PE Teachers – Professional Development & Continuing Education

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Professional Development at PE Central for PE Teachers!

Our friends over at PE Central continue to do amazing things for the Physical Education community!  I have had the honor of working on a few projects with Mark Manross from PE Central, and with each project I grow more respect and adoration for PE Teachers and their passion for what they do.

PE Central Online Professional Development School 

My favorite project thus far has been working with Mark to develop PE Central’s online school that features professional development opportunities for PE Teachers. I was so surprised when I read surveys from hundreds of Physical Education Teachers that expressed the lack of continuing education and professional development out there available to them. Teachers are being required to complete multiple hours of professional development credits and CEUs every year, yet many feel they are not receiving valuable knowledge or tools to implement in their classrooms. Mark and his team wanted to change that for the PE Community.

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The Fall and Rise of Physical Education: Part 2

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As George Graham takes us through the eight categories that he believes Physical Educators fall into in Part 1 of his series: The Fall and Rise of Physical Education, we assess his statements within our PE community. Now, 8 days before the PETE conference in Atlanta, George assesses the effectiveness of PETE programs, and offers his candid opinion on creating successful clinical faculty.

Below is an introduction to Part 2 of the series. You can read the full post here.

This is the second of four blogs I am writing related to K-12 physical education in the United States. In the first blog, the Fall and Rise of Physical Education, I suggested that physical educators could be classified into eight related categories—rollers, gamers, fitters, brainers, innovators, at-riskers, activators and teachers. The last category of the eight was teacher. For me this is the most desirable category of physical educator because in my view these individuals are attempting to implement quality programs that lead to the physical literacy of their students as defined in many of the Shape America documents. In my opinion it takes a great deal of knowledge, expertise and practical experience to become a teacher of physical education as defined in the previous blog. Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) programs are no doubt the major influence on whether an undergraduate becomes a teacher—or one of the other seven categories of physical educator described in the previous blog.

Typically future K-12 physical educators attend a college or university and major in a program that is designed to prepare them to teach in the schools. These programs often lead to state licensure or certification. Some PETE programs are more effective than others and their graduates begin their careers ready to begin implementing quality programs of physical education—i.e. they are on their way to becoming teachers. Other graduates, however, appear to lack the prerequisite skills, background and understanding necessary to implement quality programs. Or perhaps, equally or more importantly, they lack the commitment and dedication to do the hard work necessary to develop quality programs in less than ideal environments.  Why?



The Fall and Rise of Physical Education

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For those of you not familiar with George Graham, he is the co-founder of PE Central (pecentral.org), a noted author of numerous books and articles, and he has dedicated his entire career advocating the benefits of providing high quality Physical Education programs for children. In addition, he has won numerous accolades, including being inducted into the SHAPE America Hall of Fame in 2007.

Now, as a retired professor of physical education pedagogy, he shares with us his candid, unfiltered view on the status of Physical Education today. Read the intro to his blog below, then continue to read the entirety of the post by clicking here or the button below. Here, you will discover the different teacher-types he describes. Are you a Gamer? a Fitter? a Roller? a Teacher? a Brainer? An Activator? Read on to find out!

Then, weigh in on your thoughts on the paper in the comments section below the blog. When you’re done, read the second part of the series: The Fall and Rise of Physical Education: Part 2.

The Rise and Fall of Physical Education by George Graham

“If there is a single truth about physical education, from preschool through graduate school is that it continues to change. I suspect this is true of all enterprises—business, medicine, education, government and families too. There is constant change—and perhaps the best predictor of the future is the past but that’s for philosophers and historians to determine.  What I know best is physical education at all levels over the past 45 years. This paper is focused on one person’s view of what has happened over that period and a glimpse, albeit somewhat blurry, into the future of our profession. The paper is divided into four categories—K-12 teachers, PETE, professional organizations and the values of society in terms of physical education and physical activity.

I also want to add that I am writing this at the terminus of my career (somehow that sounds better than writing the end of my career.) This is important because I feel entitled to tell it like it is—with no worries that I might offend someone that I might be working with in the future on a project or committee. I also freely admit that this paper is written without relying on the professional literature to support my theories. Both of these factoids—terminus of career combined without having to base my paper on the literature is a freeing experience—and as I begin this paper one I am looking forward to.”

button for PE paper



Quality Physical Education Can Solve a Major National Issue

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A few weeks ago, Jordan Shapiro of Forbes.com wrote The 4 Issues In Education That Every Presidential Candidate Should Be Talking About . Look closely at his second issue and it is “inclusiveness”.

He writes: “The bottom line is that we cannot eliminate hateful actions without eliminating
hateful thinking; and the process of transforming how people think is precisely the work of education. Therefore, at a time when we are experiencing high racial tension, ubiquitous rape, mass shootings, religious fundamentalism, and hyper-polarized political value systems, school curricula need to prioritize inclusiveness for the sake of long-term social justice.

Who has the greatest opportunity to teach inclusion in our schools? (I know many of you are jumping up and down with your hands raised up high 🙂 Yes, PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS. While fitness is always at the forefront of our teaching, we need to add inclusion right beside it. Physical educators have the ability to to change a school’s climate and we need to make sure we are doing just that. Here are my suggestions:

1) Bring Project Adventure curriculum into your classes. There are many resources for Project Adventure on the web. My favorite is The Hundreth Monkey by Nate Folan. If you establish a full value contract with your students/classes, it will go a long way into establishing a wonderful school culture.

2) Be involved with your school’s recess/lunch program. Volunteer to set up a recess activity (Here is a sample from PE central) and make sure you have Continue reading



PE Geeks – All Geeked Out at the National PE Institute

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I just returned from attending the National PE Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. This conference was one of the best conferences that I have ever attended. Artie Kamiya is the founder of the conference and is a visionary in the world of health and physical education. I was lucky enough to share my experience here with two of my best friends, Jo Bailey and Patty Kestell. We all teach PE in Wisconsin.

PE Geeks – all geeked out at the National PE Institute

Networking – Face to Face

Before I get further into the details of the conference sessions, let me explain some of the amazing networking experiences I was able to have there (you can see my three main takeaways in this post.) I use Twitter as my PLN (Professional Learning Network) and have been able to network with so many smart, inspiring, and passionate PE teachers on the social platform. If you are new to twitter, you can reference this post by Erik Myer called Using twitter for Professional Development.

There are so many PE professionals on here, including my two best friends mentioned earlier, Jo and Patty (whom you have to follow if you’re not already! I’ve included a list of people mentioned throughout this post and their twitter names at the below at the bottom.)   I knew that so many of the people that I follow on Twitter would be attending this conference. This would be the first time that I was going to be able to meet face to face with these teachers, instead of using 140 characters to talk to them.

On Sunday, July 26th I arrived at the conference. As I walked into the hotel lobby, Continue reading



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