what is physical education

1. INTRODUCTION  TO  TEACHING      PHYSICAL  EDUCATION
 
 
1.1. The rationale for developing physical education         curricula
 
Civilization changes, therefore, developing technology for the 21st century will require skills as well as qualifications that one can hardly think of at the moment. The preparation for, and proof of this has to come through education and for that reason, the way pupils are taught in schools today has to change, as a lot of young people today are lacking appropriate attitudes and social skills (i.e. skills such as flexibility, adaptability, punctuality, responsibility, creativity as well as citizenship, selfmanagement and communication will have to be improved). So, in this unstable environment, children need to learn elementary skills rather than knowledge, and develop attitudes enabling them to keep developing those skills throughout their life. In other words, they have to learn how to keep developing permanently and/by learning constantly. And this is what schools have to equip young generations with today.  In the case of physical education, all children should be able to take part in physical activity organized in school settings. It is also the school which should provide them with a lot of fun and enjoyment, without making them feel embarrassed or teased by others for their lack of technical ability. It is partly the school’s role to keep them active (and thus healthy). But, however simple it may seem, one has to remember that people do not decide on leading an active life or playing a particular sport at any particular moment or under the influence of a singular factor. It comes through a process – the process of physical education, which is probably one of the most difficult processes to provide as it requires a combination of both pedagogical skills and a knowledge of biological nature. But this hasn’t always been so obvious.  For example the historical evolution of the British national curriculum in Physical Education is believed to have begun in the late 18th century together with the system of boarding schools which provided pupils with competitive sports and games (like the one ran by Thomas Arnold in his school in Rugby). In other schools, military drills (such as Swedish Ling brothers’ system of gymnastics) were the foundations. Despite the drill training tradition, introducing a syllabus of physical education in 1909 helped to put dance and games on the program and most importantly, allowed for some teacher training to deliver the syllabus, which now became a formal part of  overall school education. Furthermore, even though the syllabus of 1919 was still called physical training (meaning merely physical exercise) it also encouraged teachers to use outdoor education. Later, some activities built around decision-making and leadership skills were also introduced. It is believed that physical education in schools was taught to provide the youth with the social basics as “initially sporting activity was encouraged to structure boys’ leisure as an antidote to ill-discipline, immorality and general anti-social conduct, that is, as a form of social control” [Donovan et al. 2008, p. 22].  In Poland regular physical education in schools was introduced by a decree of the Committee of National Education (Komisja Edukacji Narodowej) in 1783, which advocated the organization of spare time for play and physical activities in the open air and on a daily basis. However, the realization of the decree was not an easy task, due to the lack of professionals, insufficient infrastructure and lack of equipment in schools, although one example of the Lyceum in Krzemieniec stands out. The headmaster of the school, Tadeusz Czacki, employed the first full-time coach of physical education, namely, a French horse trainer. Sometime later a Polish medical doctor, Jędrzej Śniadecki (17681838), published his manuscript O fizycznym wychowaniu dzieci (Physical up-bringing of children), believed to be the first, fundamental and conceptual introduction of theory of physical education. In his book, Śniadecki pointed to the need to implementing elements of physical activity and plays into the up-bringing of children.  Later (in the second half of the 19th century) Sokol nests were formed, first in Czechoslovakia by Miroslav Tyrš and later in other East European nations to spread interest in gymnastics, but it was also the aim of this Gymnastic Movement to preserve national heritage. In Poland the ideology behind
the Sokol movement was even stronger as one has to remember that there was no such country on the maps of Europe at that time, as the country was under the occupation of three powerful nations: Germany, Russia and Austro-Hungary.  Among those who contributed to the development and preservation of national traditions in physical education and sport in Poland, one of the most influential was, without doubt, Eugeniusz Piasecki (1872-1947), founder of the first University Department of Physical Education in Poznań in 1919. His works and life were devoted to traditional sports and games of Slavic nations. Piasecki believed that national sporting traditions needed to be preserved as much as other spheres of national culture and that they should be passed onto the next generation in the form of traditional plays and games interwoven into regular physical education counterbalancing other, more strict forms of exercise and drills [Bronikowska 2008].   Today still, at times and with some teachers, physical education focuses on drills and exercise run in an authoritarian-like style. Instead, it should allow some freedom to the pupils to facilitate reflection and behaviour according to their own visions and expressional needs, solving problems on their own and autonomously through creating new games, or other forms of playful activities. If one could only manage to increase motivation by providing pupils with emotionally (and in case of physical education also physically) engaging tasks and challenges this would lead to the growth of self-esteem, self-autonomy and confidence in their own sport/health related abilities. It does not mean that the teachers have to get rid of all practices labelled “traditional”, as inheriting national customs is an important part of education, and therefore, traditional sporting activities are also an important part of education throughout all its aspects. One thing that has been achieved though, at least so far, is that physical education curricula in schools are the same all over the country and they are guided by the national curriculum outlines and aims. Commenting on the English system of physical education, Capel [2007, p. 493] argues that it is due to the
 
“implicit agreement as to what should be included in the curriculum and how it should be taught, with the focus being largely on the sporting model. Sport is believed to be a “mirror” of society, its small microcosm with all the relationships miniaturized (unfortunately sometimes caricaturized) but condensed in limited shots of time of the game. But this could be used effectively in physical education if only this process could gain some dignity from its own professionalism”. 
 
Physical education has a long and broad range of traditional forms that can be included in its educational process of socialization. Here, “traditional” does not mean just traditional teaching (usually associated with unattractive and emotionally and intellectually undemanding). Although it is difficult to describe here precisely the whole of what might be considered as culture of physical, Kirk [1990] believes that to emphasize the idea of culture (physical culture) pupils in schools should be taught traditional games such as croquet as well as modern games such as curling. Introduction of  “extraordinary” sports and forms of activity may induce resistance to traditional sports and participation in these, whilst offering different choices, allows another challenge to the pupils, that they would not normally face.  Today one can observe that the values, once designed and destined for the upper classes, have been assimilated with those characteristic for less noble and less financially independent ones. Mass popularity of some sports has caused changes in the nature of sport, thus reflecting social changes in the domain we can call the ‘culture of physical activity’. Recent technological  revolutions have brought the media along and what once was undertaken as a sport, recreational or pastime activity, has shifted towards something that is now watched on television. Therefore one may wonder if any form of activity (lacking for example its physical side) be considered as a part of physical culture? I do not know, but we all know how people tend to value things that they obtain without any effort – “easy come, easy go”. Will the same apply to valuing physical efforts? If not today, it might become so in 30-50 years. And what will be done about it then? Today’s physical culture is a recognized part of human life, responsible not only for developing natural biological predispositions and needs, but also for creating certain life attitudes and thus plays an important role in developing social relationships, interests and moral values. It also concerns the organizational sphere of physical culture and how it deals with the whole range of matters – who runs
sport federations, what it the policy behind national sports, how much money is spent on mass sport and how much on “elite”, professional sport, how things are handled on individual or family levels. Such an understanding of physical culture also influences the  aims of physical education which, being a foundation for future self-development, has to emphasize and integrate those issues into its teaching more than ever. Physical education through pedagogical methods and the specific interactive nature of the relationship between teacher and pupils (in the educational environment of a sport gym) should aim at strengthening personal traits (beliefs, moral values, motives and interests as much as motor skills or sporting skills) in preparation for an active life style not just in the school but for a person’s whole life span. If the process is delivered appropriately, according to pedagogical principles, some basic motor skills (i.e. running, jumping, skipping or catching) would be the means of achieving social and moral development. The variety of activities, the forms and methods of delivering it, and broadness of contexts should only enhance the educational process and help young people to direct their interests into physical culture in the future.  The way physical education influences the future choices is presented in fig. 1 below. 
 
 
Figure 1. Scheme of educating for life-long participation in physical culture
 
New, original movement play, games and sports can add flavour to everyday teaching, making it more varied and vivid, whilst at the same time engaging pupils thoughtfully as they have to pay more attention to the things they haven’t heard of before. Some new games like English rock-it-ball, Canadian lacrosse or Polish ring-netball need special prior preparation (especially concerning equipment) so it is relatively difficult to introduce them widely. On the other hand, games like Indianoriginated kabbadi, African abgârin or even Italian bocce, in France called pétanque, do not need as much preparatory instruction and although they may cause some confusion in their names on the school fields, they still may come in handy to teach other cultures and certainly are worth trying in a lesson. Another solution comes with the “American way” – inventing basketball by J. Naismith in Springfield College or volleyball by W. Morgan. These should be encouraging examples for each physical education teacher and sport coach in undertaking the endeavour of creating new sports. In social life, physical culture has a role to play, with individuals of all ages participating in it for different reasons and on different levels. Most of them play sport for purely recreational purposes and appreciate the more social aspects of the sporting activity within a group of friends. Playing sport in groups can widen a friendship circle by bringing likeminded people together. Only selected ones (mostly better equipped genetically) perform at a high “elite” professional level of competition. But school physical education curricula need to cater for all kinds of pupils.  One of the potential problems with the school curriculum is that it is created on the basis that “one size fits all”, which can have a damaging impact on those who are not mean in the group. Lack of equality limits chances and in some cases leads to exclusion (self-exclusion such as with obese children or group-exclusion such as with disabled students). Educational authorities will argue that the curriculum is broad enough for each teacher to be able to differentiate and cater for all pupils and their needs in the class but reality proves otherwise.  The world is so culturally diverse rich and yet still changing that there is a need to explore it and keep up-to date in all forms of education. This may be one of the ways of reducing some very difficult social problems like racial or religious discrimination (lack of tolerance) and gender problems. It
would also help to alert stereotypical views on physical education and on sport in particular. Today physical education needs to explore and use activities from throughout the world and cultures. Allowing the pupils to experience games and sports  from  cultures  others  than  their   own   provides  a  unique  chance  to 1) introduce new, attractive forms of activities,  2) help them recognize and learn respect for other cultures and traditions with their rich ethics and social contexts, and 3) capture their attention and emotional involvement to let them create their own interests in the sustainable development of health potential and resources. 
 
