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Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School.
Contents:


  1. International Student’s Challenge and Adjustment to College
  2. Education Research International
  3. ‘Big five’ challenges in school education - Teacher
  4. Journal (21 days) of my experience at an American High School
  5. Columnists

A Physical Activity Action Agenda , a framework for improving access to physical activity for all American children in schools. Although the framework does not focus exclusively on physical education, it does imply the important role of physical education in the action agenda see Box Nike's Designed to Move: A Physical Activity Action Agenda.

Design programs that are effective for every child, including those who face the most barriers to participating in physical activity. Physical activities and more The purpose of the initiative is to help elementary and secondary schools launch the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program CSPAP , which is focused on strengthening physical education and promoting all opportunities for physical activity in school. The five CSPAP components, considered vital for developing a physically educated and physically active child, are physical education, physical activity during school, physical activity before and after school, staff involvement, and family and community involvement AAHPERD, Schools are allowed to implement all or selected components.

An AAHPERD survey indicated that 16 percent of elementary schools, 13 percent of middle schools, and 6 percent of high schools from a self-responding nationwide sample, not drawn systematically had implemented a CSPAP since the program was launched. Although most schools sampled 90 percent provided physical education, the percentage declined through middle school and high school, such that only 44 percent of high schools provided physical education to seniors.

In most schools 92 percent , classes were taught by teachers certified to teach physical education. More than 76 percent of elementary schools provided daily recess for children, and 31 percent had instituted a policy prohibiting teachers from withholding children from participating in recess for disciplinary reasons. The percentage of schools that offered intramural sports clubs to at least 25 percent of students declined from 62 percent of middle schools to 50 percent of high school for males, and from 53 to 40 percent, respectively, for females.

Interscholastic sports were offered in 89 percent of high schools. Among them, approximately 70 percent involved at least 25 percent of the male student population participating and 58 percent involved at least 25 percent of the female student population participating. As noted, a high-quality physical education program can help youth meet the guideline of at least 60 minutes of vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity per day.

This increase in physical activity should be balanced with appropriate attention to skill development and to national education standards for quality physical education see Box In a recent literature review, Bassett and colleagues found that physical education contributes to children achieving an average of 23 minutes of vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity daily. However, the time spent in vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity could be increased by 6 minutes if the physical education curriculum were to incorporate a standardized curriculum such as SPARK discussed in detail below Bassett et al.

Thus, it is possible for physical education to contribute to youth meeting at least half 30 minutes of their daily requirement for vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity. To help children grow holistically, however, physical education needs to achieve other learning goals when children are active. To this end, physical education programs must possess the quality characteristics specified by NASPE b , b , c see Box Designing and implementing a physical education program with these characteristics in mind should ensure that the time and curricular materials of the program enable students to achieve the goals of becoming knowledgeable exercisers and skillful movers who value and adopt a physically active, healthy lifestyle.

All students are required to take physical education. Instructional periods total minutes per week elementary schools and minutes per week middle and secondary schools. Findings from research on effective physical education support these characteristics as the benchmarks for quality programs. In an attempt to understand what effective physical education looks like, Castelli and Rink conducted a mixed-methods comparison of 62 physical education programs in which a high percentage of students achieved the state physical education learning standards with programs whose students did not achieve the standards.

Comprehensive data derived from student performance, teacher surveys, and onsite observations demonstrated that highly effective physical education programs were housed in cohesive, long-standing departments that experienced more facilitators e. Further, effective programs made curricular changes prior to the enactment of state-level policy, while ineffective programs waited to make changes until they were told to do so. The teachers in ineffective programs had misconceptions about student performance and, in general, lower expectations of student performance and behavior.

Two large-scale intervention studies—SPARK and CATCH—are discussed in this section as examples of how programs can be structured to increase vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity in physical education classes. The aim of SPARK, a research-based curriculum, is to improve the health, fitness, and physical activity levels of youth by creating, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness.

Research supports the use of SPARK as a platform for improving the quality of physical activity instruction in schools. The SPARK curriculum has demonstrated the ability to improve student activity levels, increase the number of minutes of vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity for students, and provide sustainable and positive change in a school district Myers-Schieffer and Thomas, In another study, a SPARK intervention is credited with exposing students to an increase in motor skills drills, which in turn led to a higher level of manipulative motor skills acquisition McKenzie et al.

As a result of improved activity levels, students who participated in the SPARK curriculum improved their times in the 1-mile run and sit-up tests Sallis et al. Teachers involved in the SPARK intervention offered increased levels of fitness promotion and provided students with an increased amount of general instruction and increased minutes of attention per week McKenzie et al.

The CATCH program teaches children in grades K-8 how to be healthy throughout their lifetimes through a coordinated approach that involves engaging the community, families, and educators to work together. The goal of CATCH is to impact children's health behaviors positively, improve the school health environment, and influence and change school health policies and practices in order to reduce and eliminate health risk factors and risk-related behaviors of students Perry et al. CATCH significantly increases the physical activity levels of students during physical education class and provides a wide range of learning experiences for students of all abilities.

