Effective Characteristics of Physical Education


Basically Physical Education (P.E) involves training in physical fitness and development. It has been made a mandatory subject in elementary level of study. In the advent of 20th century, P.E has emerged as a prominent area of study and as developed as a core part of school curriculum in many colleges and universities for example P.E is offered as a degree program. P.E program involves training in areas of sports and gymnastics, physical exercises and contests. Various Asian techniques such as judo and karate have been included in into P.E manual. In some countries, Wrestling, and martial arts are incorporated into the PE syllabus to equip students with self defense tactics.

PE therefore has emerged as a fundamental art of every school curriculum, it is a subject in very school timetable that every student yearns to attend since it is the only time that is official which students go n the round since it instills an element of joy to any academic orientation. The main area of concern is what effective PE is and what entails the effective characteristics of PE .this question is important to both the instructions and the learners.

Effective P.E involves programs that meet the learners’ demands and that which meets the goals of physical education which include mental strength, academic development and more so that which captures his enthusiasm in the field. For PE to be effective the following conditions should be met. First is that adequate time second is qualified instructors, third is availability of equipment and last is adequate content.

Understanding the definition of physical education is necessary in order to appreciate the role, goals and objectives of physical education in the growing world. The definition of P.E is conventional all over the world and also in terms of goals. Consequently knowing the definitions of PE and understanding and understanding the characteristics and what effective PE is fundamental to enable the learners understand and appreciate PE.  PE provides learners with lifetime instructions which are challenging but enable them advance their confidence and skills that are necessary in the daily living.

The definition of physical education is not necessary to comprehend its functions. Physical education has central meaning in the concepts of physical, emotional, cognitive and psychomotor skills. The objectives of physical education vary depending on the needs of a place and required time. The main objective of most schools is to equip learners with skills, capabilities, knowledge and values and instill in them the interest in maintaining a healthy living. Consequently several schools need physical education to achieve the objective of weight loss other physical activities are required to develop motor skills and promote the physical fitness as well as to comprehend the rule, concepts and strategies.

Physical education PE makes the students learn on working as an individual or as part of a team. Physical education is usually the same in different countries in the world due to its goals in promoting discipline. Activities like judo, wrestling, martial arts and taekwondo are in some countries included in physical education classes to teach the students self-defense. This in the end aids in children fitness, teamwork and sports, which are necessary for development to their adulthood.

Students will be able to be more interested with the program of physical education through knowing its definition and importance and also its benefits. Physical education in addition plays a huge significant role in enlightening the students and providing the students the understanding of how physical education is important in life. The program provides students with instructions that are quite challenging and individualistic. They help to advance the confidence, skills, motivation and knowledge necessary in the students’ lives.

Another value of physical education for students is that it offers health benefits from the activities. Physical education if properly done prevents obesity and numerous diseases. It also improves ones self-esteem and mental health.

Various scholars have defined physical education differently but all definitions stress three important facts, that P.E involves psychomotor activities, it is emotional and cognitive and more so it takes place in an educational establishment. P.E is therefore defined as formal area of educational study that mainly concerns bodily movements and which takes place in an institution of learning. P.E may also be defined as any formal training and organized instructions that contribute to physical development of an individual.

In the USA, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (ALHPERD) which was founded in 1985 is concerned with advancing the area of P.E to increase the public knowledge and appreciation of it as a critical area.

Today many states require physical education teachers to be certified so do colleges and universities. PE begins at the intermediate level. In the USA for example PE is curricula are modeled to expose students to several opportunities from skills, drills, exercise up to modern machines, gymnastics and also aquatics. In the USA, learners are introduced to PE by exposing them to a wide scale of opportunities and also give them a chance to enjoy wide range of activities lie the use of pedometer, drills. Students in the sixth grade are exposed to sports to prepare them to the middle and high school age.


The historical background of physical education has always been shows in a certain pattern of military, social, and political influence. After the American civil war virtually all learning institutions adopted physical education schedules in schools and the government began passing legislations that made the mandatory the inclusion of physical education in all government funded institutions. In the course of second world both men and women were made open to make them fit for military and manual labor. It was not until the 19th century that saw a developed system of PE which was internationally adopted. It began in Europe, Sweden and Germany with Germany building the first indoor gymnasium. In Finland, physical education was first aimed achieving physical rehabilitation and this began attracting the attention of scholars in the field who began researching on the physiology and anatomy of the physical rehabilitation. The above developments led to Denmark becoming the first country to include PE in the curriculum of its schools.

