I’ve written in the past about my belief that physical education should be treated as an important and relevant part of learning in school as much as any academic subject. It is absolutely NOT a period of light relief from the real learning, a break or even just a way to get children to let off some steam and physical energy, so that they concentrate better in the other classes. As we acknowledge the significant interrelationship between mind and body, we have to give PE its rightful place in school.
In the past, and especially in my experiences in India, the low importance given to PE has meant that very little regard is given to understanding how to integrate modern teaching pedagogy, practices and methodology in to the PE domain. Too many compromises are made in the professional development and accountability of PE teachers. Worse, too many school leaders haven’t bothered to take the time to understand the role and importance of PE and too many schools use PE teachers as glorified policemen to handle control and discipline, especially when the children are together in large numbers for assemblies and other gatherings.
So, when I come across good resources in this area, I’m always glad to share them. This is a really good podcast that I came across recently. It’s an interview and Q & A with Dr Stephen Harvey on the subject of Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). I would urge that not just PE teachers, but also school leaders, other teachers and even parents can gain considerable understanding of what’s possible when it comes to developing PE programmes that are motivating, engage all students ad lead to growth, development and learning for every pupil;
(For those who want to take their understanding further, there are some useful references on the summary page and in the podcast itself)