CATCH began as a clinical trial from to in four regional sites: The participants were elementary school children in grades 3 through 5 and included children from multiethnic backgrounds. Upon completion of the main trial, CATCH had succeeded in producing positive and lasting changes in children's behaviors, including decreasing fat consumption and increasing physical activity Luepker et al.

The changes were maintained for 3 years postintervention Nader et al. Because physical education is part of the curriculum in schools, its quality should be judged only by whether and to what extent children have learned and benefited from it. In a landmark document on learning goals, Moving into the Future: National Standards for Physical Education , NASPE proposes six student learning standards specifying both conceptual and behavioral characteristics that a physically educated person must possess and display see Box These characteristics encompass knowledge, skill, behavior, and confidence critical to the development and maintenance of health and to the enjoyment of a physically active, healthful lifestyle.

If standards are the gauge for quality, teachers make the difference in a particular school in terms of the extent to which students can achieve the standards. Research has made clear that certified physical education specialists can provide more and longer opportunities for students to meet physical activity guidelines compared with classroom teachers trained to teach physical education McKenzie et al. Moreover, when teachers are taught strategies to encourage vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity in physical education class, a significant increase in physical activity can be expected Lonsdale et al.

The role of certified physical education specialists in health-enhancing physical education has become increasingly critical McKenzie, The evidence is unequivocal regarding the need for a continued effort to train physical education specialists and the need for schools to continue to employ them as the main teaching force designing and implementing health-enhancing physical education programs to the fullest extent.

Aside from serving as the instructional leader for physical education, physical education specialists can serve as expert resources for classroom teachers in the implementation of classroom physical activity breaks and recess discussed in detail in Chapter 6. Their expertise in age-appropriate physical activity helps ensure that students are participating in activities that are fun and engaging.

Additionally, as the catalyst for a healthy school environment, the physical education specialist can assist in the design and delivery of intramural programs provided before and after school, as well as serve as a community outreach specialist for onsite activity partnerships. For physical education specialists interested in a more formal role as a physical activity leader at their school, NASPE has developed a director of physical activity certification program. It is a commonly held notion of society that to maintain the quality of education, schools should hire teachers certified to teach in the subject matter areas in which they are licensed.

Unfortunately, in the United States, not all physical education classes are taught by certified physical education specialists. Indeed, 68 percent of elementary schools allow classroom teachers generalists to teach physical education NASPE, The basic requirements for emergency certification include a bachelor's degree in teaching or in any area except physical education.

Only 31 states 60 percent support physical education teachers going through the national board certification process, and only New York requires each school district to have a licensed physical education specialist serving as a physical education coordinator NASPE, In addition, teaching physical education requires substantial knowledge and skill in pedagogy—the science and art of teaching.

Box lists the NASPE standards for beginning physical education teachers who have completed a bachelor's teacher training program and those who have completed advanced master's-level training. Scientific and theoretical knowledge: Physical education teacher candidates know and apply discipline-specific scientific and theoretical concepts more These standards are accompanied by measurement rubrics unacceptable, acceptable, and target, with target being exemplary developed jointly by NASPE and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education NCATE for evaluating physical education teacher education programs across the country the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

But the data sources did not distinguish between physical education teaching majors and other kinesiology concentrations e. Statistics on the number of physical education teacher education programs and their quality based on the NASPE standards are needed. The current wave of effort to curb physical inactivity among youth has begun to influence teacher education programs. According to a national survey study Kulinna et al. These data appear to suggest that physical education teacher education programs are beginning to turn from a traditionally sports- and skills-centered model to a more comprehensive, physical activity— and health-centered model.

This change is important in that the role of both current and future physical education teachers extends beyond merely teaching their classes to advancing public health goals McKenzie, In many universities, however, teacher education programs in physical education have either been reduced or eliminated because of the decline in physical education requirements, which has resulted in a decrease in the number of physical education teachers being employed.

Concomitantly, physical education teacher education programs are experiencing an unprecedented crisis. A recent report indicates that, in school year —, only 23 doctorate-granting kinesiology departments offered doctoral programs that were training future teacher educators Boyce and Rikard, a. A total of doctoral students were receiving training offered by professors including part-time , and 11 percent of those professors were planning to retire. Boyce and Rikard a report that in the past 13 years, doctoral students graduated as physical education teacher educators— During the same period, 61 positions were open, only 39 of which were filled 64 percent , with an applicant pool of 38 candidates with earned degrees and 13 who completed the doctoral course-work but did not complete the dissertation research Boyce and Rikard, b.

