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DeJong, G. & Kokinakis, C.L. & Kuntzleman, C. (2002). The role of assessment in meeting the NASPE physical education content standards. Journal of Physical Education Recreation and Dance, 73(7), 22-25 .

Key Words: Assessment; Objectives; EPEC

The authors begin by discussing how there is often a distinct difference between what physical education is and what the desired outcomes are. It was not until the Goals 2000: Educate America Act in 1994, that standards were even considered for physical education. The act noted that all subject areas have to define content standards that outline what a student should know and be able to do as a result of an effective learning experience. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) published physical education content standards to guide physical educators in 1995. The standards were to be used as guidelines. They did not tell teachers how or what to teach, or how to assess learning. The standards were to be used to aid teachers in creating a more detailed curriculum and develop objectives on the state and district levels.

The article then explores the notion that one of the most important roles of standards is to assess learning because teachers must have ways to determine student levels of participation, learning and improvement. Before teachers assess these important components they need to decide on the specific objectives that they want their students to achieve. According to the article the most important aspect of teaching is using the standards effectively to assess that student's have had a quality learning experience. This then places a sense of accountability on the teachers, students, school, school district, state and nation.

The article also documents how an Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum (EPEC) was developed in Michigan. The purpose of the program was to give everyone involved a sense of what should be taught and how it should be taught. Additionally, the program addressed ways teachers could assess what was taught in a physical education. The program outlined objectives, for every grade, skills that they wanted to ensure their students could perform proficiently. The program allowed the teacher and student to assess progress and determine if the student reached the performance criteria. These benchmarks were used to monitor success of not only single students, but entire schools, school districts, and the state.

Implications for Teaching:

  • Need to be aware of national standards.
  • Do what ever we can as teachers to develop a curriculum within our district that is aligned with the national standards.
  • Need to make clear and specific objectives for student outcomes so that we can make sure that "learning is occurring".
  • Be an active part of your class, need to observe and assess student learning constantly, in many different forms.
  • After each lesson, unit, semester, year make whatever adjustment are necessary to improve student learning experiences.
  • Remember that the focus is to teach students ways to be active for a lifetime and the only way that we are going to do this is if we follow an appropriate progression so that are students are competent in many different motor skills.
  • With this vision, physical educators are also positioned to participate as full partners in school reform efforts." (pg. 25)

Related Readings:

  1. Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum. (2000). EPEC lessons - Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and user's manual. Okemos, MI; Michigan Fitness Foundation
  2. Goals 2000; Educate America Act 20 U.S.C. 5801: 108 Stat, 125, note. (1994)
  3. Holt/Hale, S. A. (1999a). Assessing and improving fitness in elementary physical education. Reston, VA: National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
  4. Submitted by Khris Miner who is a preservice physical education student in the School of Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Northern Colorado. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 1/26/05.