In the USA, the history of physical education started in the 19th century. This was due to the developing popularity for formal sports and fitness. They heavily borrowed from Europe where callisthenic and gymnastics was being offered for study in schools. Some USA institutions of learning started this idea by integrating it into the curriculum of primary and secondary schools leading to what are now PE.

It first began with the introduction of the basics of Physical education with gymnastics as well as training on hygiene. American institutions like colleges and universities started making PE a major area of study in 1950s. With the increased popularity of PE in the USA, YMCA introduced its first sessions in 1851 beginning with fitness activities; this was followed by colleges introducing intramural sports, track and field and football which formed the basics of PE.

Following the American civil war, big school systems began adopting PE programs. Several schools passed laws permitting the teaching of physical education and this for the first time training was offered to PE instructors. The federal amendment act of 1970s that made it compulsory for all federally funded institution to disengage from any form of gender discrimination and this opened opportunities or college and school students of the female gender to practice in PE activities like athletics. In the 20th century the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) was established to supervise all athletics in institutions of higher learning which translated to the increase in the number of physical education instructors.

The Presidential Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) was created to promote fitness among the youth through PE programs in schools and other institutions like YMCA. The PCPFS reported that fewer students in high schools took art daily in daily PE programs. This was largely attributed to the increase in other elective subjects. The economic recession in 1970s and 1980s led to the cuts in expenditure in several learning programs including PE.

With the advent of 21st century, PE in the USA is mandatory from the sixth to the 12th grade but it is elective in the 10th and the 12th grade. Majority of the students in the USA learn PE from kindergarten to the 12th grade. Traditional as well as modern activities are merged to enable students develop fitness as habitual by adulthood. To raise the level of interest and enthusiasm among students and also to make them physically it, yoga is taught.

prior to the development of PE, education in the USA were only based on the line of intellect which included arithmetic, reading writing and religion which formed the core of most American schools, limited or no attention at all was paid to PE.

The development of PE in the USA is largely associated with two people; J.C. Warren who was medical professor at Harvard University and a major campaigner of physical activity. Second was Catherine Beacher who developed physical fitness that served the demands of women like Calisthics system which was performed to music.

The industrial revolution was an important period in the development of PE in USA where machines replaced human labor and led to people moving to urban areas and this led to the decrease in levels of physical activities.

The importance of PE was underscored by Dr Thomas K. Cureton of the University of Illinois who introduced the application of research to fitness and he recognized the significance of physical exercise.

PE also cannot be mentioned without underlining about Jack Lalanne who advocated on the need for healthy lifestyle. His major contributions beside being the first instructor included the following, first was the running of a program on physical fitness in television secondly he developed fitness programs like aerobics and resistance exercise.

To date several organizations and agencies have participated in fitness activities and promotions which include American Health Association (AHA), American Medical Association (AMA), and President’s Council on Youth Fitness (PCYF).

President John F. Kennedy also actively agitated the need for American citizens to increase their fitness levels. He even published an article titled the “The soft American”.

Another trend involving the inclusion of health and nutrition in PE curriculum is also slowly developing in most American institutions of learning. The growing interest of PE as a core component in individual development led to a new system in the USA that made compulsory the teaching of PE in schools and the first department in higher institution was pioneered in Amherst in 1860.

National Association of Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) suggested that all children should be engaged in physical education for something like an hour per day on all virtually some days of the week. Fairclough and Stratton argue that physical education skills are a recipe for regular and structured development and there is need for government to come in if American children are to be safe from lifestyle diseases. This is though the government’s implementation of various education policies that facilitate that furtherance of physical education. Government also contribute to the development of physical education through financing institutions to acquire physical education equipment and last government should carry out civic education in schools to sensitize them on how physical education is necessary.

Statement of the problem

PE has been identified as an important area of study in learning institutions. It has in the recent past been incorporated the learning syllabi of most schools. But there are some emerging questions regarding what physical education is, what effective PE is and answering this questions will enable people to identify the significance of PE in learning institutions. The main area of concern here is PE in elementary education and the characteristics that make PE effective.

The effectiveness of PE is paramount because it requires practice and also breaks the classroom monotony. The saying that all work and no play makes jack a dull boy clearly justifies that PE is critical hence a very effective PE requires effective methods of teaching it.

Effective physical education

Effective PE is only achieved through the use of effective methods. This will enable the teachers meet the demands of the subject. The main objectives are to equip students with lifetime skills and make them take care of their bodies and be more active in daily life. Therefore effective methods are required to make the program focused and successful. An effective physical education program involves several periods of instructions, experimentations in order to explore new tactics and other modes of exercise in the field.