Clearly there is a shortage of physical education teacher educators in higher education institutions. Because of a lack of national tracking data on physical education graduates, the extent to which the teacher educator shortage has impacted and will impact the need to supply quality physical education teachers to the nation is unclear.

In all educational settings, professional development for teachers and administrators is a continuous process of acquiring new knowledge and skills that relate to an educator's profession or academic subject area, job responsibilities, or work environment. Professional development is essential for improving classroom instruction and student achievement Ball and Cohen, ; Cohen and Hill, Through a variety of delivery methods, professional development activities may include credit or noncredit courses, classroom or online venues, workshops, seminars, teleconferences, and webinars, with the ultimate goal of improving the delivery of instruction to enhance student achievement.

Yoon and colleagues assert that a strong link exists among professional development, teacher learning and practice, and student achievement. Figure , which aligns with the research on effective professional development Kennedy, ; Loucks-Horsley and Matsumoto, ; Cohen and Hill, ; Garet et al. Logic model of the impact of professional development on student achievement. The most impactful statement of government policy on the preparation and professional development of teachers was the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Whitehurst, , known as the No Child Left Behind Act.

While Title I of the act places highly qualified teachers in the classroom, Title II addresses the same goal by funding professional development for teachers. The importance of quality professional development is well documented in the act. Professional development, according to the No Child Left Behind Act, should be offered to improve teachers' knowledge of the subject matter they teach, strengthen their classroom management skills, advance their understanding and implementation of effective teaching strategies, and build their capabilities to address disparities in education.

The act states that high-quality professional development programs should have the characteristics listed in Box It is sustained, intensive, and content-focused to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction and teacher performance. It is aligned with and directly related to state more Although there is a substantial literature on professional development, only a few high-quality studies relate teachers' professional development experiences to student outcomes.

Recommendations for high-quality professional development tend to emphasize the importance of intense, content-focused experiences, as well as opportunities for peer collaboration and structured induction experiences for new teachers. Wiley and Yoon and Kennedy suggest that teaching practice and student achievement are likely to improve when professional development is focused on academic content and curriculum that are aligned with standards-based reform.

Kulinna used Guskey and Sparks' Model of Teacher Change to determine whether students' physical activity and BMI changed after their teacher underwent a 1-year professional development program. Significant increases in students' physical activity levels were found, but no significant changes in BMI. Looking at the effect of professional development on changes in behavior among physical education teachers, Martin and colleagues found that, following a variety of professional development experiences and follow-up sessions, teachers showed increases in their efficacy in attaining motor skills objectives, physical activity and fitness knowledge objectives, and personal and social objectives.

These results lend support to the value of professional development in enhancing teachers' perceptions of self-efficacy for teaching the curriculum. McCaughtry and colleagues explored the factors that make teacher professional development successful and what success might mean in terms of teachers' instructional practices and feelings about change. Results indicated that after teachers completed professional development the resources they gained enabled them to improve their instruction by teaching more content, maximizing student learning opportunities, teaching diverse learners, teaching to development, and increasing classroom safety.

Learning Forward formerly known as the National Staff Development Council provides research-based guidelines to assist districts in aligning local professional development programs with qualitative standards. Its Standards for Professional Learning were revised in and are guided by the relationship between professional learning and student results see Box According to Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning.

Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students occurs within learning communities committed to continuous improvement, collective responsibility, and more As a recognized means of providing physical education teachers with the tools necessary to enhance student achievement, quality professional development should be provided on a regular basis with follow-up support, along with a method for determining its effectiveness in meeting both curricular and pedagogical standards.

Furthermore, to enhance the fitness achievement of students, school-based professional development should provide instruction on the integration of fitness testing into a curriculum and should include training in protocols, the interpretation and communication of results, and the setting and achievement of fitness goals and recommendations for developing healthy living habits for both students and their parents IOM, a.

Instructional opportunities for physical activity and physical education are mandated by most states. In comparison with data prior to , more states have developed mandates for physical education at both the elementary and secondary school levels. However, most mandates lack a specified time allocation that ensures meeting the NASPE recommendation of and minutes per week for elementary and secondary schools, respectively McCullick et al. Some obstacles to the implementation of quality physical activity are listed in Box Obstacles to Implementation of Quality Physical Education.

Class periods dedicated to physical education are declining at all school levels. Existing discrepancies between policy and implementation with respect to specific time allocation contribute to more With physical education not being considered a core subject, and amid growing concern regarding the increase in childhood obesity and physical inactivity, several national studies and reports have emphasized the importance of implementing state statutes, laws, and regulations both mandating time requirements for physical education and monitoring compliance.

