Criteria for Evaluating Physical Education Programs

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson goes over many of the different criteria that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a physical education program. You'll learn about criteria pertaining to equipment, the environment, learning, and student-teacher interactions.

Physical Education

Physical education (PE) refers to the instruction, training and practice in physical activity. However, it is a lot more than that. Via physical education, students learn valuable social skills, proper hygiene, and can even perform better academically as a result.

Thus, it makes sense that precisely because physical education programs touch upon so many important aspects of a student's life, they need to be properly evaluated for their effectiveness. The criteria for evaluating physical education programs vary from source to source and there are a lot of them. This lesson can't cover them all, but will give you a solid overview.

Equipment & Environment

Some of the criteria that evaluate PE programs have to do with the equipment. Is there sufficient equipment to ensure the maximum amount of students can participate in an activity and learn? Is the equipment properly maintained?

The learning environment must also be evaluated. Any unnecessary equipment needs to be put away so as not to be a distractor or a potential safety hazard. The teaching space must be clean. The general learning environment must be organized in such a way as to minimize the chances that a student will get injured.

For example, is there enough space for the activity given the class size? If the activity is occurring outdoors, is the weather appropriate for the activity and the students? Are the fields free from debris or holes that may injure them?

Maximal Learning Time

PE programs should use as much time as possible for physical activities. Does the teacher clearly state and define the learning objective at the beginning of class so time isn't wasted re-explaining? Is that objective appropriate for the students' learning level? A PE teacher must be able to state any instructions and directions succinctly and unambiguously.

One of the current trends in PE programs is to ensure that all students are physically engaged as much as possible. For example, dodgeball is a fun game but getting hit by a ball means that students sit out and don't engage in physical activity for quite a bit of time. Thus, newer PE evaluation criteria look to ensure that students are active almost immediately after entering the classroom via warm-ups and the like. Attendance should be taken efficiently to ensure there is as much time as possible for the actual physical activities.

Student-Teacher Interactions

PE programs should also evaluate the way in which students and the teacher interact to ensure learning is appropriate. Does the teacher provide relevant examples and demonstrations? Does the teacher set an appropriate pace to ensure all students are engaged and challenged by the lesson?

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