To smoothen the process here below are some characteristic features which would make modern (but also some old traditional) forms of activity (mainly games and sports) easier to incorporate into the existing range in schools if the following points are considered:  1) Secularism – sport nowadays is played for personal and social reasons (not for religious or political ones),  2) Fairness – there is the presumption in sport that everyone should have the opportunity and equal chance both to compete and to win, 3) Lack of strong specialisation (position specialization) which would make it easy to enter for all willing to participate.   But teachers have to be aware that there is no “silver bullet” solution to the problems that physical education and sport are facing today and above all, the teaching/learning process has to be run efficiently with strong emphasis on pedagogical aspects of discovering one’s body in a healthy environment.
 
 
1.2. Motor development and learning in physical education 
 
Part of the physical education process is motor development and motor learning, which are determined by biological predispositions of each individual person. Morphological factors (body build types) and the proportion of slow-to-fast twitch fibres both influence trainability of motor abilities. But it is the nervous system which determines the number of motor neurons (motor units), which are a single nerve in the spinal cord, together with its nerve and the muscle fibres emanating from its branches – all this makes up a single motor unit recruited. It also determines the occurrence of the processing of information and influences the accuracy of motor responses. The acquisition of perceptual motor skills is fundamental to all human existence. Each person acquires new skills at every stage of life mostly to enhance the quality of daily living, some to prove themselves to be better than others. The latter ones are dominant in sport, where individuals are pitted against each other to win by performing to the best of their skills (motor, tactical, intellectual) in a range of sporting settings. For a long time in motor learning the FIT (Frequency, Intensity, Time) principle was used. Recently however, it has been replaced with the FITT (Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type) principle, which describes how one should safely apply the principles of physiological workloads and progression. The components of this principle are described as follows:  Frequency – Is how often a person performs the targeted health-related physical activity.   Intensity – Is how hard a person exercises during a physical activity period. This can be measured in different ways, depending on the health-related components involved.  Time – Is the duration of physical activity. As with the other aspects of the FITT principle, time varies depending on the health-related fitness components targeted.  Type – or specificity, refers to the specific physical activity chosen to improve a component of health-related fitness to the energy system’s demand to perform an activity.  But motor learning might be a very tricky area of teaching. Learning simple motor skills does not require much in the way of intellectual processing, but repeating the same exercise to reinforce those skills over and over again is one of the main factors causing de-motivation and lack of engagement in the long-term. This sometimes leads also to other (de)motivation related problems such aggression, violence or misbehaviour, although teachers have to be aware of the differences between various sports used in physical education in the number of conflicting situations they may arise [Bronikowski et al. 2006]. A conscious level of engagement may involve pupils in depth and this is
why the tasks that pupils are faced with should be attractive so they can perceive them as challenging and worth investing their energy into.  Another equally important issue is testing motor fitness. In testing motor fitness it is advisable to develop and maintain motivation and promote participation, particularly amongst the least fit and less active children [ACSM 2000]. The following recommendations would seem pertinent:  Focus on health-related aspects such as stamina, strength and suppleness rather than skill-related aspects such as speed and power.   Emphasize personal involvement and improvement, not social comparison.  Stimulate interest in learning about the effects of exercise.   Increase understanding of health-related concepts.  Encourage positive attitudes and life-time commitment to activity. 
 
Practically speaking there are a few points that a teacher has to bear in mind before starting to test motor fitness: 1. It is a good idea to demonstrate the desired behaviour first – teaching students to self-test gives them the opportunity to demonstrate the behaviours they will need to create their own effective physical activity programs throughout life. 2. For better cognitive processing, link directly to the curriculum – self-testing as a self-teaching activity helps make health-relate fitness concepts “essential content” of the curriculum. 3. Try to inform the students that self-testing makes it easy to test on an ongoing basis, because it saves teacher time in the future, more importantly it individualizes the instruction and sequence of learning. 4. Make students both capable and likely to apply the tests and set goals for achieving physical gains in real life, self-testing gives students the practical experience they need to feel confident and capable in their abilities to apply the tests and seek improvement in real life.
 
So perhaps to provide the most appropriate motor development physical education teachers should use more health-related exercise (H-RE) which, according to Harris& Elbourn [2002] may be taught by the curriculum in: 1. Permeation method, which means that it is taught through the PE activity areas (athletics, dance, games, gymnastics, swimming and outdoor and adventurous activities). However there are certain limitations, for example knowledge and skills may become marginalized among other PE objectives (or the opposite may occur: an overload of information and work), unstructured and less effective in conventional PE lessons. These objectives may, and should be, achieved by other activities as well. 2. Focused method, which involves teaching H-RE through specific lessons or units of work within a physical education or health education programme. The main focus of these lessons is the learning concept rather than the activity itself so it also has some limitations as it may be seen in isolation and not closely linked to traditional activities (athletics, dances, games, gymnastics, swimming, etc.). 3. As a series of topics, which involve a series of physical activities and classroom lessons following a specific topic or theme (teaching to recognize and value the effects of exercise on the body through PE and classroom lessons on a topic such as „My body and others”, „My body and time” as proposed in a health(a)ware model of teaching). The limitation of this method is dealing with “a topic- or theme-based” approach, which may take more time to plan and may be less practically oriented than the other methods. 4. Combined method, which includes the above mentioned: permeation through PE (dance, games, gymnastics) and topic method (such as „my body and other bodies”, or „body and time”). Limitations will depend on the time plan, structure, implementation and co-ordination within the curricula, which may all take a long time. 
 
The most common division of motor abilities includes the following:   Speed – the ability to perform a movement in a short period of time, distance travelled per unit of time measured in ms-¹. In running and walking, speed is the product of stride length and stride rate. 
 Strength – the ability to apply force and overcome resistance. Strength is an essential element in physical performance. There are a number of different types of strength including absolute strength, dynamic strength, elastic strength, explosive strength, isomeric strength, relative strength, strength deficit and strength endurance (the ability of an individual to withstand fatigue).    Endurance (stamina) – the maximum duration an individual can maintain a specific activity. It has proven useful to sports scientists investigating functional  systems  to  divide  endurance into short term endurance (35 s – 2 min), medium-term endurance (2-10 min) and long term endurance (longer than 10 min).  Flexibility – the range of motion in a joint. Flexibility is a measure of the ability of the muscle tendon units to elongate within the physical restrictions of the joint. Therefore, the flexibility of a joint is affected by the nature of the joint structure, the conditions of the ligaments and fascia that surrounds the joint, and muscle extensibility.   Agility – the ability to change the position of the body in space rapidly and accurately without loss of balance. Agility is important in sports where obstacles or opponents have to be avoided. It is recognized as a basic component of motor performance, but its exact nature has not been determined. Agility depends on muscular power, reaction time, co-ordination and dynamic flexibility. (Definitions taken from M. Kent [1994] The Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science and Medicine)  It is also important to understand the idea of the motor program as an abstract memory structure prepared ahead of the movement which, when executed, results in movement without the involvement of feedback requiring a correction for an error in selection [Kelso 1982, p. 291] and as Kelso observes in his book “this serves a framework for further development of motor fitness and movement patterns”. The relationship between the sensory consequences, the initial conditions and the outcomes in the environment of past movements also serves as a basis for determining the expected sensory consequences including vision, audition and proprioception. But this is area of human motor behaviour teaching and learning and is not dealt with in this book, as it would require a considerably more to be written about the subject.     
 
 
1.3. Social and moral development in physical education 
 
It is important to realize that despite strong association with physical aspects, the major overall aim of physical education is to prepare a young member of society to enter the world of adulthood with the most developed potential (“hidden talents”) so that they can contribute to society comprehensi-vely. Society for a long time was believed to be a form of highly organized system of related components (class, family, gender, ruling parties and parties being ruled). However, more recently, this traditional division of societal obligation (and also moral obligations) has been weakened, if not lost. Interasingly  there are one parent families who serve the role of a mother and a father, there are no classes and even the ruling cast is not clear, as there as so many sources of powerful influences – media, business, international treaties and financial alliances. Hence, there is no wonder that a young member of such a society (remaining rather “vanity fair” than a consolidated and culturally bond community) cannot recognize the traditional values once established and shared by the majority of its members that have now been lost in the cultural chaos.  In the case of physical education, a lot of damage is done by sport, in particular the one presented on television, where an obvious clash of core sport values with those fundamental ones (universal in societal terms) is often spotted. To understand how a society works, especially in physical domains like physical culture, one needs to be properly taught those values and understand how they contribute to the operation of the societal system in general. Functionalists [Coakley, Pike 2009, p. 39] believe that “social systems operate efficiently when they are organized to do four things:  1) socialize people so that they learn and accept important cultural values,  2) promote social connections between people so that they can co-operate with one another,  3) motivate people to achieve socially approved goals through socially accepted means, and  4) protect the overall system from disruptive outside influence. 
Functionalists assume that if these four system needs are satisfied, social order will be maintained and everyone will benefit”. Therefore, in life, most decisions about sports programmes should be focused on promoting organized youth sports and the opportunities for equal participation of men and women and even developing sports in military training. However, this is based on the assumption that the “needs of all groups within a society are the same” [Coakley, Pike 2009, p. 41], which is not necessarily true, and certainly not so in education, where there are disabilities, handicapped or impaired (having a physical, sensory or intellectual condition that potentially limits full participation in social and/or physical environments) students. Thus, although functionalist theory (Considered a conservative theory) may offer an explanation for positive consequences associated with sports and sport involvement, it doesn’t cater for all purposes. If we believe that sports are a mirror of society then we have to consider the multiple social constructions and relationships that influence the organization of that society and vice versa. It only makes clear how complex social life might be and adding to it a historical perspective shows the depth of the problem.  Sports, once known and practised in past cultures, were not as competitive nor quantified as they are today. They were played for fun and were a part of ludic rituals and as such transmitted traditional values. Today’s sports are record-oriented, with high specialization and secularism spinning a never-stopping administrative machine of record breaking/keeping. Among the most characteristic  features  of  today’s  sports  Guttmann  [after Coakley and Pike p. 69] points at:  a) secularism – sports are sources of diversion and entertainment, not worship; they are played for personal gaits, not the appeasement of gods, and they embody the immediacy of material world, not the mysticism of the supernatural.  b) equality – sports are based on the ideas that participation should be open to everyone regardless of family or social background and that all contestants in a sporting event should face the same competitive conditions.       c) specialization – involve athletes dedicated exclusively to participation in a single event and position within an event, excellence is defined in terms of specialized skills, rather than all-round physical abilities.  d) rationalization – involve formalized rules that regulate the conditions of participation and they are organized around rationally controlled strategies and training methods guided by “sport science”. e) bureaucratization – sports are governed by complex organizations and officials that control athletes, teams and events, enforce rules, organize events and certify records. f) quantification – involve precise timing and measurements, scores and performance statistics are recorded and used as proof of achievements. g) records – emphasize setting and breaking records, performances are compared over time to determine personal, national and world records. 
 