In the United States, school policies on curriculum and school-based activities are determined by local education agencies according to state laws governing educational activities. Decisions about what to teach, who will teach it, and what level of resources will be provided are made by the state, county or district, and school administration. Of importance to this analysis is the distinction made between state statutes and administrative codes, which accords with the definition proffered by Perna and colleagues Using the NASBE database, the committee performed an overall analysis of policies on physical education and physical activity of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The analysis revealed that 45 states 88 percent mandate physical education; 22 states 23 percent require it with mandatory minutes, while 25 states 49 percent have no mandatory minutes and 4 0. A majority of states allow for waivers or substitutions for physical education see the discussion below. Fitness assessment is required in 15 states 29 percent , and other curricular assessments are required in 4 states 0. Twenty-six states 53 percent require physical education grades to be included in a student's grade point average. Forty-three states 84 percent require some degree of physical education for high school graduation, with a range of 0.

Although no federal policies requiring physical education presently exist, the above evidence shows that the majority of states require physical education. However, the number of days and time required vary greatly by state and local school district, as does the amount of physical education required for high school graduation. Given the reduced time for physical activity in school through recess, and absent the implementation of stronger policies, schools have not only the opportunity but also the responsibility to nurture in youth the skills, knowledge, and confidence to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The consensus among states indicated by the mandates for physical education summarized above, together with the discrepancies in specific policies, may suggest the need for general guidelines or a federal-level mandate that can serve to guide a collective effort to address the prevalence of childhood inactivity and obesity. In addition to policies that directly require offering physical education in schools, other policies support physical education opportunities in schools.

In the U. These policies were to include provisions for physical activity and healthy eating, thus expanding schools' responsibility for providing physical activity to school-age children. Several government agencies and organizations have recommended embedding a specific number of days and minutes of physical education into each school's or district's wellness policy.

Although school districts are required to include goals for physical activity in their local school wellness policies, they are not required to address physical education specifically. Some policies have contributed to the substantial reduction in the opportunities for school-age children to be physically active, such as by shortening or eliminating physical education classes.

These reductions can be attributed to budget cuts and increased pressure for schools to meet academic standards imposed by the federal government. The No Child Left Behind Act of requires that states develop assessment and accountability measures to verify performance improvements in the subject areas of reading and mathematics P. Specifically, federal funding is now dependent on schools making adequate progress in reading and mathematics.

No Child Left Behind requires all public schools receiving federal funding to administer statewide standardized annual tests for all students. Schools that receive Title I funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of must make adequate yearly progress in test scores e. If required improvements are not made, schools are penalized through decreased funding. If a school produces poor results for 2 consecutive years, improvement plans must be developed for the school.

If a school does not make adequate progress for 5 consecutive years, a full restructuring of the school is mandated. In response to the act, schools have devoted more time in the school day to instruction in reading and mathematics. Unfortunately, 44 percent of school administrators reported that these increases in instructional time for reading and mathematics were achieved at the expense of time devoted to physical education, recess, art, music, and other subjects Center on Education Policy, , see Table The emphasis on high-stakes testing and pressure for academic achievement in the core subjects has had unintended consequences for other subjects throughout the school day.

As discussed earlier, however, no evidence suggests that physical education and physical activity have a negative effect on student achievement or academic outcomes CDC, On the contrary, positive academic-related outcomes e. The Center on Education Policy conducted an analysis of — survey data from school districts on the amount of time devoted to specific subjects to determine the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act. Shifts in instructional time toward English language arts and mathematics and away from other subjects were relatively large in a majority of school districts that made these types of changes.

A higher proportion of urban districts 76 percent than rural districts 54 percent reported such increases. Districts that also reduced instructional time in other subjects reported total reductions of 32 percent, on average. Eight of 10 districts that reported increasing time for English language arts did so by at least 75 minutes per week, and more than half 54 percent did so by minutes or more per week.

Among districts that reported adding time for mathematics, 63 percent added at least 75 minutes per week, and 19 percent added minutes or more per week. Most districts that increased time for English language arts or mathematics also reported substantial cuts in time for other subjects or periods, including social studies, science, art and music, physical education, recess, and lunch.

Among the districts that reported both increasing time for English language arts or mathematics and reducing time in other subjects, 72 percent indicated that they reduced the time for one or more of these other subjects by a total of at least 75 minutes per week. For example, more than half 53 percent of these districts cut instructional time by at least 75 minutes per week in social studies, and the same percentage 53 percent cut time by at least 75 minutes per week in science Center on Education Policy, Districts that reported an increase in instructional time for elementary school English language arts spent an average of minutes per week on this subject before No Child Left Behind was enacted.

After the act became law, they spent minutes per week. The average increase for English language arts was minutes per week, or a 47 percent increase over the level prior to the act Center on Education Policy, ; see district survey items 18 and 19 in Table ITA. Table shows the specific amounts of time cut from various subjects in districts that reported decreases. For example, 51 percent of districts with a school in need of improvement reported decreased time in social studies, compared with 31 percent of districts with no school in need of improvement Center on Education Policy, The Shape of the Nation Report includes documentation of the multiple reasons students may be exempt from physical education classes.

