In Ontario, Canada, students are required to take physical education only in their first year of high school. That leaves three years in which secondary school students need not participate in PE. In most schools that results in a dramatic decline in PE participation.
A teacher at Essex District High School near Windsor Ontario, has found a way to increase PE participation past grade 9 by 20%. He’s changed the focus of his curriculum from team sports to individual sports.
PE head, Joe Amicarelli, a physical educator for 15 years, now offers a new physical education stream that includes fitness activities such as bowling, golf, squash, yoga, and pilates. It also includes a weight training class in which students can work out 70 minutes a day during the week.
He has seen his post Grade 9 physical education participation rate rise from 40% to 60% of eligible students.
Amicarelli decided to make this change after interviewing grade 8 students about their physical education preferences – a practice he now continues every year. He found that some boys continue to love team sports, but that most students, particularly girls, prefer individual activities. And it is those individual activities that they will participate in after school and after graduation.
Said Amicarelli, “We’re getting all shapes and sizes taking phys ed for four years and that’s awesome. Five or six years ago, these kids weren’t doing this.”
Dick Moss, Editor,
[tags]physical education curriculum,physical education and individual sports,pe,phys-ed>