So, relying on ill-taught sport education instead of physical education in schools, poses some treats. It may lead to an overemphasis on organized elite sports – which are not the only sports in society – and a high level of competitiveness (professional sports) may particularly be discouraging for less motor and sport-skills gifted members of society. It is here where social critical theory may be useful as it offers an alternative to the system-based focus of functionalist theory. Critical theory is based on the following assumptions [Coakley&Pike 2009, p. 45]:  Groups and societies are characterized by shared values and conflicts of interests.  Social life involves continuous processes of negotiation, compromise and correction because agreements about values and social organization are never permanent.   Values and social organization change over time and from one situation to another as there are shifts in the power balance between groups of people in society. This theory is valuable and can be adapted for modern physical education in delivering social values as “instead of focusing on society as whole, it focuses on the diversity, complexity, contradictions and changes that characterize social life as it is lived and experienced by people who interact with one another and struggle over how to organize their lives together. It focuses on three topics:   the process through which culture is produced, reproduced and changed,   the dynamics of power and social inequalities in cultural processes and 
 the ideologies that people use as they make sense of the world, from identities, interact with others and transform the conditions of their lives” [Coakley & Pike 2009, p. 45].  Certainly sport, through its variety of experiences, may provide a range of opportunities for exploring values and character building. Some [Shields, Bredemeier  1995, Parry 1998] argue that it may be a laboratory for developing ideas and social/moral values, but it cannot be narrowed to physical exercise: It has to go beyond the sports gym, as physical education needs to get back to the mainstream of school education – preparing for life, not just for sports.    This kind of thinking has underpinned the foundations for developing the health(a)ware modular model of delivering physical education combined with health education, where a person is “set on a journey” through interactions with other people (body and bodies module) or in relation to time (body and time module) or against changing environment (body and environment) and in a company of quantifiable facts (body and measures). The model is described in detail in the following chapters.   It is important for all teachers to equip their pupils with social skills enabling them to recognize and respect universal social and moral values and positive attitudes. But the process of developing those does not happen automatically during schooling. It has to be enhanced by specially designed educational tasks and programmes. To create a certain ability to understand, appreciate and follow values accepted by society, each member of society has to go through the process of creating and implementing them in a controlled school environment. Raths et al [1966, p. 34]  believe that “values are based on three processes: choosing, prizing and acting. Choosing should be based on free action, from alternatives, after thoughtful consideration of the consequences of each alternative. Prizing will require cherishing, being happy with the choice, willing to affirm the choice publicly, while acting is doing something with the choice, repeatedly, making in a pattern of life”. But teachers and pupils must know how to progress from one stage of morality (or social competence) to another. Therefore a framework suggested by Rest [1984] may be a useful route for educationalists.  Rest suggested a four-part model of moral development including the following phases:  1) interpreting the situation and identifying a moral problem (involving empathy, people-talking, and figuring out how the participants in a situation are each affected by various actions),  2) figuring out what one ought to do, formulating a plan of action that applies the relevant moral standard and ideal (involving concepts of fairness and justice, moral judgement, application of social moral norms),  3) evaluating the various courses of action for how they would serve moral and non-moral values and deciding what one will actually try to do (involving decision-making processes, value integration models, defensive operations) and,  4) executing and implementing the moral plan of action (involving “ego strength” and self-regulation processes).  Therefore, to make today’s learning meaningful, integrated and transferable to social life outside of school, education needs to consider more than subject-related content, materials and management of a class. Even the most sophisticated teaching programme or teachers’ manual will not secure the successful achievement of educational goals if it is not fit for the curriculum, designed in a pupilfriendly manner, age adjusted and most of all, content-attractive and related to real-life situations. Beyond this, teachers have to consciously use cognitive strategies to enhance their teaching in a planned way. Problem solving, dealing with moral dilemmas, ability to cooperate and team-cohesion building are among the most desired social values to be learnt through education. All of them have a very good chance to be learnt in a physical education setting, if only the emphasis is laid on social and moral rather than on physical aspects. Some simple reactions and motor skills may be learned by observing others whereas more complex ones will require repetition and a changing of the context, but moral skills cannot be learned in any other than experiencing and dealing with problems in real-life situations. Below are some basic terms associated with social and moral development that have been explained.  Cognitive skills:  a) strategic thinking – to be able to advance an optimal solution to a particular problem or situation (question, challenge, issue); be able to propose the means by which such a situation may be attained; anticipate potential problems and unanticipated side-effects and other problematic outcomes; and be able to implement the most appropriate course of actions. 
b) critical thinking – to be able to have one’s own point of view despite stereotypes and other detected bias or opinions; to be able to determine key factors and crucial elements and the complexity of the issue, question or situation. One needs to be able to review one’s own process of thought and action, critically appraise (self-evaluate) the actions undertaken so far and plan the action upon what has been learnt. This also applies to a critical analysis of others’ people work and achievements, but critical should not mean undermining, nor should it lead to destructive actions against other people.     Social skills:  a) communication – one should be able to communicate their messages but also be able to listen to others using different channels of communication – verbal, mimic, gesture, written communication including also the use of modern technologies like the Internet or mobile phones.  b) leadership – to be able to lead other people, to be in charge of a group of people and still be able to implement a plan of actions (changes) by reasoned decisions both by using teamwork or individualize targets and objectives when necessary.  c) participation – not only participating in an activity but also being able to influence the decision making process (active participation). In the case of school education it needs to be done sensibly but also sensitively, involving different members of the group/class (possibly each of them should have a chance to influence the plan of actions) with the use of different teaching methods and approaches. Attitudes:   a) pursuit of excellence (sustainable development) – to have a positive attitude towards developing one’s own potentials (both in biological and cultural terms) and talents (in sports, music, art, drama or other gifts) in a pursuit to gain as much self-esteem and self-confidence as possible and to be able to act with awareness of one’s capacity and worth. This belief in oneself however, should not lead to over-confidence nor to the abuse of other, weaker students, especially in a sporting context, where physical context and rivalry is inevitable. b) respect for diversity – an empathy with others’ views and needs and respect for their work, opinion, race or religion, but also to be able to value different cultures and traditions (to show openness to welcome and create opportunities to learn from other cultures and societies).  c) sense of justice and equity – to be able to recognize social injustice and act justly; to have a sense of fairness, especially in sporting situations, but also to present it outside the gym; and to have the willingness to act accordingly with moral standards both in self-related but also in other-related circumstances (willingness to speak up for undermined others). One of the leading theoretical frameworks for social development through sport is based on Hellison’s [2003] Teaching Responsibility through Physical Activity (TRPA) model. It is becoming more and more visible that there is a need for improving control and discipline in the class to counterbalance violence and aggression present in the streets. Schools need to develop a sense of meaningfulness for young people [Antonovsky 1995], but it has to equip them with such social skills that would enable them to enter adulthood with an optimistic belief that “they can make it if they want”. If we could achieve these along with increasing their participation in physical activity this could be a major benefit of physical education. Obviously this will not happen instantaneously, as most of the progressive changes in human behaviour take time. Hellison [1985, 2003] described this development through certain levels, where goals have been organized into a step-by-step progression of attitudes and behaviours: 1)  Level 0: irresponsibility – describes pupils who are unmotivated and undisciplined, they make excuses and blame others for their behaviour, deny personal responsibility for what they do or fail to do, and may feel powerless to change their lives. 2) Level 1: self-control – pupils are asked to control their behaviour and thereby responsibility is shifted from external source (e.g. teacher) to the pupils. They may not  show much mastery or improvement, but are able to control their behaviour enough so that they do not interfere with other pupils’ right to learn. Through this process, both self-discipline and the beginning of selfresponsibility are encouraged.  3) Level III: self-responsibility – emphasizes the need for pupils to learn to take more responsibility for their choices, and for linking these choices to their own identities. They can identify their own
needs and interests and can begin to plan and execute their own physical education programs. This goal fully rests on the assumption that pupils can independently reflect, plan, work, and play if given proper guidance and an appropriate framework. 4) Level IV: caring – deals with the need for social stability in pupils’ lives by encouraging pupils to reach out beyond themselves to others – to commit themselves to caring about others. Pupils at this level are motivated to extend their sense of responsibility by cooperating, giving support, showing concern, and helping (although there is the assumption that pupils must meet some of their own needs before they can reach out very far or very often to others).  In achieving this development through the mentioned levels, Hellison [1985, p. 9] suggests using the following teaching strategies:   Teacher talk – one of the ways to have pupils interact with the levels is to explain those levels, post them, refer to them during spontaneous acts of self-responsibility or caring or, conversely, during uncontrolled behaviours.   Modelling (being) – this is what the teacher does in the presence of the pupils, it is his/her attitudes and behaviours. Pupils interact with the levels when the teacher is under control (recognizing different teaching styles), involved (actively participating whenever possible), responsible (by keeping promises) and caring (demonstrating concern for each pupil).   Reinforcement – this is any act by the teacher that strengthens a specific attitude or behaviour of an individual pupil. A teacher’s praise can be a reinforcer if it is genuine, positive, specific, and appropriate to the situation. Awards can also be reinforcers. So can a formal reward system that gives rewards for meeting certain criteria. So can grades. When attitudes and behaviours which represent the higher developmental levels (levels that are higher than the pupil’s typical attitudes and behaviours) are regularly reinforced in a genuine manner, pupil interaction with the levels is enhanced.   Reflection time – refers to time pupils spend thinking about their attitudes and behaviours in relation to the levels. Such interaction can take place at the end of a class period by asking pupils to state or record the level at which they operated during the period, and the basis for their evaluation.   Pupil sharing – this happens when pupils are asked to give their opinions about some aspects of the program. Pupil sharing results in interaction with the levels by emphasizing the worth of each pupil’s opinion (Level III) and a sense of community in trying to resolve a gray issue (Level IV). In addition, it gives pupils the opportunity to talk with the teacher about how best to encourage self-control, involvement, self-responsibility and caring. Opinions about the worth of these values can also be elicited, thereby giving pupils the opportunity to evaluate and perhaps even suggest modifications to the developmental level system.   Specific strategies – a group of strategies that refers to those activities that increase interaction with a specific level. For example, pupil contracts may help pupils operate at Level III, and reciprocal teaching, whereby pupils pair up and teach each other, may help pupils to operate at Level IV.  It is worth remembering that both developmental levels, as well teaching strategies, are only conceptual frameworks that can be used to enhance the teaching/learning and socialization processes. It is the responsibility of the teacher to select the most appropriate ones for the particular context and setting, and moreover, individualize them to match the specific needs of each individual pupil. The effectiveness of education depends not on the knowledge of a teacher but on his/her ability to use the most appropriate solutions in their teaching and to stand for what they teach. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. BASIC  MEANS  OF  PHYSICAL      EDUCATION
 