International Student’s Challenge and Adjustment to College

Thirty-three states permit school districts or schools to allow students to substitute other activities for physical education. Although it would seem reasonable that some substitution programs such as JROTC or cheerleading might accrue physical activity comparable to that from physical education, these programs do not necessarily offer students opportunities to learn the knowledge and skills needed for lifelong participation in health-enhancing physical activities.

No evidence currently exists showing that students receive any portion of the recommended 60 minutes or more of vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity through substituted activities sanctioned by their schools.

WHAT AN AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL IS LIKE & TARGET ADVENTURES! USA VLOG #2

Barriers other than the policies detailed above hinder efforts to improve and maintain high-quality physical education. This section reviews these barriers, along with some solutions for overcoming them. Morgan and Hanson classify barriers that hinder schools from implementing quality physical education programs as either institutional outside the teacher's control or teacher related arising from teacher behavior. Table lists institutional and teacher-related as well as student-related barriers identified by various authors. Dwyer and colleagues examined Toronto teachers' perspectives on why children were not engaged in daily physical education.

They identified three categories of barriers: Jenkinson and Benson surveyed secondary school physical education teachers in Victoria, Australia, and asked them to rank order the barriers they perceived to providing quality physical education. The results are shown in Table The institutional barriers listed in this table are similar to those identified for U. Jenkinson and Benson also presented teachers with a list of barriers to student participation in physical education and physical activity in three categories: The teachers were asked to rank the top five barriers they perceived.

Results are presented in Table Finally, Gallo and colleagues found that the greatest process barriers to assessing students in physical education were grading students on skill levels and abilities; time constraints; class size; and record keeping, especially when assessing students on skills, cognitive knowledge, and fitness. Two key barriers to physical education identified in the studies summarized above are staffing and funding. These barriers reflect a lack of support structure in schools for quality physical education.

As noted earlier in this chapter, physical education is short staffed. State mandates have placed pressure on schools to preserve instructional resources for the high-stakes tested core subject areas at the expense of non-core subjects. For example, when a state mandates a maximum class size of 20 students per teacher in all core subjects, with noncompliance resulting in some form of penalty, an elementary school with an average of 25 students per teacher is forced to hire additional teachers in these subjects to meet the state mandate.

Consequently, the school must shrink its teaching force in noncore subjects, such as physical education, to balance its budget. If noncore classes are to be preserved, their class sizes must increase, with fewer teachers serving more students. As a result, it becomes difficult to implement a quality program, and physical education teachers perceive their programs as being undervalued. School-Based Physical Education and Sports Programs GAO, , school officials cite budget cuts and inadequate facilities as major challenges to providing physical education opportunities for students.

Budget cuts have affected schools' ability to hire physical education teachers, maintain appropriate class sizes, and purchase sufficient equipment. As noted earlier, lack of equipment and limited access to facilities are cited as top barriers in the study by Jenkinson and Benson see Tables and Students disengaged as a result of such practices may prefer sedentary activities to more active lifestyles.

For many adolescents who have few opportunities to be active outside of the school day, quality physical education becomes the only option for physical activity. For students in large urban communities, physical education classes serve as a safe environment in which to be physically active under adult supervision in a structured environment. For students with disabilities in particular, physical education classes are one of the only outlets for physical activity.

For these reasons, it is crucial to overcome the above barriers to quality physical education. Some school districts have found ways to do so and provide robust physical education programs. The barrier of limited time during the school day can be overcome through creative scheduling that makes use of every minute of the day in a constructive manner. For example, Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the fourth largest school district in the United States, in a large urban minority-majority community with large budgetary shortfalls and attention in schools being diverted to academic requirements.

Yet the district has always had daily physical education in its elementary schools taught by a certified physical education teacher. This is accomplished by scheduling physical education during the classroom teacher's planning time. In addition, students receive school board—mandated recess for either 20 minutes two times per week or 15 minutes three times per week.

Figures and show examples of elementary school teacher schedules that demonstrate how minutes of time for physical education can be incorporated successfully into any master schedule. Example of a schedule demonstrating time for minutes per week of physical education. Sample is taken from a teacher schedule in a traditional elementary school. Other positive examples, identified in the report Physical Education Matters San Diego State University, , include successful case studies from low-resource California schools.

The report acknowledges, however, that advancing such opportunities will require policy changes at the state, district, and local levels. These changes include securing grant funds with which to implement high-tech physical education wellness centers, staff commitment to professional development, administrative support, physical education being made a priority, community support, use of certified physical education teachers, and district support.

Identifying the need to reform physical education guided by evidence-based findings, the report concludes that 1 curriculum matters, 2 class size matters, 3 qualified teachers matter, 4 professional development matters, and 5 physical environment matters. If programs are to excel and students are to achieve, delivery of the curriculum must be activity based; class sizes must be commensurate with those for other subject areas; highly qualified physical education specialists, as opposed to classroom teachers, must be hired to deliver instruction; professional development in activity-focused physical education must be delivered; and school physical education facilities, such as playing fields and indoor gym space and equipment, must be available.

