Active, healthy lifestyles
Active, healthy lifestyles

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3 The challenge of change

…although we may be striving to turn a profession that has the inertia of a supertanker, as individuals each of us is a speed boat that can turn on a dime…

(Pate and Hohn (1994), p. 217)

The American authors of the quote above suggest that PE needs to change so that it places primary emphasis on the promotion of lifelong exercise. However, they consider that this could be slow and difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, they maintain that changes at grassroots level can occur with lightning speed, and they invite PE teachers to make a change in their curriculum or teaching today.

Explore these ideas further in Activity 3.

Activity 3

Read Pate, R.R. & Hohn, R.C. (1994), the extract from ‘Health-related physical education – a direction for the 21st Century’, at this link:

Health-related physical education [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

  • Does the authors' analysis of physical education in the USA resonate with your experiences in the UK?

  • Do you agree that PE programmes that focus exclusively on motor skill acquisition are too narrow and short-sighted?

  • Should the cognitive and affective domains be given much more time and attention?

  • In your experience, has there been a shift in the UK towards activity promotion?

Record your responses to these questions and then discuss you thoughts with your colleagues.

How would you describe the balance of lifelong exercise and motor skill instruction in your scheme of work?

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