Effective methods of PE provide good learning experience to meet the developmental needs, improve the child’s mental alertness, his academic performance. The National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE), an American based organization advocate for an effective methods of teaching PE which to them consists of three main things; one that provides for an opportunity for the students to learn, the teacher should be equipped with best instructions and finally a good physical education should contribute to the development of the body.

PE programs in the timetable especially for elementary students should be able to stimulate the body and mind; or else the students will quickly lose interest in all activities associated with physical education.

Quality physical education lessons should be structured in a manner that the duration, intensity and frequency of the physical activities motivate students and help them meet their individual needs. It is necessary for students to have a selection of activities in the wide field of physical education from the wide range of options. Students should also be given equal opportunity to participate in PE. Successful PE students depend on the degree of teaching despite the fact that many questionable issues in the field remain unresolved.

This study effectively looks to examine the methods used for research and paradigms used on the effective teaching of physical education from epistemological and methodological perspectives.


Methods of effective physical education

Vivid Instructions

Effective methods of physical education should have certain periods of instructions which should be give to the class at the appropriate time that is organized and well scheduled in the school timetable. These instructions should be tailored according to the age of the students and their gender. This instructions should be framed along the two main lines first is the theoretical part which is done in the class inform of demonstration and the practical part of it which is done in the field.


The teacher should provide a student with time to experiment. This is by allocating any time of the week or days of the month which will be devoted to the experiment. It is this experimental aspect of learning physical education that makes it physical, furthermore it will enable students.

For one to recognize the importance of PE and to make students have a firsthand experience of PE entails, physical activities that enables them break the classroom monotony. Physical education teachers should be physically educated individuals equipped with the technical knowledge and relevant skills required to demonstrate perfect movement better physical performance and health-increasing fitness.

Characteristics of effective PE

Meaningful content

An effective PE should have a well tailored and relevant content. This should range from the motor skills that are aimed at increasing the physical, mental and social development of the student. This meaningful content should also entail fitness assessment for the physical well being of the child; also it should include the cognitive understanding by the child of the importance of motor skills and fitness. The lessons should be well designed and the students be given out of school assignment to support their learning and practice. The lessons should also involve maximum practices and regular assessment and monitoring for the teacher to understand practice.

The content of physical education should also include the values necessary to make it successful which the learners should know. These values are; cooperation, self- discipline, airplay, emotional control and team work. These values are very critical in the teaching of physical education.

Learning duration

A significant instructional period should be adequate to provide enough time for the students to understand PE. The standard period for elementary level is 150 minutes per week. The teacher-pupil ratio is also very important. For optimal instruction the teacher-student ratio should not be greater than 1:25.

Qualified instructors

For an effective PE there should be qualified instructors. Elementary level of study is considered a foundation for the development of the child and the child can only understand and internalize the importance of physical education by being taught by qualified instructor. A qualified instructor should be somebody with passion for PE and the same person should be subjected to proper training so that he can effectively impart the skills.

A qualified instructor should be able to provide personalized service which is critical in making the participants aware that they are to take responsibility for their lives.

A qualified instructor is one who can incorporate the conventional ways of teaching physical education these are;

Command- this involves motor skills like explaining through examples so that the class can emulate

Practice- this involves making the student to practice what they have theoretically learned in class. This will give them a first experience

Self check- this is form of teaching that introduces students to what others are doing. It involves picking some students to practice it so that other can check and evaluate and learn from them.

Reciprocity- this is concerns the encouragement of students to do the practices in groups. This removes any modicum of fear in the students.

Inclusion- this is the encouragement of an all participatory practice of all the students.

Adequate equipment and facilities

An effective physical education is only practical with the availability of the right equipment and facilities. This may include the updated training manual, and the field equipments.

Appropriate instructions

This forms the core of any PE activity. for learners in elementary level of education appropriate instructions are considered paramount since the students are at a younger age and they only do based on the instructions they are given. Appropriate instructions include an all participatory session i.e. inclusion of all students. The students also need to be told that the physical activity is not for punishment.


Physical education is instrumental towards the development of the child especially at the time when he is still growing. This is because of the following objectives. First is through the advancement of body fitness and the good health of the students. It furthermore makes the students develop a value system and also make tem to be in a relationship with their peers. Physical education is also relevant to the child in the understanding of his sexuality. Unlike other areas of study, physical education is unique because it contributes the development of the body in totality as well as prepare the students for future manual activities which are inevitable the survival of humanity, it is an all round area of study that gathers for the wholesome development of human being which i.e. physical, mental, social, emotional and the moral aspects.

From the above research, it is evident that effective that students exposed to physical activities make good an individual and prepare towards contributing into the nation building in one way or another ranging from sport to military or other activities that require physical fitness.

