L. Physical Education (for students ages 3-18+)





Note.  Printed with permission from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, (Physical Education Standards, 1999),www.nbpts.org. All rights reserved.


___a. Knowledge of students

___b. Knowledge of subject matter

___c. Sound teaching practices

___d. Student engagement in learning

___e. High expectations for learners

___f. Learning environment

___g. Curricular choices

___h. Assessment

___i. Equity, fairness, and diversity

___j. Reflective practice and professional growth

___k. Promoting an active lifestyle

___l. Collaboration with colleagues

___m. Family and community partnerships


___a. Knowledge of students 

  • Understanding the value of students' prior achievements and experiences, teachers continually learn about their students and use this information to shape instructional decisions. The relationships that teachers develop with their students not only support student learning and development but also provide teachers with perspectives from which to view aspects of students' character, values, interests, and talents.

  • Teachers employ various means to learn about students, their communities, and their social and cultural environments. They actively and willingly listen and observe students in various settings in which the latter express themselves.

  • Teachers incorporate their knowledge of the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional developmental aspects of their students in their lessons that meet the needs of all students and demonstrate objectives that value each individual.

  • While striving to meet goals that set high expectations for all their students, teachers modify and extend instruction appropriately for individual learners, adapting lessons as necessary to address students' developmental and skill-level differences.

  • Teachers recognize the unique position they hold in the lives of students. They also know that their field offers special opportunities for students for students to learn motor skills and feel good about their bodies and their physical abilities and potential. In physical education classes, students can interact with others and express themselves in ways that are not available in other academic areas.

___b. Knowledge of subject matter 

  • Teachers have a thorough comprehension of the components of motor skills development. Therefore, they understand that the acquisition of these skills lies at the core of the developmental physical education program. Thus, they can and do actively engage students in learning how to foster more mature motor patterns.

  • Teachers use developmentally appropriate progressions for teaching motor skills, focusing on the mechanics of movement as the sequence is experienced by the learner.

  • Teachers are knowledgeable about the organic, skeletal, and neuromuscular structures of the human body and know how these structures contribute to motor performance. They apply movement concepts and principles to the teaching of motor skills and help students understand how motor skills are learned.

  • Teachers understand components of health-related physical fitness, such as body composition, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance, and muscular strength, and such skill-related fitness components as agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed. Teachers know how to apply principles of physical training to the teaching of all fitness components.

  • Teachers acknowledge and understand the interrelated dimensions of wellness and physical activity. They utilize this knowledge in planning and carrying out their program of instruction in physical education, designing activities that promote behaviors that enhance health and the quality of life in the present as well as in the future.

  • Teachers are knowledgeable in a wide variety of movement forms specific to the age group they teach.

  • Teachers understand sociological and psychological principles as they relate to physical activity and sport. Thus they design challenging and effective activities and tasks that create an environment for student success in developing their individual identities, expressing themselves in positive ways, and learning self-discipline.

  • Teachers know how to prevent injuries related to movement and teach their students how to engage in physical activity safely. They also model safe participation in sport and movement, demonstrating correct technique and the use of safety equipment.

  • Teachers have the knowledge to recognize detriments to wellness, such as substance abuse, eating disorders, or poor nutrition. They comply with local regulations and employ professional resources effectively when such concerns arise.

  • Teachers are familiar with safety factors associated with particular disabilities and contraindicated movements of their students.

  • Teachers stay abreast of technological advances in their field as part of their dedication to professional growth and utilize the most current technological resources available to enhance their teaching practice.

___c. Sound teaching practices 

  • Teachers use their deep and broad understanding of the principles of physical education to make the subject matter meaningful to their students. They have a rich repertoire of methods to engage students productively in learning, and they make careful and appropriate decisions about when to use each of them.

  • Teachers are well versed in the characteristics of learners. They have a thorough comprehension of the means by which learners construct knowledge to develop physical skills, and they assess this process in order to design and implement appropriate instruction.

  • Teachers integrate many aspects of effective practice and employ a variety of teaching strategies to match the learners' needs and to communicate content. They also modify goals and strategies as necessary to meet the challenges offered by students' interests, competence, age, and ability levels.

  • Teachers design instruction appropriate to the multiple needs and experiences of special student populations. When they work with students with disabilities, they apply their knowledge of contraindications to achieve effective instruction.

  • Because the acquisition of motor skills is a progressive process, teachers sequence motor skill development logically, teaching skills in the appropriate context, in combination with the development of other skills. Teachers design instruction effectively, looking for clear progression on the part of students but dealing with developmental variations as they occur.

  • Teachers use demonstrations appropriately in instruction, helping learners to see the application of a particular skill in a dynamic situation and breaking down complex skills to simpler levels for purposes of explanation and presentation.

  • Teachers utilize the physical setting of their classroom as an effective tool of instruction, and they carefully select and use appropriate instructional resources, including specialized equipment.

___d. Student engagement in learning 

  • Teachers combine their enthusiasm for and knowledge of their field with their knowledge of students. Thus their students are constructively engaged in sustained activity and express their active, spirited involvement in an appreciation for physical education.

  • Teachers are experts at balancing their knowledge of the cognitive aspects of physical education with the teaching of skills and concepts. They are also adept at combining their expertise as technicians in a complex field with their enthusiasm for teaching young people.

  • By balancing their understanding of students' individual needs with their knowledge of the needs of the group as a whole, teachers demonstrate their belief in the importance of the subject, make it possible for every student to succeed as part of a larger entity, and illustrate how individuals function to make a group strong.

  • Teachers possess knowledge of students as individuals that they cultivate to engage students and to structure learning activities that stretch and build on students' interests and experiences.

