What is Physical Education? Why Physical Education?

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We start the year with enthusiasm and we get ready with engaging and fun games. We all do it with passion and our students benefit from this play and fun. But… is this enough?

As Pill (2018) mentioned in his article, physical education doesn’t include just the physical nature, but the relations of physical training to attain a complete education and the making of it as a integrative part of individual’s life. The dimensions of physical education we emphasize are social, emotional, physical and cognitive and this is what the PSPE in the IB framework is concerned with: the individual’s well-being and the understanding of self, through the promotion and development of knwoledge, concepts, attitudes and skills.

Physical education is commonly perceived and described by students and parents as play and fun, so I decided to inquire with my cohorts into the meaning of our subject and for a better understanding of the ‘whys’. Defining ourselves as a team of learners we construct the believe that physical education is more than games and sports and we purposefully transfer the skills we learn, we encourage present and future choices and we promote cultural understanding.

Together, we identified the meanings of physical education and we formulated our learning goals that will keep us engaged and motivated throughout the entire year. It is an ongoing process and I find it essential in the transformation that we all undergo in the upcoming year.

Singh (2017) suggests in his article that fun, by its nature, does not create learning and is mostly a by-product. He proposes instead the theme Learning for Joy, which, together with Play with Purpose (Game Sense Approach), have become purposeful mantras for myself, as an educator.

Our students should enjoy the PE sessions through play and the fun must be connected to it. If this play is connected thoroughly to the planned learning we just make one step further in this becoming adventure and we are setting the bar high. Can we keep it up there?

References:

Pill, S. 2018. What IS Physical Education? A Siendentopian Answer. Available: https://learningthroughsport.blogspot.com/2018/12/what-is-physical-education-siedentopian.html

Singh, B. 2017. Understanding, Appreciation, Learning and Fun – How Do They Connect In Physical Education? Available: https://reinventingthegame.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/understanding-appreciation-learning-and-fun-how-do-they-connect/

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End of the Year Reflection

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In the rush of the last three weeks of school, I couldn’t miss the chance to connect with my students and the learning that happened this year. Technology is ubiquitous now days and I am happy that I have got a glimpse from my favorites partners in this learning journey: the students!

I created a Padlet for each grade that I work with and I have shared it on their grade Seesaw online portfolio. The aim was to enhance the value of all the learning experiences we have been through.

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Then I edited a Google Form document for each grade that contained a set of relevant questions for the PE context. Since the end of the year is busy with events, I have managed to navigate and take from my free time and not their PE time, to apply the form and collect students’ answers.

G2 Drive pic PE EOY

The answers were nothing but simple thoughts that learners felt comfortable to talk about: While some “wish to do more swimming and dancing”, others dream to “get to run in the speed of light and getting a six-pack”. The students are “proud of working in a group and they wish they could “get better working independently”. Some they learn best “by making mistakes”, others enjoy “playing games, listening and asking questions”. “We should have chocolate or ice-cream fountains” and they feel very proud and motivated when playing Go Home, Stay Home and everyone is cheering their name.

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Lastly I have worked in Canva to display an overall presentation of this reflection, including the Padlet and the answers.

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I feel that the power of reflection may enable students to better express and acknowledge their achievements or areas of improvement and it constitutes a great opportunity to generate meaningful feedback. I would definitely use this experience in the beginning of the next academic year, when it can prove beneficial in harnessing information related to students’ prior knowledge. With an increased value of the pre- and formative assessments in learning, I am curios and excited about the road that lies ahead. It keeps me engaged and motivated on a path that I am passionate about: Learning.

Let’s connect if you want to exchange similar learning experiences or to find insights about this reflection!