Effective methods of physical education are paramount for it to achieve its expected objectives which include the following;

Physical fitness: this is the condition where an individual develops great endurance and advancement I terms of speed and strength. This is necessary to enable an individual to lead a happy, rigorous and abundant life.

Social efficiency: this involves individual proper adaptation to great living. Physical activities provides the individuals with good opportunities to advance and enhance the virtues of respect, cooperation, sportsmanship, self- confidence and make the children make good citizens of the future.

Culture:  physical educations enable learners at an elementary level of education to understand and appreciate their local and international or rather global environment. This is achieved through their participation in physical and sporting activities. It also enables them to fully understand the history, the culture, the tradition religious practices the aesthetic values related to these physical activities.

From the above information it is evident that physical education carries more weight just like the other subjects and there is need to for an in-depth research on the more effective methods of teaching it in schools. This is due to its importance which is very important and includes the following;

It maintains sound physical fitness which is important or one to have a healthy lifestyle. This underscores the need for it to be made regular routine in elementary level of education. It help[s the students develop muscular strength. since he children are still growing, physical education facilitate their absorption of nutrients and for well functioning of their digestive system.

It boosts the confidence of the learners. Physical education is a good measure in enhancing person’s confidence and facilitates the development of one’s character. It also instill some believe on the learners concerning their capabilities.

Good health and nutritional issues is also a good function of physical education. The 21st century has been characterized by several lifestyle diseases due to the consumption of junk food examples are high blood pressure, heart attack, bulimia and obesity. This calls for the urgent need in physical education in elementary education to promote decent eating practices which form part of teaching content in physical education class.

Movement and play are critical in children’s growth and development hence important in any child’s life. Physical education offers a unique learning opportunity to a child and allows all students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enhance them having quality lives. This is through kids actively living a way of life that values physical activities as an essential component of a healthy learning environment.

Through good physical education as a lesson in schools, most of the students learn to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. They come to understand that living an active, healthy life enhances personal growth and enables a student to meet and deal with the challenges of society.

Physical education also facilitates the development of motor and cognitive skills. Physical education restores order and discipline in the body structure. It also equips students with the knowledge on various sorts and martial arts which form the content of physical education.

Movement and play are critical in children’s growth and development hence important in any child’s life. Physical education programs in school provide opportunities for all students to acquire knowledge while at the same time being physically active regularly. Children learn to enjoy a variety of physical movement experiences in several sports areas.

Physical education is very important in the education process in most schools. It is hence compulsory so as to keep students active and sharp in class instead of letting them lazy around due to lack of physical exercises. Thorough research has shown that students who regularly participate in physical education will have certain aspects that an inactive student will not have. Such aspects include, a student having an enhanced memory and learning, have better concentration in class and have increased problem solving abilities. Regular physical education encourages a positive attitude toward oneself and others. This is a very important factor in creating a healthy learning environment in schools and usually helps bring out the best in students.


Recommendation on areas for further research

  1. Physical education in high schools and institutions
  2. Financing of physical education in the United States of America
  3. Find out other activities that bring personal enjoyment
  4. Establish  how physical activity bring social interaction
  5. Find out the challenges facing the teaching of physical education in schools
  6. Find out any existing legislation governing physical education


Physical education is a very fundamental topic. It is even fundamental than other subjects offered in learning institutions. This is due its importance which is critical in the development of an individual. Teaching physical education in elementary level of education is paramount; this is because it is the level at which human being experience growth and development. Furthermore, those in the elementary education are still young and their eating habits are not conventional and failure to teach physical education may lead to bringing up a generation of population who may not be productive and at a danger of lifestyle diseases.

Children usually have abilities, needs, and interests that are different from those of the adults. It is inadequate to simply prioritize adult sport and other physical activity programs and just brush the children sport aside as non-beneficial. Children best from formal programs that are designed and tailored to particularly meet their needs and differences.

During the present days and more than ever before, the world is experiencing an exponential change, educators have the challenge of preparing the children for future life in a world that no one can predict and define where it is heading. This global dynamism comes with changing interests and opportunities different from the one that currently exist. The modern programs of today introduce learners to the world of today and physical education is necessary to prepare them to the uncertain world of tomorrow. Basically these physical activities make children to enjoy the fun of life and also make them enjoy the pleasure of discovering and exploring new, different and various challenges in the physical field.

