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Lambert, L.T. (1998). This too shall pass- or will it? Journal of Physical Education Recreation and Dance , 69(1), 13-14.

Key Words: Assessment; reform; learning, performance-based.

Leslie Lambert begins by stating a concern of many: Physical education teachers reject change because they are comfortable with their current practices. Teachers often pray and hope that new initiatives will quickly pass so they can teach in the way they know best.

As education progresses through time, change is something that naturally occurs whether we like it or not. Currently there is a strong focus on assessment. There Is debate, however, whether current assessments are really beneficial. Assessment reform, as a whole, is a good thing. However, it is the ways in which we assess and the ways in which programs are implemented that cause concern.

We are living in a day where people want physical documentation or evidence to monitor student learning. Today we are creating assessments that give careful thought to purpose, content, and process, and require students to think about what they have learned. However, sometimes learning is assessed by testing on a specific skill, such as a volleyball serve, instead of focusing on the broader question of “what has been learned?”

Overall, this article discusses the possibilities and problems of assessment reform. Further, this article raises relevant issues pertaining to the teaching and learning of physical education within a changing society. Lambert provides practical suggestions for physical education teachers to stay current by assessing and documenting student learning.

Implications for Teaching:

  • Be open and positive when it comes to change or reform because it is not going to go away.
  • Make sure assessments monitor student learning.
  • Avoid performance-based assessment. This means that grades shouldn’t be fully determined by mastery of skills.
  • Work with other professionals to solve problems that arise with assessment.

Related Readings

  1. Jewett, A. E., Bain, L. L., & Ennis, C. D. (1995). The curriculum process in physical education (2 nd ed.). Madison, WI: Brown and Benchmark.

Submitted by Lindsey Wallace who is an undergraduate preservice physical education teacher in the School of Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Northern Colorado. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 3/9/05.