A separate report, Physical Education Matters: Success Stories from California Low Resource Schools That Have Achieved Excellent Physical Education Programs San Diego State University, , notes that when funding from a variety of grant resources, including federal funding, became available, schools were able to transition to high-quality programs using innovative instructional strategies. Those strategies included wellness centers and active gaming, which engaged students in becoming more physically active.

Administrative support was found to be a key factor in turning programs around, along with staff commitment and professional development. Having certified physical education teachers and making physical education a priority in the schools were other key factors. External factors further strengthened programs, including having school district support, having a physical education coordinator, and using state standards to provide accountability. Additional ways to overcome the barriers to quality physical education include scheduling time for physical education, ensuring reasonable class size, providing nontraditional physical education activities, making classes more active and fun for all students, and acknowledging the importance of role modeling and personal investment and involvement in participation in physical activity among staff.

Still another way to overcome the barriers to quality physical education is to assist administrative decision makers and policy makers in understanding the correlation between physical education and academic achievement see Chapter 4. The report Active Education: Schools can provide outstanding learning environments while improving children's health through physical education. Physical education is a formal content area of study in schools, it is standards based, and it encompasses assessment according to standards and benchmarks.

Select curriculum-based physical education programs have been described in this chapter to show the potential of high-quality physical education in developing children into active adults. Such models provide the only opportunity for all school-age children to access health-enhancing physical activities. Curriculum models for physical education programs include movement education, which emphasizes the importance of fundamental motor skills competence as a prerequisite for engagement in physical activity throughout the life span; sport education, which emphasizes helping students become skillful players in lifetime sports of their choosing; and fitness education, which imparts physical fitness concepts to students, including the benefits and scientific principles of exercise, with the goal of developing and maintaining individual fitness and positive lifestyle change.

The emergence of a technology-focused fitness education curriculum and the new Presidential Youth Fitness Program offer further motivational opportunities for students to engage in lifelong physical activities. Because quality physical education programs are standards based and assessed, they are characterized by 1 instruction by certified physical education teachers, 2 a minimum of minutes per week for elementary schools and minutes per week for middle and high schools, and 3 tangible standards for student achievement and for high school graduation.

Quality professional development programs are an essential component for both novice and veteran teachers to ensure the continued delivery of quality physical education. Since passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in , several studies and reports have identified a decline in physical education resulting from the shifting of time to academic subjects. Because physical education is not a high-stakes tested content area, the implementation of supportive policies often is hindered by other education priorities.

Although the above analysis indicates that 30 states In addition, an unintended consequence of the No Child Left Behind Act has been disparities in access to physical education and physical activity opportunities during the school day for Hispanic students and those of lower socioeconomic status. In high school, relying on students to elect physical education after meeting the minimum required credit hours one credit in all states but one appears to be unfruitful. Strengthening of school physical education has received support from the public, health agencies, and parents.

Parents recently surveyed expressed favorable views of physical education. Additionally, many public and private organizations have proposed initiatives aimed at developing a comprehensive school-based strategy centered on curriculum physical education. During the movie, there was an unusual casualty to be registered. Lots of talking could be heard. Esslinger did not intervene at all today — to my surprise. Obviously, he did not have to since it became quiet again after a few minutes. When the movie became very thrilling, some students started to chat and predict the forthcoming happenings.

The majority of students was totally captured by the movie. Suddenly, a girl stood up and told her teacher that she felt sick. She returned only five minutes later with the note in her hand. The teacher had a quick look at it and threw it away. Apparently it was not a serious disease. They became more and more nervous. With the movie coming to its end, students explained single scenes to each other. A boy had the last word in this lesson: A guy was hanged with the rope. He told the boy to read the book notwithstanding.


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Eventually, this boy seemed to give in and agree after he had resisted for quite a while in an astonishing way. I left high school today having in mind one of the moments during teacher life which I will probably never forget. It was such an impressing feeling to perceive how this boy honestly felt about the movie and how he told his feelings unhesitatingly to his teacher. First of all, let me mention some more general findings upon American school life in comparison to Germany.

The clothes are a little more casual than they are in Germany. For instance, it is not unusual at all to show up with sports shorts. In addition, there is an automatic pencil sharpener in the classroom which is absolutely typical for the United States of America. My overall impression after four visits at an American high school concerning the level of difficulty is cloven.


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This is because of the wide range existing between very smart students and exceedingly untalented ones. In Germany, students are separated into three types of school after elementary school according to their level. This type of school seems to be similar to American high school. A German professor from Samford University approved my assumption. He taught at a German grammar school for one year and is therefore familiar with the level of both the American and German Educational system.

