Traditional vs Progressive Physical Education

We all know that daily Physical Education is important; actually it is CRITICAL, to students being active and successful in multiple components and layers of their everyday world.   All trending data indicates that students who are active for 30-60 minutes each day are going to be healthier, feel better, and have a more positive academic attitude towards learning.  Simply put, it is great to be physically active every day!curriculum blog cat image 720

And we could probably talk (or blog) at length about the lifelong benefits connected to physical education, as those benefits are multiple: the increased fitness, emotional, and social benefits are lengthy and well documented.  My guess would be that any professional reading this blog would concur wholeheartedly to the positive attributes of being in a Physical Education class as often as possible in the K-12 educational world, and in college too for that matter.  The question quickly surfaces these days though, WHICH type of Physical Education class are we referring to or Which type of Physical Education do we prefer, Traditional or Progressive?

Physical Education has evolved significantly over the last decade. It’s not necessarily “good” or “bad” but it is a hot topic these days.  PE has journeyed a long way into the lifelong skills arena and progressive PE teachers are instructing a whole slew of “new” skills and activities in their physical education and/or wellness classes these days.   Physical Education in the 21st Century is not the same PE from the 80’s, 90’s or even early 2000’s.  Physical Education slowly transformed throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. The PE that many of us grew up with was a healthy dose of team sports and traditional single and dual activities….basketball, floor hockey, tennis, soccer, etc.  Physical Education these days has steadily morphed into the fitness and lifelong skill zone…multiple fitness activities, skills, and etiquettes combined with boot camp classes, yoga, Pilates, tough mudder training, etc. Certainly both have an important place in PE moving forward.

So the question naturally jumps to “Which style of  PE is better?”  We all know that most schools do not provide enough daily PE or weekly PE which makes the limited active time on learning in Wellness or PE classes absolutely precious.  I have heard (and read) all sorts of spirited discussions related to which type of PE/Wellness class is better for the kids.  Traditional PE is highly touted for movement and social reasons with Progressive PE being encouraged for the fitness and lifelong skills.

I guess my question remains; Which PE Is better…Traditional PE or Progressive PE?  What do YOU think? Is one better than the other?  A hybrid format perhaps?  Tell us what you think…

 

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