Throughout October and November, approximately forty physical education teachers joined together in the newly structured Physical Education Learning Communities, facilitated by Kerri Bullock, to collaborate in ways to develop students’ physical literacy.
Physical literacy is a fairly new term in the United States and is defined as “the ability to move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person (SHAPE America)”. The participating physical education teachers agreed that the definition of physical literacy describes the purpose and mission of their physical education programs.
The first meetings of the year focused on groups identifying essential skills that students must learn at various grade levels, as well as how these skills should progress over time. The Curriculum and Assessment Guidance Document (developed by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance) guided each group’s conversations about which skills to prioritize based on allegiance to the mission of physical education and the challenge of limited instructional time.
In the spring, these 1
generation (elementary, middle, and high school) Learning Communities’ next steps will be to define what success looks like for each of the skills, and also identify and describe instructional strategies that can be used to help students develop the skills that will lead to their physical literacy.