 
Many educational tasks specific for physical education are usually built around sport-related activities enriched by values characteristic for the development of social and moral values. All this is supposed to lead to the development of physically active lifestyles. According to the EU Physical Activity Guidelines [European Union Physical Activity Guidelines, Brussels 2008, p. 3] physical activity is defined as “any bodily movement associated with muscular contraction that increases energy expenditure above resting levels”. This can includes leisure physical activity, occupational physical activity or physical activity at home. It also relates to the school physical education, which is a first and fundamental stage in preparation for a lifelong physical activity. To make it educational, the aims and means have to be rooted in social, moral and cultural contexts. Therefore the teacher should use the wide variety of the means, among which the following ones are the most common: 
 
1) Play is a voluntary activity, characterised by minimal rules (often re-invented along the way),  spontaneity  and  fantasy  and is viewed  by  participants as non-work. According to Huizinga [1985] play is a cultural phenomenon characterised by freedom of choices, standing outside ‘ordinary’ life as being ‘non-serious’ (although due to the high level of emotional engagement it may become ‘deadly’ serious), but at the same time absorbing the player intensely and utterly. It is an activity connected with no material interest and gains. Huizinga believed that the function of play can be derived from the two basic aspects under which we meet it – as a contest for something or a representation of something. These two functions can be united in such a way that the play ‘represents’ a contest or else becomes a contest for the best representation of something. Bronikowski and Muszkieta [2000] see play serving more than two functions: practical, cognitive, social, educational and hedonic (ludic) functions. It is characteristic that in play, everyone may be a winner and the rivalry is not a team against any other team but it is rather a challenge to individuals to cope with the set of rules to the best of their skills and abilities. Play is more about cooperating than competing, though it is always a good idea to praise the best ones in every form of activity. 
 
 
 
An example of a play:  Name of the game: Who is your neighbour?   Participants: 20 pupils, aged 10-16. Equipment and facilities: 80 cones, poster prepared prior to the lesson (possibly during a lesson of geography) and blue tac. Playing area: sport hall, grass playingfield. Rules: The class is split into two mixed teams of ten, one team is called “hosts” And the other team is called “guests”. Approximately eight cones (a mixture of green, blue, red and yellow) are placed in the centre of the court on four cone stands, and each wall of the sport hall represents north, south, west and east direction of the Earth. The centre of the court is called Poland (or it may be called Europe and the same play may be carried out with continents) and each wall is the name of a country, which is located in that direction from Poland. For example north is Sweden (or Norway or Finland), south is Greece (or Italy), east is Russia (or Ukraine) and west is Germany (or France) – the names of the countries may be changed every time the play is organized. Each country has a colour (if possible matching the colour on the national flag of the country) and the children have to match the colour of the cones with the colour of the country. So Sweden will be yellow and the yellow cones must be taken to whichever direction they (the children) think Sweden is from Poland. A key is attached to each wall to prevent children from forgetting which country is which colour (this key may be a flag of the country). To incorporate the teams, the “host” team must place their cones in the area marked for hosts and the “guest” team must place their cones in the area for the arriving guest. This lets there be a winning team at the end of each 2 minutes by counting how many cones have been places in “hosts”
and “guests” areas. After the first 2 minutes the teacher blows the whistle, counts the cones in each area to reveal the winning team for that game, then changes the game by changing to other countries.  Cross-curricular links: This activity may be linked to geography to learn the direction of certain countries from Poland (or from Europe) and social skills such as communication and working together as a team will be developed as well. 
 
In the teaching process play should be taught prior to any more complex means of physical education as it uses the most basic forms of motor movement (i.e. running, jumping, catching, twisting, tossing, grasping a ball, throwing). Unfortunately play is often confused with race. The difference is considerable and both forms have different educational impacts. Race has no fable nor plot and the whole idea of the racing task is based around a mere physical competition enhanced with development of basic motor and sport skills (i.e. running with bouncing a ball). However, there are some things which are difficult or impossible to be achieved through a race where a play may serve its role perfectly. Preparation to more advanced game playing requires involving moderate forms of tactical thinking and this is best achievable by employing pre-considered teaching strategies like for example the Teaching Games for Understanding model (TGFU). 
 
2) Game is a more formalised form of the play and is characterised by explicit rules, and the outcome is ‘measured’ by its score. In its form outside the schooling context game may be a form of organised recreational activity or a highly competitive form of team against team rivalry, determined by strict rules and technical regulations. In either case game has formal rules, which could however be alternated for the schooling purposes (modified, simplified). According to Bunker and Thorpe [1982] the TGFU model is based on the principle that the process of learning is equally as important as the intended outcomes. In this model it is intended that the learner would rather understand the tactical strategies of a game than simply perform the task mastering it by constant repetition, which often comes without an appropriate level of intellectual processing. Use of this model enables the learner to employ the most suitable solutions in a range of situations and contexts, which is vital in all team games. There is a strong tendency to field-position specialisation (i.e. goalkeeper or forward) and frequently lessons of games lack other educational momentums making this form of activity especially vulnerable for occurrence of misbehaviour problems, particularly in invasion-games where the chances of encountering an opponent are unavoidable. Most of the so-called traditional sports (e.g. football, basketball, volleyball often called games) are well known to most of the physical education and sport students thus below a new, modified game exemplifying TGFU model is presented.    Name of the game: Hooped basket ball.  Participants: up to 20 students aged 14-20. Equipment and facilities: 18 hoops, 3 basketballs, two sets of colour bibs. Playing area: sport hall, outdoor basketball court.  Rules: The class in divided into two teams. The hoops are placed at either side of a rectangular playing area and teams of 5 a side compete with one basketball. Points are scored by getting the ball into any of the three hoops.  Modification: This game can be modified to have 3 hoops on one sideline (belonging to one team) and three hoops on the other side (belonging to the other team). Each of the hoops will have a different value of points ranging from 1 to 3 and it will be up to a team to come up with both defending and attracting strategy. The idea is to develop a sense of team tactics and team communication in finding where the gaps are and when the ball should be passed. The game develops also hand-eye coordination and participants use the skills already gained in the 3 player tag to evade opponents. Variants of the game  can be no bouncing of the ball (when  preparing  for other games – e.g., a game of Korfball) or being unable to communicate verbally or having to pass the ball at the least a certain number of times before scoring a hoop (few times for when practicing counterattack and more when practicing positioned attacking).  Cross-curricular: This activity ties in with one of the national key stage 3 and 4 curriculum (in UK) of performance as it enables individuals to know what needs to be achieved and appreciate how to make adjustments from working individually and in teams. It also allows building up upon the previous experience of 3 player tag (increasing complexity of a task).
 