  • Teachers provide frequent opportunities for students to engage actively in decision-making processes that initiate individual learning and thus facilitate students' independence.

___e. High expectations for learners 

  • Teachers are committed to creating mature, independent learners--students capable of carrying out their responsibility to establish healthy, physically active lifestyles that lead to lifelong wellness. Providing choices for students encourages them to reflect on and analyze what they learn and to assume responsibility for their own learning. By doing so, teachers constantly redirect all students toward the next level of achievement and empower them to become involved in setting high and realistic goals.

  • Teachers commit themselves to promoting critical thinking and personal and social responsibility in all students. Therefore, teachers direct students toward high standards, assist in personal evaluation, and promote intellectual as well as physical mastery of material.

___f. Learning environment 

  • To create an appropriate learning environment in which students engage in learning, enjoy physical activity, and have opportunities to develop competence in skills, teachers establish a culture of trust, responsibility, and mutual respect. Teachers readily celebrate students' achievements through praise and positive responses.

  • Teachers master a large repertoire of teaching strategies and classroom management skills that create a learning environment in which students function at the highest level of expectations. They establish orderly and workable routines to maximize student engagement and participation. These routines ensure that students know what is expected of them and are confident and willing to participate.

  • Teachers are aware of differences among their students and therefore employ developmentally appropriate practices and activities to provide for student success.

  • Teachers adjust their use of time, equipment, grouping, and space as necessary to enhance learning, to match the individual learner's developmental needs, and to provide active and equitable instructional experiences.

  • Teachers create an environment that maximizes students' physical safety because they believe that physical safety is a priority in any movement setting.

___g. Curricular choices 

  • Teachers are familiar with curriculum models and theories relevant to the field and make curricular choices that are defensible and purposeful. These choices encourage learners to experience physical education positively, incorporating such themes as motor skill development, movement concepts, health-related fitness, participation in physical activity, social responsibility, diversity in physical activity settings, and the value of physical activity.

  • A sound curriculum gives students choices that are appropriate, structured, and designed to nurture them as individuals who will grow into independent learners.

  • Teachers make curricular choices that focus on students' needs, independent of the teachers' personal preferences about favorite games or activities.

  • Teachers set curricular goals that ensure appropriate learning experiences.

___h. Assessment 

  • Teachers command a wide range of assessment methods and strategies within their teaching repertoire, both formal and informal, spontaneous and structured. They also identify critical components of skills to be assessed and incorporate opportunities for assessing students into daily instruction. Using both formative and summative evaluation, teachers reshape their instructional planning to meet students' needs.

  • Teachers employ various means of assessment, depending on class needs and instructional requirements. They also analyze assessment results and make adjustments to their curriculum and instruction that are consistent with their findings.

  • Teachers know that developing their students' ability to assess their own progress is essential to fostering their growth as independent learners. Such self-assessment for students enhances personal assessment of physical activities and contributes to future choices important to healthy lifestyles.

  • Teachers use assessment results to provide specific information to students, parents, and school officials about each learner's progress.

___i. Equity, fairness, and diversity 

  • Teachers confront issues of diversity proactively to promote equality and to ensure that their students receive equal opportunities to select, participate in, enjoy, and benefit from a variety of physical activities.

  • Teachers create learning environments in which high expectations and fairness for all students exist. They value diversity and the richness of cultural groups and promote respect for others by modeling appreciation for the differences among students. They conscientiously demonstrate appropriate behaviors they wish to inculcate in their students.

  • Educators are aware of the challenges involved in providing physical education to students with disabilities and use appropriate strategies to address these students' unique needs.

___j. Reflective practice and professional growth 

  • As careful observers of students, teachers constantly rethink instructional choices, analyzing the relationship between their practice and student learning.

  • Essential to self-assessment is the teachers' realization of the necessity of modeling ethical behavior. Thus, educators examine their practice to display ethical behavior in their interactions with parents, students, teachers, administrators, and community members.

  • Creativity characterizes the practice of teachers, particularly in situations in which they find themselves limited in the availability of instructional materials and resources.

  • In their quest for self-renewal, teachers interact effectively with other professionals. Thus, educators are models of lifelong learners who continually work to increase the depth and breadth of content knowledge.

___k. Promoting an active lifestyle 

  • Engaging students in the process of a physically active life is an important goal of physical education. To meet their goal of promoting a wide range of possibilities for achieving an active lifestyle and for meeting the physical requirements of daily life, teachers offer positive experiences in their classes that encourage students to succeed in and enjoy physical activity.

  • Teachers set and actively pursue goals in their own lives that exemplify the best attributes they wish to impart to their students and that focus on lifestyle behaviors that benefit physical wellness.

___l. Collaboration with colleagues 

  • Teachers employ their knowledge of the school culture to seek opportunities to emphasize the value of physical education in the context of the school's academic pursuits.

  • Teachers communicate the value of the field by making clear that the development of critical-thinking skills is a key component pf physical education and by sharing their positive instructional experiences with co-workers.

  • Teachers establish partnerships with colleagues throughout the school to integrate other disciplines into physical education and vice versa and to emphasize their commitment to the well-being of the institution as a whole.

  • Teachers participate in school-wide efforts to identify and assist students with special instructional requirements and to meet all students' needs.

  • Teachers act as resources for colleagues in other disciplines in promoting issues related to physical activity and healthy lifestyles.

___m. Family and community partnerships 

  • Teachers are advocates for their instructional programs beyond the confines of the school, actively seeking and participating in opportunities to promote enthusiasm among families and within communities for healthy, active lifestyles.

  • Teachers enlist the aid of families as partners in the physical education of their children.

  • Involvement with families and an awareness of their culture as well as their prior experiences with physical education give teachers insight into parental expectations and aspirations for their children.