• Instructional Practices

    Meaningful instruction in physical education/health is informed by theory and best practices. These practices:

    • Develop a positive learning environment that is focused on maximizing learning and participation, in an atmosphere of respect and support from the teacher and the child’s peers;
    • Support all children and promotes developing a positive self-concept. Children are allowed to try, to fail, and to try again, free of criticism or harassment from the teacher or other students;
    • Guide children to take responsibility for their own behavior and learning. Emphasis is on intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, incentives;
    • Promote exercise for its contribution to a healthy lifestyle. Children are encouraged to participate in physical activity and exercise outside of the physical education setting for enjoyment, skill development and health reasons;
    • Maintain a safe learning environment for students (e.g., actively teaching safety, posting and practicing emergency action plans);
    • Select activities to ensure that they match students’ ability levels and are safe for all students, regardless of ability level;
    • Maintain and inspect facilities and equipment that are maintained and inspected regularly for safety hazards (e.g., glass, improper ground cover under equipment);
    • Included activites that represent a culturally diverse environment (e.g., dances and games from around the world);
    • Balance skill and concept instruction with adequate time for practice, skill development and feedback based on appropriate skill analysis;
    • Focus on motor-skill development, physiological and biomechanical concepts, health-enhancing physical activities that lead to a physically active lifestyle, and opportunities to develop appropriate social behaviors;
    • Help students interpret and use assessment data to set goals and to develop a lifelong fitness plan;
    • Allow students to work together in developing social skills (cooperative and competitive) and learning responsible behavior. Situations are designed purposefully for teaching these skills; they’re not left for “teachable moments” only;
    • Help students understand that physical activity is an important part of everyday living (e.g.,climbing stairs instead of using an elevator; riding a bike or walking to school);
    • Include both formative and summative assessments that constitute ongoing and integral parts of the learning process for all students, including those with disabilities;
    • Teach and assess all domains student learning (cognitive, affective and physical) using a variety of assessment techniques;  and
    • Focus on the six types of health-risk behaviors as identified by the Center of Disease Control:
        • behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence;
        • sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection;
        • alcohol and other drug use;
        • tobacco use;
        • unhealthy dietary behaviors; and
        • inadequate physical activity.


    Adapted from Appropriate Instructional Practice Guidelines, K-12: A Side-by-Side Comparison SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators,  http://www.shapeamerica.org/upload/Appropriate-Instructional-Practice-Guidelines-K-12.pdf

Last Modified on January 15, 2019