Characteristics of a Good PE Lesson

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Abstract

When children participate in physical activity it increases their capacity for learning and promotes physical and social and emotional well–being. ‘Physical Education’ (PE) is the practical component of the Health and PE primary school curriculum in NSW focusing on development of physical competence and confidence in the child and the ability to perform a range of activities. This study examined those features primary teachers believe characterise a ‘good’ PE lesson. A series of online surveys (n=12), lesson observations and individual interviews was conducted with five of the practising teachers (Kindergarten to Year 2 or Elementary) to access the data. The main themes to emerge indicated that the characteristics of a good PE lesson included: Fundamental Movement Skills, Spatial Awareness, Maximum Participation, Supportive Environment, Variety of Activities and Differentiation, and Reduced Instruction Time. The research findings provide perspectives on what is needed to create an effective PE lesson, benefiting current and future teachers with practical suggestions for improving the planning and implementation of PE lessons for K–2. Finally, all participants stated that it was clearly beneficial for students to learn fundamental skills in order to confidently participate in sport and physical activity throughout their lives in order to remain healthy. For this to occur, the authors highly recommend that regular, effective PE lessons be delivered by class teachers at a minimum of 1–2 times per week, with daily PE offering even greater health benefits.