Thursday, January 10, 2013

Relating Health to Physical Education

There seems to be a problem in education, especially in health education that what students learn in class is only learned in the class and then forgotten. Educators need to be able to teach the students what they need to know, and not let them forget about it. One solution to this problem is to relate what you learn in health class to what you are learning in physical education. What happens if you teach a topic in health, but the students don't learn it in physical education? Teach a topic in health, and then find space in your school to do what you just learned. Great examples of things you learn in class are fitness concepts and sport related fitness concepts. Some examples of fitness and sport related fitness concepts are muscular strength, flexibility, agility, and balance. There are several others but those are just a couple of examples.

To get the student to learn these concepts you can teach them in a normal health class, but spice it up. Don't be up there lecturing them the whole time. Have a variety of strategies. To use a golf analogy, the rules of golf say that a player can carry up to 14 clubs in his or her bag. How many teachers did you know who only had a driver in their "Golf Bag of Pedagogy?" The lesson could start with a PowerPoint, and then discuss what the PowerPoint is talking about. Whatever you do, get the students involved. Meaning in this case, UP STAND OUT OF THEIR SEATS! Once you have done a non-boring lesson on fitness concepts, then go out and do it. Get in the gym and attempt to make it fun as opposed to work. After all, we want people to want to return to the gym, not avoid it!! One day you teach muscular strength, and in your lesson you explain that muscular strength is the amount of force one can produce in between 1 and 15 repetitions. Great, now is that student going to remember it? Maybe if it is going to be on a test in which they will study it at the last minute and remember it just for the test and then forget about it. After you teach your muscular strength lesson find some room in the gym, or wherever, to do activities that involve muscular strength.

Now that is a full lesson. So using the muscular strength as an example set up stations. Each station works on a different body part. Have one station be chest, a second station arms, a third station legs. Be sure to give directions at each station and only have them do the exercise for less than 15 repetitions. To go even further, have an assessment at the end of your lesson. The assessment could be a question of how does muscular strength relate to you outside of school. By expanding their minds, and reaching a higher level of thinking you will successfully teach the student muscular strength. Furthermore, now that the student was able to connect the health lesson to actual activity, they will remember what you taught them and not forget about it.

We are not in the business of making obese young people less obese! That statement may surprise you. Certainly, we hope that we can improve a person's fitness over the time we have them in our class, but more important is creating a love for things physical so that when our students get older and they make their daily list of things to do, something about personal fitness will have a prominent place on that list!!! It's not just about "working out" because it's good for you, just like spinach, it's because it's so much fun to do the things that are fitness related.

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