The Discoverer

Is the “New PE” a Better PE?

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TCS students checking the new PE groups.

TCS students checking the new PE groups.

TCS students checking the new PE groups.

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Physical Education at the Columbus School traditionally has brought and allowed a space for kids and teens to enjoy the wonders of physical exercise through games and sports, in an active and fun way. Since kindergarten, students have been enjoying of this approximately one hour long period, to free themselves from other class, school, or personal related topics through the physical and kinetic activities; but could the new change in the curriculum be affecting that student perception? Even if it is, the benefits behind the plan are mostly unperceived by the students but more than enough to support this more theoretical Phys. Ed.

Since the beginning of this new school year [August] TCS scholar community have pioneered with this new curriculum based on Shape America standards, which focus more on physical activity and health than sports itself. According to Roger Arbabi, TCS High School Principal, “Historically the PE program at our school was essentially the kids playing these certain games, but there are new standards there to be written for PE classes,” adding, “I want to make sure the we look at a child as a whole child, when you leave this school … what we want to create is lifelong fit people.” In between the many standards found in the Shape America webpage, standard 3 points out this specific characteristic, being a focus point on this years physical education, “The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.” By seeking health and good habits in the students, the classes have been used more as a space to learn concepts, not seen on our regular PE.

But how has this change been perceived by the actual affected? Well, 9 out of 20 students interviewed affirm they have liked the “new PE” regarding the curriculum change, but still there is still a majority who hasn’t embraced it so successfully. This is still a bit of problem because adaption is a key point to how successful the program will be, but hopefully time will change their minds. This “new PE” has also been a pioneer on a new distribution made by the teachers in relation to “interest”, where students are divided into groups [usually by gender and performance] causing most of the dislikes, generally in men.

“The PE department had different standards put together going back to 1998-2001, when we were just barely writing a curriculum. In 2014 there was still a lot of same standards we used back in 2001, and since things evolve, they get better, we were still back in the old times.” Freddie Badillo stated. A change had to be done in order to achieve the American standards, but also in order to improve and teach students beneficial techniques for their live. According to a digit shared by Badillo, 70% of people give up on the sport they practiced after graduating [for multiple reasons]. Meaning that a vast majority of students here at TCS will drop from their physical activity, but will be able to achieve any necessary exercise, practice, or control without depending on any variable.

Consequently this curricular change seeks to improve the student’s lifestyle and promote a healthy habit for postgraduates, as it intends to teach various helpful methods, for each person. No matter what their level is with regards physical activity, this variation will assure a benefit, even for people not so hopeful. As everything, people need time to adapt to any change, but I have no doubt on how effective this program will be, even by sacrificing a small precious time for sports and games.

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Is the “New PE” a Better PE?