3) Exercise usually it is  commonly to be one of the forms of leisure activities developing physical activity and health potential. However, in the schooling process, it is planned and structured, employing repetitive bodily movements that the teacher engages pupils in for the purpose of improving or maintaining physical fitness and health. It requires accuracy and therefore concentration on a task given and as such needs to be strictly supervised by the teacher. This also involves immediate feedback from the teacher (correcting mistakes, telling pupils what went wrong and giving advice how to improve their ways) which in many cases, if done in an inappropriate way (i.e. inadequate support, poor instruction, embarrassment) leads to potential drop-out situations. When giving pupils an exercise to perform the teacher needs to consider personal factors such as the age, personality and interests as well as educational determinants such as the goal or learning phase in the process. If those factors are appropriately addressed, then the individuals are more likely to make exercising a regular part of their daily routines, which is one of the fundamental general aims of physical education.  Examples of set of exercises in teaching basketball.  Warm up  Pupils dribble around a figure of 8 using the correct hands at appropriate times and turns, the teacher asks the pupils to: – change direction, – stop and get the next ball in front, – change pace, – dribble around the circuit and when the participant comes to the basket perform a lay up (alternatively with a set shot). Later the pupils are asked to include a set shot and there are asked to: – swap roles, – once they have grasped the idea of the concept, change the shooting angle. The teacher needs to point to the following things concerning technique: – crouch with knees apart and face basket, – shooting hand must be behind the ball and cocked, – shooting foot, elbow, wrist and hand should be in the same vertical place.
 
 
Use non-shooting hand to guide the ball: – flick your wrist and thrust your fingers of your shooting hand creating a back spin, – angle shots to the top corner of black board.
 
In the case of the abovementioned exercises the appropriate warm up should:  – increase  the  heart  rate to the level  appropriate  for  beginning  exercises (120-140 b/min), which will result in an increase of overall body temperature and increased blood flow through active tissues (even those remote ones in the extreme parts of the body – limbs, ears, nose).  – increase concentration (also of the warmed up muscles). – allow the pupils to prepare mentally for the up-coming challenges, giving them some hints of what they may expect and how they will be able to use what they are about to learn in their out of school life (pupils need to grasp some fundamental ideas of what is coming and possibly visualize themselves doing it).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. CURRICULAR  ISSUES 
 
 
3.1. National physical education curricula – the state of the art 
 
Physical education varies in different European countries in terminology (with physical education and sport in English but l’education physique et sportive in French or Sportunterricht in German and wychowanie fizyczne in Polish) and it varies in PE teacher training and the way it is taught. In Poland in PE teacher training there are two subjects theory of physical education – dealing with theoretical frameworks and methodology of teaching physical education – dealing with praxis,  while in England,  for example,  this will be covered by one – sport pedagogy. Teaching it also differs in concepts from traditional teacher-centred, school-based and sport model approach resembling a physical training evolving towards movement-based skill concepts (i.e. like movement didactics in Austria). Sportification of the physical education process is brought along by the competitive nature of competing against others from the early years of schooling. A strong emphasis was laid on skills acquisition and motor development, leaving health related issues and less physically talented pupils behind, causing de-education and de-moralisation of the majority of youth not involved in competitive sports. In some countries even today Physical Education and Sport in schools are two terms often used interchangeably and there is no clear distinction between them. This causes a lot of confusion in relation to the aims, which will obviously differ in both of them. But Sport and Physical Education do have one thing in common – pedagogical process, which refers to the study and practice of teaching and learning with particular, but not exclusive, focus upon the curriculum and broader social and moral issues, which may pertain to health and physical literacy. This is sometimes known as “learning theory” and embraces such philosophies as behaviourism, constructivism and humanism, each of which derive from physical training (Skinner’s psychological theory) to more acknowledged and more cognitively valued development of the holistic person through the use of educational and physical means. This pedagogical process is supposed to be aimed at developing the physical literacy of individuals to enable them to demonstrate competency in a range of movements and age-relevant proficiency in various forms of physical activity. In a broader sense, it incorporates intellectual, cultural, moral and physical responses in a specific sporting context. In this sense Physical Education is the context for providing individuals with challenges at the level of their capacities both in the artificial environment of the sport gym, as well as in the more natural social context of sporting events. In both contexts, the person is given a chance to build up social skills and self-confidence in situations involving physical efforts. Change from performance-oriented concepts to health-related ones is becoming not only necessary but also visible in most European countries, especially with the recent health(a)ware model of teaching, combining physical and health education.   In most of countries, education is divided into separate stages enabling the system to adjust specifically to meet the needs of particular age groups. In Poland it is Primary School level (including children aged 6-12), Gymnasium School (ranging from 13-16) – and the two are compulsory education stages. After these stages there is 3-year secondary school education from 16 to 19 years. Each stage ends with a competence test helping to select pupils to the most appropriate schools at the next stage and the last stage ends with the ‘Matura’ exams (comparable to British system of “A” levels), which enables a person to apply for a place at university.  In Poland physical education does not ends with examinations, though it may do in some other countries. In the recent reform of education in Poland (2009) general aims of education point at developing responsibility, respect, self-esteem and creativeness leading to higher level of personal culture.  It is a role of the school head-teacher to provide pupils with situations and conditions to fulfil curricular aims and objectives, which in the case of physical education particularly concerns the following: participation in physical culture during school but also after graduation, initiating and cooperating in promotion of physical activity, selecting life time sports and activities, developing health-related life style.  Contents and more detailed information on what and how have been formed into the stands:  diagnosis of physical fitness and development,   health training, 
 leisure sports and recreation,   safe physical activity and personal hygiene,   sport,   dance. One can easily see the dissonance between the general aims of education, which tend to be more socially-bound and those specific for physical education, which still reflect a reasonable interest in the body and its performance-related outcomes, though the shift from traditional motor-related teaching towards a more pupil-centred, pedagogical approach can be seen. In the new PE curriculum in Poland a new system has been introduced. From the previous system of four classes a week it is now two classes of 45 minutes of obligatory physical education interwoven into the school time-table and two additional classes in extra-curricular time, for which the pupils may decide themselves (from an offer of activities provided by the school) what sports they would like to engage in during a particular semester. In England (and UK “Home”  countries like Scotland and Wales, as well as British Commonwealth countries like Australia and even former Commonwealth territories such as HongKong) the introduction of national curricula in physical education was associated with the idea of benchmarking achievement levels at certain key stages of schooling. Education in England is divided into the following levels: Key Stage 1 (pupils aged 5-7) in the case of physical education including dance, games, gymnastics, swimming and water safety; Key Stage 2 (pupils aged 7-11) including activities from stage 1 plus athletics and outdoor adventurous activities; Key Stage 3 (pupils aged 1114) including stages 1 and 2 but at a more advanced level; Key Stage 4 (pupils aged 14-16) including activities from stages 2 and 3 but at a more advanced level. Those students taking the examination course in physical education at GCSE (General  Certificate  of  Secondary  Education) satisfy  the  criteria  for Key Stage 4.  In the United Kingdom within mainstream school programs there is a set curriculum of sports for Physical Education, such as football, basketball, hurling, rugby and sometimes swimming and Gaelic football. The problem is that some children may find these sports boring and un-interesting, so they will tend not to participate in the sports. It is often the case that children do not attend such activities (sport/games) within school because they are disaffected from PE or it simply does not suit their needs.  In Spain Primary School is obligatory for children aged 6-12 years, Secondary Education for those aged 12-16 and after this every pupils can decide whether they want to continue education or go to work. If they decide for more education, they have to choose one of the four modalities (namely: Social Sciences, Nature Sciences, Technological Sciences and Humanities Science), which prepares them for further higher education, for studies. In the nearby Portugal, Primary School caters for children aged 6 to 10. And there is so-called Middle School for children aged 10-15, before they can continue their education in a High School from 15 to 18 years. Similarly, like in Spain, classes are coeducational and there are two hours of physical education a week.   In some countries, the national curriculum has been changed to meet the needs of the changing environment outside of education to create a better future for the children of today. But to achieve this, education (and especially physical education) needs to keep up to date and has to move away from subject-specific areas towards a more cross-curricular approach. To overcome the lack of interest, some schools (or we should rather say some PE teachers) today are introducing different forms of activities and sports from different countries and cultures to create the chance for the less motivated and less skilled children to get involved.  I believe it is now necessary for school physical education (PE teachers) to start using exploratory (searching) models of teaching, employing more active teaching and learning techniques through experienced-based (and “life skills”-based) learning methods or theme-based learning approaches. The whole approach to the curriculum needs to be altered expanding over such themes as movement and physical literacy, physical activity, health and fitness, competition and cooperation, challenge in a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning in physical education [Penney&Chandler 2000]. On the other hand, projects such as the European Union “Health(a)ware” project aim at providing “software”, pedagogical tools for PE teachers to enable them to look and plan physical education processes around the four modules: body and others, body and time, body and environment as well as body and measures. Both of the curricular proposals point to new perspectives in approaching physical education. 
Nevertheless, whatever the reasons for changes have been, the rationale behind curricular changes have led to an enhancement of the knowledge pupils acquire through statutory curriculum subjects in non statutory dimensions such as: – identity and cultural diversity,  – healthy lifestyles, – community participation and social development,   – enterprise,  – global dimension and sustainable development,  – technology and media, – creativity and critical, reflective thinking.  However, this is easier said than done as sometimes the curriculum implemented by the teacher is seen and experienced by pupils not in the way the teacher would want. In their planning,  some teachers forget that teaching and learning is a dynamic process with many factors interfering and not all teachers are able to consider, analyse and alternate the relationship established between them, the pupils and the context in which they deliver the curriculum. There is a range of issues like age and gender differentiation; racial, ethnic and cultural diversity and each of them has to be dealt with accordingly. Ennis [1996] believes that one of the means to overcome the current crisis in physical education is a greater coherence and clarity of training of prospective PE teachers, e.g. a clearly defined model of PE teacher constituting the basis in formulation of educational goals and tasks. Nonetheless, one has to remember that the least complex challenge is planning and development of teaching materials and the most difficult is changing the attitudes and pedagogical habits of teachers themselves. Johns et al. [2001] experienced those difficulties during their research project aimed at changing the mentality of young people and developing regular habits of undertaking physical activity. Their thoroughly planned program and implementation of an increased, monitored level of physical activity – through school physical education – failed to produce the desired effects. The discrepancy between the theoretical assumptions of the project and capabilities and reluctance of teachers to implement the goals, of the modified and challenging program turned out to be too wide. No positive changes  in  the  teachers’ and students’  attitudes  and beliefs  were  achieved. A likely explanation of this is that the level of involvement of teachers in the early stages of planning of the project was insufficient: the teachers had no opportunity to assess the real possibilities of implementation of the planned changes. A presumably good theoretical framework was too difficult to be put into practice and furthermore, one of the flaws of the project was negligence of the interests of students who were perceived as objects rather than subjects of the educational actions.  The other problem was the teachers themselves. Rovengo [1994] mentions the characteristic fear of curricular changes, expressed mostly by novice teachers who, bound by legal and administrative restraints, tend to confine the teaching process to the so-called “safety curricular zone of defensive teaching”, i.e. lowering course requirements and reducing teaching contents to a minimum. Very often the students were strictly supervised, and the teacher’s real concern consisted mostly of maintaining discipline in a class. Quite different outcomes had been achieved when the inventiveness and creativity were expected from the teacher and the pupils. It is worth remembering these valuable findings when planning curricular changes in the future. The questions are however: which direction should physical education take in the future? and how to involve the teaching of health in physical education?  New proposals are supposed to be tailored to meet the needs of the pupils in an individualized way, to get them emotionally tied to what they feel they can be (are capable of) doing. But the truth is that the teachers do not have many educational tools for it. Having taught using the sport education model (“fit all” model) for 20 or 30 years how can one find a way to tailor the content and tasks to meet the individual health-related needs? In Germany, for example, “after the (German) reunification of the 1990s, the on-going educational school sports (school physical education), with its old-new educational tasks and value education leads to a significant new basis for demanding and promoting tasks for social and moral education” [Naul 2008, p. 55].  In other countries, like Portugal, the understanding of Physical Education objectives is associated with development of routine and habits leading to the improvement of one’s quality of life, health and general well-being. The Physical Education curriculum is designed to develop personalities of creative individuals, with personal responsibility, hygiene and habits of regular undertaking
physical activity, yet still with emphasis on improving fitness and physical capacities. Activities raising the functional level of conditional and coordinative capacities of general endurance, speed, flexibility and agility or body posture control (balance) are included. However, new trends are visible in practising traditional along side popular games (similar to Spain, Portuguese pay a lot of attention to cultivation of their traditional sporting heritage and ethics with regard to environment and exploitation of nature). In Spain for example, there is more emphasis on socialization and health. General objectives of education at the level of Primary School focus on the development of progressive autonomy, incorporating individuals into the culture through improvement of their creativity and affectivity. In Physical Education pupils are supposed to recognize their bodies through physical activity and see its importance and relation with health in a common effort to create culture. Teaching units concern body and perception, motor and sport skills, activities of artistic/expressive value, health education and games and sports. Whereas at the Secondary Education level the general objectives of education point at acquisition of basic cultural elements (humanistic, artistic, scientific and technological) and development of work/study habits. At this level, in Physical Education, pupils are supposed to recognize advantages and disadvantages of physical activity for one’s health and quality of life, practice it regularly and learn to use basic relaxation techniques to reduce stress and everyday tensions. Content covers physical and health education, special motor skills, environmental education and elements of expression and rhythm.  No wonder teachers have to have their workshop pedagogical skills constantly upgraded to be able to create and design activities themselves, activities which would concentrate on developing successful “citizens of the world”, a self-confident individual responsible for his/her own deeds.  Although new, modernized curricula in some European countries (England, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Scandinavian countries, Greece, Germany) give more freedom to the teacher in terms of increased flexibility over what is taught on the  course and  how the  pupils are going to be assessed,  the process of changes is still slow. Lipsitt  [www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008] in her article on the “National Curriculum Constraints Teachers and Pupils” in The Guardian writes that “teaching union leaders said that teachers were fearful of straying from the national curriculum and in many cases were no longer able to design lessons themselves”. Thus, it is no wonder that there are such difficulties with any introduction of new sports, or even new forms of movement activities derived from culturally and socially different origins. This is true across teaching professions and backgrounds. 
 
