Comparing Physical Education Curriculums in Public Schools to a Model Type
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Purpose: The purpose of this research is to address the growing epidemic of obesity in America. It looks closely at several key areas that have the potential to address and solve this problem. Since 1987 the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) has been conducting the Shape of the Nation Report every few years to summarize information regarding the status of physical education throughout the nation’s school system. One area key to correcting this obesity epidemic is physical education curriculums. School programs that promote regular physical activity among young people could be among the most effective strategies for producing well-rounded individuals (Crespo 2003, 1). Comprehensive physical education classes have the potential to slow the age-related increase in sedentary lifestyles, contribute to academic achievement, and encourage healthy lifestyles in students (U.S Department of Human Services, Healthy People 2010).
Methodology: This research uses existing data that was retrieved from NASPE’s most recent study. In 2001, NASPE sent a questionnaire to the physical education directors in all 50 state Departments of Education (SDE) and the District of Columbia. The survey requested information about each states requirement concerning their physical education curriculum.
Findings: Although the federal government has been encouraging states to adopt physical education standards for the past 15 years, there is no federal law requiring state education boards to follow through on these guidelines (Borland 2002). The data revealed that, little has been done throughout the 50 states to address the problem of obesity through physical education curriculums. The information retrieved was used to develop a model type curriculum that would effectively address the growing epidemic of childhood obesity in America.