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Physical Education

Action for Healthy Kids Information for Parents and Community Members

Alabama Course of Study:  PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The Alabama Course of Study: Physical Education provides the framework for the K-12 physical education program in Alabama's public schools. Content standards within this document affirm the importance of knowledge, application, and skill-based content. The standards and benchmarks further affirm that all behaviors associated with physical education can be measured numerically or through critical analysis. Participation and learning are not synonymous; participation is not adequate evidence of the outcomes in physical education.

The overall goal of Alabama's K-12 Physical Education Program is to assist each student in becoming a "physically educated person." The Alabama Course of Study: Physical Education identifies the minimum competencies students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level/course in physical education. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for designing a daily physical education program that consists of a strong curriculum supported by positive learning. This course of study incorporates up-to-date knowledge and research regarding developmentally appropriate practices, outcomes, and objectives. It provides guidance to the instructor for developing a curriculum that assists all students, including those with disabilities, to become physically educated and physically active for a lifetime.

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) has established broad national standards for superior physical education programs. The standards provide the framework for a comprehensive physical education program and identify what a student should know and be able to do as a result of participation in a sound physical education program. The NASPE standards are grouped into three categories: Motor Skill Development, Health-Enhancing Activity, and Interactive Behavior. Within this document, these standards serve as curriculum goals, preceding Alabama content standards and benchmarks that define the physical education curriculum for each grade level (K-8), for the required high school course, and for high school elective courses.

The health status of the citizens of Alabama is directly related to the healthy behaviors and practices of its children. National statistics provide a clear indication that the prevalence of overweight children is reaching epidemic proportions. America's youth generally display a sedentary lifestyle. Healthy lifestyles established in childhood and adolescence contribute to the health and wellness of adults. Schools have the responsibility to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for a healthy and successful life. Moderate amounts of regular physical activity contribute to the healthy development of children and adolescents, helping to improve the overall quality of life. It is important that schools provide daily K-12 physical education classes of high quality and employ certified physical education teachers.

Through physical education, schools are in a unique position to promote healthy behaviors. School administrators are in a position to provide strong influence through the development, adoption, and implementation of policies that improve physical education courses and subject-area content. Physical health and mental health are linked directly to students' academic and social success and must be addressed in a school's educational mission.