Spring Contract for Grade Project (1 of 2)

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Contract for Grade Project #1 - Spring Children Moving - 4th Edition A Reflective Approach to Teaching Physical Education Author: George Graham, Shirley Holte/Hale, Melissa Parker

This text is in its fourth edition, the first edition being printed 18 years ago. At the time of the first edition there was barely enough evidence to document the importance of physical education as part of a curriculum. Today, that trend is drastically different. This fourth edition of Children Moving clearly defines and explains how teachers can start to guide youngsters in the process of becoming physically active for a lifetime.

This text frequent;y referenced three landmark national documents that were published prior to the writing of this fourth edition. The landmark documents are the following - the Surgeon Generals Report on Physical Activity, published in 1996; the consensus report on physical activity sponsored by the National Center of r Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, which was also published in 1996: and the National Standards for physical Education, published by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education in 1995. These three documents, in addition to NASPEs Developmentally Appropriate Guidelines for Childrens Physical Education, provide direction and guidance as to how a quality physical education program needs to be structured, along with suggested content for such programs.

The text began by describing the value and purpose of physical education for children, which highlights many of the recommendations made in the recent national documents. Part one entitled Introduction and Overview, gave an overview of the skill theme approach, which Children Moving has come to be termed since its origination. The first chapters illustrated the connection between the skill theme approach and the National Standard. The next chapters expanded to include issues of wellness as it relates to elementary physical education along with physical fitness as a product of a quality physical education and also makes the case that schools are different from one another and that quality programs reflect those differences. The final chapter in Part one provided an overview of disabilities, the philosophy of inclusion in physical education, and our role in providing quality physical education for children with special needs.

Parts two, three and four of the text focus on teaching process (pedagogy) and actual content of the skill theme approach, these chapters being the most useful for teachers. The emphasis in these chapters were on developmental levels and interests rather than on age or grade level. Planning, development of a positive learning environment while also providing practical techniques, child-centered learning opposed to subject-centered learning and the description of observation techniques were touched on briefly. In depth focus on task progression and assessment of skills was also of great importance in these chapters.

The final section of this text included discussion on the future and some of the techniques teachers have successfully used to build support for their programs. It also included discussion on the authors dreams for childrens physical education as we enter the 21st century.

The text is one of the best physical education texts that has been reviewed. It addresses the most important issues in physical education today and gives practical approaches to improve programs within schools and school districts. It connects pieces of information that have been presented and puts them into a useful tool that will improve student learning. The presentation and order of the information within the text helps to create an easy understanding of standards, content, and presentation of materials and skills. This text would be a wonderful text to use in a college course because of its practical approach. Beginning teachers could eliminate the stress of their first few years of teaching where there may be some confusion on curriculum and expectations in physical education.

-- Anonymous, April 28, 1999

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