The lunch hour continuation of 9th grade went on in a silent atmosphere. All students left a mark of fatigue. Some of them did their homework as usual, others read a book, and a few only tattled with each other. Another student talked in an extremely easy way with Mr. There was once again a very funny atmosphere at the beginning of 6th period. Many students were late, though. Esslinger entered the room, calmness arose. Firstly, the students had to pass up their homework.

There were six students who forgot to do their complete homework or forgot to bring it to class even though my mentor reminded them of it several times. Anyhow, he did not discredit those, instead, he gave them another chance to pass it up. Yet, he repeatedly told them that it was graded. I was surprised to hear him reply with a cheeky smile in his face: I returned it and got my money back. But he had approved to read the book eventually on Thursday.

I do not even know whether Mr. Esslinger got to know about his change of decision. I did not tell him about it as I was unwilling to sneak on this decisive young man. My mentor went on in the textbook and was very easy once more, but changed his behavior as soon as he the class became too annoying. Nevertheless, most students chuckled throughout the whole period. In my opinion, many students could do better at school if there was a little more earnestness in class.

For sure, it is not easy to concentrate after a long day of school, but they should at least be forced to concentrate at the beginning of the lesson. Few students seemed to observe me the way I did observe them which made me a little bit uncomfortable. When another teacher interrupted for a moment and asked Mr. Esslinger to come out real quickly, the class used their chance to start talking to each other untamed. They told many jokes and fire questions at me which I answered patiently. The class got a little bit more serious at some points of discussion and debated actively.

Later on, the teacher told them sad stories about slavery. Some students still laughed and were funny. He clearly advised them to behave more maturely since they were dealing an evil part of history which was gave no reason to laugh at all. This furious announcement had a lasting effect. After the lesson had finished, we talked about the action research real quickly. I was glad to note that we are on schedule. Another general difference on American schools compared to German schools at the beginning again. In the United States, every teacher has an own classroom and therefore has lots of private belongings in it, too.

The students have to change the rooms. In Germany, it is the other way round.

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It is the students who spend about 80 per cent of their schedule in their classroom. Thus, the teachers move the room hourly. There is not a lot of space for personal belongings. In the staff room, teachers hang out during vacant lessons. Today, the 9th graders watched a baseball match on the screen. But it was not of general interest, so many students did not really watch it. Lots of them played cards on the floor or did some homework. My mentor had some work to do at his laptop. There were no events worth mentioning in those 20 minutes.

The students of 10th grade try to talk to me more and more. Prior to the lesson, some come by and ask me random questions about Germany. They appear to be quite interested in other countries. When the bell rang, a mere six students could be found in the room. It became fuller quickly, though. The others are not allowed to whisper the solution to the student who is in the spotlight. If so, the teacher has to subtract all of the points the class has gained so far.

‘Big five’ challenges in school education - Teacher

Esslinger played this game with his other history classes before on this day. It is a little competition among all 10th grades. However, if the student manages to guess a correct answer, the class receives one point. Additionally, the student has the chance to score another point by throwing a little softball into the wastebasket which is located approximately 15 feet away.

Excerpt 11 I feel that there is no opportunity for me to interact with my classmate except in one or two classes. For my classmates, we all meet few times a week, but we did not talk about many personal things. They have their own friends and family. Usually, they disappear after class Liu, China. Participants were from diverse cultures, which differed from the American culture. Therefore, culture shock was experienced [ 39 — 41 ] by the participants due to different types of beliefs and value systems.

When entering into a new culture, they needed to deal with different value systems, communication patterns, sign and symbols of social contact, and interpersonal relationship patterns. For example, international students faced the behavioral norms towards time in different cultures. Sometimes, it could easily cause misunderstanding and uneasiness. More related specific themes are discussed in the following.

Excerpt 12 I made an appointment with a tutor in the writing center; however, I still had to wait for 30 minutes. Excerpt 13 I had to take the driving test. Although I went earlier to wait, I still have to wait for at least 2 hours in order to get my driver license. All people were waiting for outside of the office, and I was curious why they did not let people go inside of the office. They will be assigned a ticket number, and they will be served when they are called Hana, Korea. Theme 7 Reacting to Prejudice against International Students.

International students noted prejudice and discrimination in their academic and social lives. Thus, they were marginalized in class or in social events. Participants stated that American peers might not understand their backgrounds, and they made conclusions for them. Participants stated that they were willing to share their background to help what Americans know about them.

This statement noted that international students are willing to share their voice to promote mutual understanding across different culture. Excerpt 14 I heard some of my friends said that they Americans do not like international students.

Journal (21 days) of my experience at an American High School

I am not sure why. So, it makes me feel that I might be not popular by them. Actually, I am willing to share my background. They might change their thinking after that Omar, Saudi Arabia. Studying abroad is not without its challenges, and there is evidence that international students experience a range of adjustment issues that can impact their study and overall experience. While universities often provide support services for international students, the personal stories of international students, identifying challenges, and strategies to overcome them can be helpful to other international students.

