Why Physical Education Should be included in the E Essaylementary School Curriculum
I strongly feel that Physical Education should be a high priority in the curriculum of every elementary school. Each part of a student’s education plays an important role in their learning experience. Education for children in K-6th grades is very important and is the building blocks for a lifetime of learning. Physical education is important because it is one of the blocks of a student’s foundation of learning and in the “big picture” will provide a way to teach the student as a whole. The physical aspect of a child’s learning should as important as other subjects because it adds to the growth of a child through experiences involving their social, emotional, mental and physical development (Gordon 19).
All areas of a child’s education are very important. Mathematics, Science, History, English and Social Science have been included in the school’s curriculum because these are areas that a child will use for the rest of their lives. We focus on these areas so the children will prepare themselves for whatever career they choose as adults and to expand and enhance their knowledge for a productive life as an adult. These areas, I agree, are vital to the education of a student. Equally important is the knowledge and awareness of our physical bodies and how being active can expand and enhance physical skills and attitudes towards shaping a healthy active lifestyle.
A mistake that educators often make is using physical education as a reward or a punishment for behavior in the classroom setting.
My children, who are all elementary school age, have told me those students who are well behaved and finished all their assignments on time will receive extra P.E. time. The students who are excessive talkers and misbehave will have their P.E. time totally removed from their schedule for the week.
The educators in the classroom should not practice this form of reward and punishment. I am confident that many teachers would agree that if a child is distracted, talkative and not focused on their reading assignment in the morning session, then it would be absurd to punish this student by taking away their History or Math class for the afternoon class. Likewise, it would be unrealistic to offer extra work in Science as a result of good behavior. We should not treat Physical education as if it is an option in our curriculum and one we can manipulate to our advantage as an educator for good behavior in the traditional classroom setting. Physical education should be treated as a vital part of a child’s education. A curriculum without Physical education is simply not effective or complete.
In teaching the student as a whole, an educator must take into account all the areas of development in a child, including the physical needs of a child’s growth.
According to the International Life Sciences Institute and a survey conducted by telephone in 1997 of 1,504 U.S. households, about of American children received no physical education in school. The children who had participated in school physical education programs got less than 1 hour and 45 minutes each week. Physical education in the school curriculum would raise the awareness in our students in America of physical fitness and how it can positively affect their total learning experience (International).
The importance of Physical Education is plain to see. However, it should be emphasized that healthful, active lifestyles are taught and learned just as any other attitude or skill. Physical Education programs should start at the earliest possible level and continue through high school. Educating small children about our bodies and how we can keep them healthy and fit is a very important task. Just as we teach a child in Kindergarten how to count and use numbers, we should also see the importance of teaching that child how to keep their bodies active and healthy.
Education will continue for the rest of our lives if we allow it to continue.
I hope we, as educators will never forget that Physical Education will produce a sound mind in a sound body.