What Are the Components of Physical Education?

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According to the National Association of Sport and Physical Education, physical education consists of four components: opportunity to learn, meaningful content, appropriate instruction and student and program assessment. Physical education helps students develop a positive attitude towards physical activity and adopt healthy and active lifestyles.

A quality physical education program provides developmentally appropriate curriculum and meets the needs of each student. Lessons should be designed to provide maximum opportunities for inclusion of all students. Homework assignments should support learning and practice of skill development.

Physical education programs should place emphasis on student learning and skill development that can potentially result in a lifetime of physical activity for students. The curriculum is based on national standards that illustrate what students should know and be able to do. Programs include motor skill development to aid in the physical, mental and socioemotional development of students. Physical activities should be fun and not be withheld as punishment, because students may grow to hate the activity.

A quality program teaches students to cooperate, play fair and participate responsibly in physical activity. Students learn self-management skills, such as setting goals and self-monitoring. Assessment is vital and should be an ongoing component of the program. Furthermore, self-assessment reinforces learning and skill development.