Theme 8 Utilization of School Resources as the Strategy. According to the participants in this study, school services are needed in their academic adaption to a US campus. These services include student associations, writing center, counseling center, recreation, and various student organizations. Participants mentioned that these service centers provide them a space to release stress, to find a support group, and to gain strategies to deal with different problems.

For example, many international students relied on library to borrow books, study in a quiet place, and use the lab to study.

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Students also sought help from writing center for paper revision. One of participants even mentioned that she made an appointment with counselor at her campus due to the pressure from school and interaction with professors. Theme 9 Dormitory and Campus Activities. In order to overcome these challenges, participants took an active role to explore the new society and culture. For example, few participants started to look for native English speaking roommate in order to improve their English proficiency.

Through the socialization, she would like to share her cultures to other students at campus, and she would like to immerse herself to interact with other English-speaking speakers. Namely, participants take active roles to engage in different campus activities in order to broaden their social networking. Theme 10 Language Support. Though most international students did show proficiency in written and comprehension English when they were admitted to United States colleges and universities, they faced a number of difficulties when they had to communicate orally in an academic setting.

When he studied for his major, he expected to have more language support. For example, excerpt 15 implied that this participant Chen expected to have a conversational partner to practice speaking. Excerpt 15 I have taken many reading and writing English classes in my home country. When I have to communicate with people, I feel nervous to speak. Sometimes, I could not understand the slang, or they speak so fast. What I can do is go to writing center to practice speaking with tutors, or have more appointments with my conversational partners.

In addition, it is also helpful to hold an orientation for international students [ 42 ]. We started to hang out and I can force myself to use English. Theme 11 Campus Counseling Service. Among ten participants, there is only one participant who mentioned the resource from campus counseling center. She stayed away from her parents and friends; therefore, she felt lonely sometimes. She made several appointments with the consultant to discuss her stress, Berry [ 12 ], and the consultant provided her guidance to make her adjust.

Increase interaction with American students in campus is important.

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Namely, creating programs to bridge international and US culture is highly recommended. Through these interactions, students will improve language and communication skills and also provide them with opportunities to understand and adjust to US culture. I can practice my language skills, and I also can know different cultures. I still want to hang out with students from my country, but I want to have people from different backgrounds. I can use English to communicate Mai. This section presents the findings and provides further interpretations of them.

Findings indicated that international students faced different challenges, and they utilized different strategies to adjust themselves. For a university that hosts international students, the following sections will discuss implications drawn from this study. Based on the findings of this study, recommendations for institutions of higher education in the US on how to assist international students in becoming successful were generated.

Firstly, colleges and universities should have an English program for international students to support their language proficiency. Universities can host workshops where international students become familiar with the use of colloquial English, commonly used slang words, and the social and cultural mores of the US society in order to communicate effectively both in academic and in nonacademic settings.

Secondly, for US students and faculty, they should be aware of the value of embracing international students and appreciating the diversity from each other. For example, schools could host orientation programs for learning from international students. Faculty should consider the equal access and learning opportunities for all students. American students also need to develop intercultural competence to interact with international students such as providing training for staff, who will work with international students.

Thirdly, tutoring and counseling are expected because international students need guidance to succeed in their academic learning, and their psychological stress should be supported. Fourthly, universities should offer international students a special orientation about US culture and overall academic culture. Such efforts might include seminars by professionals, international students telling of their own experiences in the US, and organizations where friendship ties can be developed with local people.

To maintain the generalization, this study includes international students from different countries. The findings indicated that international students often face a series of transitional difficulties when they come to study in the US at universities and colleges. On the other hand, these challenges also motivate international students to develop strategies to solve problems. When they become autonomous learners, they develop new learning strategies to deal with difficulties. The adjustment and adaption takes time and effort, and it needs a lot of support from different aspects.

The university is usually the first place where resources can be provided; thus the university needs to focus on the challenges faced by international students and provide more adequate support for them. The findings of the present study should be carefully interpreted because this study focused on a particular group of international students at a specific institution.

Thus, generalizability of the findings beyond this group of international students is limited. Due to the time and word limit, this study did not further report other variables, such as motivation, cultural background, personality, and attitude, toward living and studying in the US. Future studies should consider looking at other variables closely for these groups. The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper. Indexed in Web of Science. Subscribe to Table of Contents Alerts. Table of Contents Alerts.

Introduction Given the recent demand for internationalization and globalization of our world, a cross-border student mobility around the world has ensued [ 1 ]; the inflow of international students in the United States US has increased significantly. International students in the United States and study abroad by American students are at all-time high, , http: View at Google Scholar M. View at Google Scholar J. View at Google Scholar C. View at Google Scholar G. View at Google Scholar X. Chinese international students' verbal participation in U. View at Google Scholar F. View at Google Scholar L.

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