 
3.2. Models of teaching physical education 
 
Among models of teaching physical education the ones mentioned below seem to be the most commonly used in school practices and, although there might be other models worldwide, this particular manual focuses  on those selected to make students and teachers of physical education and sport studies familiar with what are the most commonly used. Additionally a model concerning health education or a combination of physical education and health education teaching is also briefly described.  a) A Sport Education Model   According to Siedentop [1998, p. 18] “sport education is a curriculum and instruction model designed to provide authentic, educationally rich sport experiences for girls and boys in the context of school physical education”. School sport providing a wide range of sporting activities, where emphasis is on participation, competition and the score may also contribute to learning in a social context.    Characteristic features of this model include:  lots of formal competition aimed at winning (winning “at all cost” syndrome),  record-oriented contents,   extended (longer than usual) teaching units,  combination of teaching and training methods, styles (with an emphasis on training and instruction rather than on pedagogical aims),  sport skills practicing over health and physical activity education,   the most talented in the scope of interests, weaker individuals often left aside,
 contents of the lessons change with the sport seasons,   usually classes are well-organized (routine). b) Motor learning model (sometimes combined with ecological task analysis model) This model is grounded in motor learning theory [Schmidt 1988], which emphasizes the interactive role of three elements:  1) the task goal and condition;  2) the environmental situation, and  3) the capabilities and intent of the performer [Davis&Burton 1991]. Earlier, Berstain [1967] developed a theory in which he argued that the key to succeed in motor learning lies in a differentiation of the complexity of a task and changing of the context of its acquisition, which both need to be gradually increased and modified.   While, the primary goal of the Ecological tasks analysis model of individualization is achieved by providing students with increased decision-making opportunities, the teacher-direct model of instruction is based on the premise that there is one proper movement pattern, and it is most effectively achieved by a prescribed series of progressive, sequential and hierarchically sequenced learning tasks. It often uses  discovery techniques and a range of teaching  styles. The  following  lesson  sequence  is  suggested:  a) establishing a  movement  problem  or  a  task  goal,  b) providing  students  with  choices,  c) manipulating task variables,  d) evaluating results. During lessons pupils, after being given a range of choices, discover the best combination of movement forms, performance dimensions and degrees of success are needed to reach the goal. Potential problems of this model include difficulty with the provision of choices (limited activities that pupils can choose from to successfully accomplish the task goal), it requires  extra preparatory work by the teacher and there may be problems with evaluating the pupils’ engagement and skills development. But at least this model suggests the close cooperation between the teacher and the pupils and between the pupils themselves, which is one of the ways of building up skills exceeding beyond the traditional, and merely physical.  There is also a method of teaching called Teaching Games for Undestanding (TGFU) developed by Bunker and Thorpe [1982], which could be extended into the Tactical Games approach model. c) Tactical Games approach model It is believed that an increase in tactical awareness is needed in a game first before other skills can be developed. An understanding of the game is aroused by using pupil’s interest, knowledge and stage of development to create an appropriate version of games and practice tasks. Classification of the games include: invasion games, net/wall games, fielding/run score games and target games. A Teaching Games for Understanding model (TGFU) [Bunker&Thorpe 1982; Kirk&MacPhail 2002] focuses on tactical awareness, which is believed to be needed to make important decisions during the complexities of a game being played. Lesson content must be designed in a way that gives pupils a chance to develop confidence and competence in skills and strategies. First the teacher should focus on force production (i.e. generalization in movement before accuracy sometimes requires use of maximal force). Only then can the teacher begin giving clues (but limiting them only to necessary hints – for example by organizing the pupil’s school setting in a way that requires certain movements or tactical solutions). The next phase in the Tactical Games Approach involves the modification of equipment or educational context, followed by appropriately designed progression steps. Finally, if there is no progress or errors are constantly appearing, the teacher gives feedback [Lynn 2002]. Bunker and Thorpe [1982] claim that use of this model brings about better tactical thinking and application of technical skills in the later stages of sporting development and thus it seems it may be particularly beneficial for teaching sports. Some groups of games have common key characteristics determined by their rules or equipment: There are similar tactical concepts in team games such as football, handball or field-hockey but in net/wall games it will be playing the shot so that opponents cannot return it, while cricket, baseball and rounders share scoring by striking a ball into an open space. In all of these examples simplified, modified and generic versions of games can be used to teach the main concepts and skills required by each individual game, which is important in planning and having in mind severe time constraints in the school setting. To be an effective and competent teacher one needs to have an extended awareness of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). Shulman [1986, p. 9] describes PCK as the “ways of representing and formulating the subject that makes it comprehensible to others”, which means transforming the subject into teachable and learnable contents (i.e., how to teach specific tasks to a specific group). Research on teaching effectiveness indicates that teachers with insufficiently
developed PCK have trouble designing an appropriate level, sequence and progression of learning tasks. They also cannot recognize common performance errors and do not provide appropriate feedback to their pupils [O’Sullivan 1996, Rovegno 1995]. d) Co-operative learning instructional model When action research started to be seen as a paradigm of testing, which could challenge teachers to better understand how to improve their practice it was also seen as a way of testing wisdom behind teaching methods rather than simply implementing them [Casey&Dyson 2009]. Co-operative learning (an instructional model of teaching) was developed from the experience and works on the social relationships, teaching and learning aspects and group dynamics. Slavin [1996] sees cooperative learning as programmes that emphasize team goals and team success which can only be achieved if all members of the team learn their objectives and even though pupils work together, individuals need to do their part in order  for  the  whole  group to be  successful. Metzler [2005, p. 273] describes this model as taking “one large step beyond just learning next to one another to learning with, by and for each other”. Therefore it is clear that the emphasis is on cooperation, and the need for every individual within a group to achieve an acceptable level of success within a given task. In such a way, it places the focus of attention on the pupils, encouraging them not only to learn from the experiences in which they are involved but also to help their peers share theirs. In the co-operative learning model gains come from efforts in recognizing that all members share a common fate with positive interdependence where each member is equally responsible and indispensable for the final result. All the group interactions have to happen with a group dynamic and communication, discussion and establishment of group roles, with emphasis on decision-making, trust building, conflict-management and leadership skills. Research shows that learning through this model promotes pupils’ academic achievements, increase pupils’ retention and enhance their satisfaction with their learning experience. It also helps develops skills in oral communication and social skills (positive interpersonal relations).   
 
