excellence, strength, beauty and friendship away from chairs and to keep returning to that […]

The Bad & The Best

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Alex Sporticus   A couple of weeks ago, Edutopia published an article entitled 5 Fun Gym Games to Get Kids Moving. I found the subsequent commentary on the article, mainly via Twitter, absolutely fascinating. Whilst I could understand many of the points made from a range of perspectives, the conversations around the article made me consider how I’ve changed my thinking […]

Students & the System

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Christine Ruffolo   Amongst other things, COVID-19 revealed how fragile the American educational system is, and how unadaptable it is to changing and evolving times.  Designed to churn out compliant workers, it conflicts with the world around them — a burgeoning economy of self employment (one marked by passion, creativity, and innovation), as well as […]

Rethinking ‘Broad’ & ‘Balanced’ in PE

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Alex Sporticus   I dislike the guiding principles of ‘broad‘ and ‘balanced‘ when it comes to thinking about the PE curriculum and the selection of activities and sports within it. They are vague, they don’t help the design process and they don’t really apply to an individual subject but to a school curriculum (for a […]

Ten Thoughts on PE Curriculum Change

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Alex Sporticus   “How you view the nature of the world and change – either as stable ‘things’ and ‘entities’ or as a ‘flowing river’ and a ‘flaming fire’ – ultimately influences how you choose to lead and manage change.” – Iverorth and Hallencreutz (2016)   Physical Education is resistant to change, or so it […]

Performance and Learning in PE

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Alex Sporticus   “Finally, given that the goal of instruction and practice— whether in the classroom or on the field—should be to facilitate learning, instructors and students need to appreciate the distinction between learning and performance and understand that expediting acquisition performance today does not necessarily translate into the type of learn- ing that will […]

20 Mistakes Made in 20 Years of Teaching Physical Education

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Alex Sporticus   Physical Education is not inherently good. Children and young people will not automatically improve their movement, health, academic success or their pro-social behaviours just by participating in the subject. To achieve that we need to become more intentional with how we shape PE, what we fill it with and how we offer […]

Harm Free PE

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Alex Sporticus   How can we improve the provision of PE? My initial response to that question as a novice teacher was what could I add. What new sports can I include in the curriculum that children might enjoy? What new initiatives, like the Daily Mile, can I implement that will get children moving more? […]

Guest Post #6 – Toward a Useful Physical Education

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David Zundel   We have widespread ill health. And in the US 42% of us have become obese. PE didn’t help most people. Entertainment, porn, and sports show us buff physiques to consume. We prominently reward athletes. And advertising sells us convenient food. We train people to external direction. Our received ideals of fitness come from military preparedness. And […]

Meaningful Experiences in PE

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Alex Sporticus   Guiding Principles of Meaningful PE Movement has the potential to enrich human existence and Physical Education can be a site that contributes to this by creating meaningful experiences of movement. Meaningful experiences are those that hold ‘personal significance’ to the learner. PE Teachers who subscribe to the creation of meaningful experiences, are […]

Justifying School Sport

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Alex Sporticus   In the last few week I’ve had numerous conversations about school sport. Due to Covid-19 it has been missing and schools want it back. But why? Whether it was a Headteacher of small primary school in rural Somerset, a Head of PE in a large inner city comprehensive, a Director of Sport […]

Movement as a Way of Enriching Life

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Alex Sporticus “It is our vision and not what we are viewing that is limited.” Nick Sousanis, Unflattening.   A key part of the PE Teachers role is to improve the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed that will allow children to access different forms of movement both in the present and in their future. That […]

The Physically Educated Individual

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Alex Sporticus   With every government initiative in education there are unforeseen consequences. The current drive to build character through sport (and other activities) is having, in my opinion, an unforeseen negative impact on curriculum PE. Staffing, finances, facilities and time are being redistributed from PE provision to school sport provision. Now this might not […]

Teaching Kids Weightlifting

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Christine Ruffolo A PE teacher on one side of the country texts her trainer pal on the other:   “I was thinking of getting this textbook for my weightlifting class.” “Why do you need a textbook?” “So I have something to reference and know what to tell the kids.”   She sent a link to […]

Asking Students Better Questions

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Alex Sporticus   RECTIFYING A WEEK OF INEFFECTIVE QUESTIONING The PE Teacher has four clear ‘verbal’ ways to shape the learning of their pupils within lessons; instruction, feedback, question and silence. A skilled PE teacher will use all four, all of the time. Making judgements on which one to use depending on needs of the pupil in […]

Affective Movement

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Alex Sporticus   The art of teaching, at its very core, is constant decision making and problem-solving in a dynamic environment to assist the individual or the collective to flourish. As a secondary school teacher of PE I believe I am faced with two key puzzles to solve. The first key puzzle is how can […]

The Politics of Movement Ed

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Chandler Stevens   There’s a strange power dynamic inherent in most movement education and coaching (obviously extending out to therapies as well). I’ve been curious about the politics of the relationship between professional and client ever since my first exposure to somatic education. It was the first time I ever felt like I knew something […]

A New PE: Year in Review

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Christine Ruffolo Being a public educator means you will never be without students.  The caveat is that many won’t want to be there. Shaped by a past experience of dodgeballs to the face and timed miles and pacer tests, Physical Education was something to endure.  It was a punishment for not being athletic or interested […]

Meaning in Movement

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The parts of our PE curriculum that I find the most difficult to teach are establishing behaviours for movement (Affective Domain) and finding meaning in movement. Whilst basic sports psychology may have the potential answers for the former, I continue to struggle with the latter as it isn’t one that can be taught. It isn’t as simple as […]