Physical education and physical activities are dynamic, today’s physical activities may not be tomorrow’s. The present programs prepare children with normal movement patterns and skills that are required in any activity. The critical; part of physical education is the mastery of physical and motor

Another factor that makes students the teaching of physical education at the elementary important is that they are the tomorrow of America or any other nation. The increased prominence of sporting activities in the global arena has intensified the need for more physically fit people, makes physical education the foundation of future sportsmen.

A lot of resources should therefore be dedicated to the advancement of physical education in terms of training instructors, making it mandatory for study in schools and also in the purchasing of PE equipment.

Frequent physical activities are always linked to a health and longer lifestyle, and the individual has lower rate of suffering from lifestyle diseases like heart attack, hypertension, diabetes and above all obesity. Even with the benefits of physical education, however much it is made compulsory most of the children who are school going are still reluctant to participate in those activities. Research has shown that in the last decade in the United States of America, lack of physical activity has been largely associated with the sharp increase in childhood obesity. Given this fact, we can conclude that physical activity helps younger children grow healthier and also it has been proved to be an effective component of childhood development and hence its need to be in cooperated into the school curriculum.

Teachers mostly believe that the primary function of physical education is associated mostly with increase in academic performance ,but his is often wrong to conclude so since there are other variable that are linked to better academic performance. This is contrary to the fact that with proved belief, regular physical activity has the tendency of reducing heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes and is always a requisite of happiness and health living.

Physical education is a fundamental dimension in any school’s curriculum, a more planned and closely monitored physical activity will help students to enhance their self esteem and more so to develop good knowledge, proper attitude, self discipline and the confidence required to maintain an active lifestyle and help grow the desire towards physical education in lifetime.

In the recent times there has been a growing pressure for school management by the local government to show the progress made in the established benchmarks in the academic areas especially in reading and arithmetic. The development of standardized tests in provincial areas that hold schools accountable and the students accountable too has relegated physical education to the periphery since it is not among the subjects tested and hence students show reluctance in doing it. This therefore calls for a federal law and regulations to the effect that physical education also becomes part of the standardized tests and to be incorporated into the regular school curriculum. This is to enable student and teachers to account if they achieve low standards. There should be satisfactory cut off mark that binds any student for physical education to be taken much seriously and should be made a requirement for proceeding to the next grade.

Physical education should not only be limited to the elementary level of education but should be extended to the universities and college and should be made a compulsory part of regular school program and be fixed in the time table.

If physical education is given secondary place in educational institutions and we accept that it is much needed for the development of the child and also that it is a requirement for solid foundation for a health life that we will not be helping the situation. to worsen our conviction, by removing physical from the school curriculum the we shall be preparing the children for a dangerous future and we shall be [placing them at a high risk of disease like obesity, hypertension and high blood pressure  or other health complications. we should appreciate that an active lifestyle at the younger age is paramount.

Not only is physical education a necessity in elementary education but it should be a quality physical education for it to meet the objectives. the realization of optimal health  is largely associated to prosperity in all spheres of life hence a conclusive physical education that put into consideration the mental, physical and the emotional aspects of human development.

with the objective of physical education in mind , young children learn better and it is required that all schools allocate at least an hour per day and to realize this all elementary schools should allot this time in the school calendar and make it compulsory so that all students get to appreciate its importance. Elementary school should make it mandatory for students to graduate to the next level of study.

Physical education is an important and integral part of any school’s program. The first and main priority of the Saskatchewan educators is looking up to the well-being and health development of their students. Physical activity is important and vital to healthy growth and development. However, physical education has the potential for student injury due to its gruel and physical nature. As in every other aspect of life, it is not possible to eliminate all potential risks with physical education. The specific area of focus should ensure that students benefit from the physical activity and delete the notion of making PE a recipe for injury. To reduce the potential for injury through physical activities will involve aspects like, selection of appropriate activities, creating a safety mindset among students and staff, and having safety conscious instruction and supervision.

All schools divisions should have a policy regarding the safety of students participating in physical education programs. Teachers are encouraged to become familiar with their school division’s policy so as to help their students. Physical education is considered a rare chance for children to participate in physical activities. The emergence of obesity and overweight cases among children in the United States it has proved important to reiterate the importance of physical education in learning institutions. This is because of the reason that not only does physical education help in bettering the academic performance but contribute significantly to the health of our children. provision of physical education in learning institutions is the only way of ensuring that all children irrespective of race, and financial background get access to the equipments and facilities for physical education which are available in schools and of which their parents could not afford to fund physical activities programs .the emergence of no child left behind policy has let to many schools trying hard to increase the conventional test scores which in turn result in the negligence on the health side of the students. If students could have always been participated in physical education and more so health education throughout their live in school then they may grow up being health and physically fit adults.

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