Recently, however, physical education (in some countries shifting towards movement didactics) started its theoretical “lift up”. It is becoming more obvious that modern physical education needs to combine its content and efforts with health education, providing pupils with adequate life-skills enabling them to develop life habits and positive attitudes toward physical activity and health awareness throughout life. Technological changes (such as the Internet or mobile phones) that influence all spheres of life, will also affect education in the near future by alternating the ways in which content is delivered. Traditional teaching models are based on providing pupils with knowledge (delivered to them as a number of facts through the variety of tasks to be completed in a formal and instructional form in the setting of a classroom). The side-effects of using such models are visible in physical inactivity of the previous few generations of adults, who indicated an ignorance of health and body needs immediately after they finished school education. Modern teaching models call for emotional and intellectual involvement of pupils (i.e. by increasing creativity and motivation for participation) combined with “life skills” learning. The emphasis should be centred on the pupils and their capacities, interests and holistic development. The role of the teacher is to create a pupil-friendly educational environment to enable pupils to experience an educationally motivating atmosphere and therefore stimulate a high level of intellectual and emotional processing. However, it should be, the pupil’s role to explore the area of teaching/learning process, to discover and develop their physical and intellectual potential and find an appropriate solution to the problem  presented by the teacher. Certainly, such teaching will require more consideration in the near future if physical education is to stay among the core subjects in schools.  This notwithstanding, changing (or sticking to) a model may not be enough. Social stereotypes associated with physical education are so strong that it requires a new, fresh approach to the delivery of contents. Fullan [1982] proposes the establishment of a new educational model that allows the implementation of challenges ahead of the teacher and the pupil. This model should involve educational changes in three areas:  1) curriculum basis – teaching syllabi and materials;  2) teaching/learning process and  3) attitudes and beliefs of the educational community (academic centres). The least complex seems to be the planning and development of teaching materials; whilst the most difficult involves changing the attitudes and pedagogical habits of teachers themselves.
Therefore I believe that the reasonable proposition of health(a)ware model presented underneath could be stimulating and satisfying for all parties involved. In some European countries (Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Norway) a new proposal of teaching physical education combined with health in the so-called “health(a)ware four module approach” seems to be giving a new hope for school physical education. It is a very good example of such updated trends of changing theoretical framework of physical and health education. The European project Health(a)ware – an experienced-based learning and teaching approach for physical and health education. Health(a)ware [28737-CP-1-2006-1-DE-Comenius-C2, www.health-aware.eu] was a project founded by the European Commission in the Socrates-Comenius Program to enable experimental health and physical education teaching within and across the school courses.  e) The Health(a)ware four-module model  The model comprises a combination of theme-based and experienced-based approach to physical and health education. The idea of the development of health awareness is implemented in four theme groups:  Body and Bodies – focusing on the individual functioning in wider social communities (including family), within a framework of changing social relations and integration, intercultural and aesthetical differences in physical activity;  Body and Time – concerning the transience of human life and historical aspects of health in terms of social, psychological and physical human capabilities of using physical activity to improve the quality of various aspects of daily life;  Body and Measure – focusing on experiencing physical (somatic and motor) changes in human capabilities in everyday situations (covering distances, lifting weights, reaction times) as well as developing self-control and self-evaluation and discovering one’s own range of movements;  Body and Environment – concerning aspects of physical activity in changing environmental conditions to suit the individual in pursuit of pastimes activities, experience of urban and rural environment and its influence of one’s life style.   This model introduces (and in some countries re-introduces) the idea of cross-curricular teaching. Although cross-curricular teaching of knowledge and skills may help pupils in the process of lifelong learning, it should be noted that the project does not cover all areas, objectives and tasks of physical education and health and may serve better as a complementary model of teaching rather than the “ultimate” model. But it is definitely the beginning of a new way of thinking about physical and health education. The idea itself however, is not enough. It needs people who are aware of the new developments and who would develop the appropriate skills (educational tools) necessary for their implementation. What is really needed nowadays are skilful and pedagogically aware educators.  This example, as well as all examples, solutions and proposals for health(a)ware pan-European physical education have been elaborated by a joint working group of the European Union grant project which included: dr Antje Stache and dr Elke Knisel from the Humboldt University of Berlin, prof. Konrad Kleiner from University of Vienna, dr Irena Martinkova from Charles University, prof. M.Gonzalez-Gross from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, prof. Ralf Erdmann from Norges Idrettshogskole, dr hab. prof. AWF Michał Bronikowski from University School of Physical Education from Poznan and their collaborates and teams from each respective university. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3.3. Developing curriculum 
 
‘The purpose of developing a curriculum is to increase the total amount of desirable learning occurring during the time periods when the student is under supervision of the school’ [Robinson, Ross, White 1985, p. 6]. The way that  new  curricula  are  being developed  follows Tyler’s model presented in fig. 2.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Figure 2. Basic principles of curricula development [Tyler 1949, p. 1] 
 
 
 
Tyler [1949] would see the steps in developing curriculum as answering the following questions:  1) What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? 2) What educational experiences can be provided which are likely to attain these purposes? 3) How can these experiences be effectively organized? 4) How can we determine that these purposes are being attained? The models of developing curricula should either be based on the objectives (for these curricula, a  designer who would start and emphasize the aims and objectives first), or content based model (in which emphasis is placed more on what the curriculum contains than on aims) and finally we will have those teachers who are interested in teaching methods as a primary means for educating the children and not the content or the objectives. This will be a developmental model orientated on the teaching/learning process.  New proposals are supposed to be tailored to meet the needs of the pupils in a personalized way to emotionally tie the content to what they feel and are capable of doing. Unfortunately it seems that some of today’s teachers don’t possess the tools for it. Having taught the sport education model for 20 or 30 years how can one find a way to tailor the contents and tasks to meet the individuals’ needs in developing social skills or moral values? They have to have their pedagogical skills upgraded to be able to create and re-design activities and tasks, which would concentrate on developing successful citizens of the world who are self-confident and responsible for their own actions in a dynamically to the changing world around them.  In England, for example, the national curriculum guidelines [www.teachernet.gov.uk/teachingandlearning] give the teacher some ideas of the key concepts which need to be included if the teachers want to broaden students’ knowledge skills and understanding of the subject, as follows:  competence – where the development of the skills and tactics are improved to respond to meet the demands of an activity, 
Aims and Objectives of PE
Teaching contents of PE
Methods of realization of the aims and objectives through the contents of PE
Evaluation of the outcomes
Physical Education curriculum
 performance – understanding how competence can be used to bring success within the performance, critically evaluating the performance and ways to improve it,   creativity – using imaginative ways to communicate, solve problems and overcome challenges, also exploring with techniques and tactics,   healthy and active lifestyles – understanding how physical activity contributes to the healthy functioning of the body and recognizing that physical activity is used to meet the demands of the environment (the setting approach). To achieve this, pupils will have to go through the following processes, enhancing their skills as they progress in their movement competence:   developing skills in physical activity – pupils should be able to refine and adapt skills as well as learn new ones, modify and make them more fluent,   making and applying decisions – pupils should be able to select and use tactics and refine them with the changing settings, recognize hazards that are a risk to themselves and others,   developing physical and mental capacity – pupils should be able to develop their physical strength, stamina,  character, and  will to succeed (although the teachers need to bear in mind that a “success” may have different meaning to different people).  evaluation and improving – pupils should be able to analyze the performance and identify strengths and weaknesses, also make decisions on how to improve their own and others’ potential and performance,   making informed choices about health, active lifestyles – pupils should make choices on what suits them best and what types of roles they would like to take on in the future, and throughout the lifespan.   Teachers will also have to provide an educational environment as well as tasks for developing pupils into self-confident individuals.  Individualization can be introduced into a teaching strategy in numerous ways: differentiating the tasks according to the level of needs/capacities of individual pupils, for example by putting pupils in mixed ability pairs, using different sized equipment across the group or other methodological solutions. However, implementing changes doesn’t come easy and among the most frequently occurring problems in the process of planning units of work in physical education, one can list those that lead to misconduct in teaching:  reasons for selection of material and connections to the previous classes are unclear,  lesson content and teaching material is poorly structured and organized insufficiently,   pupils are not led into the lesson and no links are indicated or poor explanation of a task is given (the result is that they miss the point of an activity or a game),  the task is not adequate to the level of the pupils (too easy or too complex),   the selection of teaching methods is inappropriate (coming from the limited PKC of the teacher, resulting in the same method used over and over again and the same teaching style – usually the command style). As a response to these issues, in the next chapters the idea of systematic process of delivering quality physical education is discussed.
 
 
3.4. Other curricula-related issues 
 
In the process of teaching physical education, teachers usually concentrate on developing the motor and physical potential of a child. There is nothing wrong with this in itself. It is welldocumented [Vouri 2004] that the increasing sedentary habits in our daily life is becoming one of the major threats to the health status of the human population. The growing numbers of children and young people who are inactive [Cabak, Woynarowska 2004] have become a challenge for physical and health education and far fewer children do not undertake activities they once used to do after school (e.g. cycling, playing outdoors, not even walking). This situation has to be compensated by modern and attractive appropriate didactics to counteract this, and one may say that physical education has been slowly evolving throughout recent decades. New ways of exercising have been developed and new sports have been incorporated, which has created new technological solutions and increased the
safety of the pupils. At the same time, teachers have become better trained, highly skilled professionals, having extended their knowledge of both the medical (biological) effects of improving the body and an awareness of the pedagogical and social effects that education may have on a human being style of living.  Today’s physical education (lessons) must connect the healthy issues (considering benefits and dangers of physically active life style) with something that pupils can relate to and in which they can see immediate personal benefits, whilst feeling good and enjoying the experience at the same time. These are the other aspects which are often neglected in teaching physical education and which often makes it a narrowly biology-bound subject. Planning an active life and providing choices beneficial for personal (and social) well-being should be an important part in developing lifelong fitness habits while in school and around the skills needed in life. One such vital life-skill is self-responsibility, which could, for example, be developed by using Hellison’s Teaching Responsibility Through Physical Activity model [Hellison 2003]. But even intentional and explicit intervention may offer an interesting and adequate solution to particular circumstances. However, it will not provide the solution for the physical education system as a whole. Acquiring the ability to perform motor skills such as running, jumping or throwing requires the integration of sensory and motor information. Furthermore,  integrated, well-planned, motor programmes (such teaching is usually based on a sport model) certainly help in limiting errors, and help to control muscular involvement. However, one may wonder if this is really what physical education should be about? Research [Bronikowski, Bronikowska 2009] indicates that learning moral behaviour demands specially designed educational tasks. Therefore, if teachers want to have pupils educated beyond physical efficacy, they have to provide quality teaching beyond the simple repetition of motor tasks. Unfortunately in some cases, teachers’ lack of skills in handling a group in terms of discipline or motivation, keeping attention high (one of the simplest ways is to provide interesting contents!) and dealing with less or more physically gifted children is visible in everyday teaching routines. In terms of pedagogy it means that, for the pupil to achieve an autonomous stage (self-depended) of intellectual processing, teachers have to carefully plan and execute teaching strategies necessary to accomplish educational goals which are pre-determined by the national curriculum. This should not only be in terms of motor achievements but more importantly, valuable goals of education like partnership skills, communication, critical and analytical thinking; manageability of one’s own life; leadership/team working skills; and the ability to problem solve.  This will have to bring along changes in the way the content is taught. Here there are other questions that need to be asked and answered. First,  what role does a teacher want to have in this teaching process? And,  secondly, are they going to be “knowledge transmitters” or “facilitators” and “mentors” helping in the creation of one’s own path of discovering the body? 
 
 
 3.5. School physical education, schools sport, intervention programmes and health-related projects
 
Understanding some determinants of youth culture will help to develop effective intervention programs of sustainable activity leading from childhood into active adulthood until old age and thus minimize the risk of sedentary life style and health-related problems. The challenge for educators is to develop and successfully implement interventions that actually make these changes happen, having in mind an interactive experienced-based teaching and learning approach in school education, and a setting approach in community-based life. Some argue [e.g. Penney and Chandler 2000] for a shift in emphasis in physical education away from an activity-based approach and towards a theme-based curriculum that better reflects the dilemmas and new issues that society faces. On the other hand pressure to promote sport through school remains high.  In England for example, secondary schools, designated as Specialist Sports Colleges, are faced with many roles and expectations such as raising standards of achievement in physical education and sport for all in their students across the ability range leading to whole school improvement. Many educationalists believe that if a school develops a centre of excellence in one subject, this will, in time, pull up performance in all subjects. Thus an idea of specialist sport colleges has been developed in England. Local schools aim to work together as a partnership to provide better facilities for students at
the school and develop their physical education and sport opportunities. The School Sport Partnership which consists of a Partnership Development Manager (PDMs), up to eight school sport-co-ordinators (SSCOs) and 45 primary and special school link teachers (PLTs). School Sport Partnerships work together as part of the model which is known as the School Sport Partnership Model, which gives each member of the model a specific role, and also gives them guidance on who they will be teaming up with. Local authorities identify a teacher with sufficient experience in a sport college or sporting environment and appoint her/him as a Partnership Development Manager (PDM), and relieves her/him from teaching duties for approximately two days a week. The PDM then works with four to six secondary schools that each have a School Sport Coordinator (SSCo), who is given two days free to implement the school sport partnerships programme to an audience of up to five local primary schools. This is a web link network, which works well to pass on information and knowledge from teacher to teacher at the least financial cost to the schools and colleges involved and also to the School Sport Partnerships (SSP). The first 11 designated Specialist Sport Colleges became operational in 1997 which in the twelve years to 2009 rose to  450 colleges. Along with this strategy there has been a massive investment of 450 million pounds which was to be spread across all the Specialist Sports Colleges nationwide.  The Primary Link Teachers (PLT) together with specialists from Sport Colleges work together to implement a program aimed at recruiting sport specialists to teach specific sport skills in primary school (www.wirral.gov.uk). The aims of that program are:  1) Strategic planning: to develop and implement a PE and school sport strategy as part of school development plans through working in partnership with key strategic organizations and providers in the area,  2) Primary liaison: to improve PE and school sport programs by establishing and developing links within and between families of schools (KS2/KS3),  3) Out of school hours: to provide new and enhanced out of school hours opportunities for all young people in the partnership, including out of school hours learning, non-competitive participation and competition,  4) Sport to community: to increase all young people’s participation in community sports through creating and strengthening links with sport clubs, leisure facilities and community providers,  5) Coaching and leadership: to provide training, support and development opportunities in leadership, coaching and officiating for senior pupils, adults other than teachers,  6) Raising standards: to raise standards of pupil’s achievement in all aspects of their school life, through increased participation and improved performance, motivation and attitudes.  In 2006, it was estimated that 75% of school children, both boys and girls, had to do 2 hours of high quality physical education and school sport per week. However, during compulsory schooling years, all children are entitled to at least 2 hours (120 minutes) per week of PE and in total 5 hours (300 minutes) per week of PE and Sport (these  hours  comprise  the  minimum entitlement of 2 PE and up to 3 of sport: extra-curricular and/or outside of school). This idea was supported and combined with implementation of various sport programmes. The Youth Sport Trust (YST) was originally a Charity established in 1994 by Sir John Beck with £1 million invested by him for 4 years to build a brighter future for young people through sport and physical education. Recently the YST has implemented the programme Sky Sports Living for Sport to reach out the pupils that are in risk of dropping out of school life, including girls. The YST works alongside CountinYou, an organization that uses learning to try and solve inequality and enhance social inclusion and to support schools with the implementation, development and sustainability of such programmes like Out of School Hours Learning, which is learning activity outside normal lessons, in which  young  people  take part in voluntarily. The weekly target is 5 hours,   made up of the  entitled 2 hours of quality PE in school and 3 hours offered before, during and after schools, including holidays and weekends. And there are also ‘Wake up and Shake up’ and Healthy School programs. Likewise, Step into Sport is an out of school opportunity for 14-19 year olds to facilitate their development as leaders and general volunteers, this program provides training for young people to acquire qualifications to go out in the community and be involved with local clubs (Youth Sport Trust, 2009, www.youthsporttrust.org).  YST and Sport Colleges play an important role in creating partnerships in local areas (setting approach). In this way, YST can direct funding into developing new ideas and new sporting activities at the operational level of local settings through programmes like: TOP Tots (aimed at helping
children aged 18 months to 3 years to experience physical activity); TOP Start (aimed at helping children aged 3-5 years to learn through physical activity); TOP Play (aimed at helping children aged 4-9 years to learn core skills and fun sports); TOP Sport (an introduction to sports and games for children aged 6-11 years); TOP Skills (aimed at helping children aged 11-14 years to extend their sporting skill  and  knowledge); TOP Link  (aimed at helping children aged 14-16 years to  take  a  lead  in  organizing  sport);  Millennium  Volunteers  (encouraging 16-19 year old to volunteer through sport); Sportsability (creating opportunities for young people with disabilities); Dreams and Teams (enabling young people to travel abroad and help to spread the TOP’s programmes worldwide with 250 schools in 44 countries involved) [youthsportthrust.org.2009 and Beashel, Sibson, Taylor 2004, p. 323].   In other countries “the promotion of physical activity within schools and physical education has attracted growing interest in recent years” [Cale&Harris 2006, p. 401], which resulted in a number of medium and small range interventions. The following types of school-based interventions are common:  1. Augment PE programmes which involve lengthening the time of existing PE lessons or adding new or additional lessons.  2. Non-augmented or standard PE programmes which are incorporated into existing PE time. These involved increasing the amount of physical during lessons – for example, by changing the activities taught or modifying the rules of games. 3. Classroom-based programmes which are based on theoretical instruction and the provision of information.   Effectiveness of such programmes is yet another problem. If physical activity programmes (interventions) rely on fitness tests as a measure of success the influence the tests themselves may have on the youngster is the strongest determining factor. Fitness testing then may be counterproductive to the promotion of active lifestyle in young people. From the public health and physical promotion perspective, the goal of such programmes should be to influence physical activity rather than fitness [Rowland 1995] and interventions should focus also on behavioural, cognitive and affective outcomes. It is fair to say that the evidence has revealed that school-based physical activity interventions can be effective and achieve a range of positive outcomes, suggesting that teacher’s efforts to promote physical activity through PE programmes can be worthwhile [Cale&Harris 2005].  One such successful example is the Lifelong Fitness program developed in the USA, in which it is believed that only curricular change, coming from a critical thinking on physical education, may help to create an environment in which physical education is valued (setting approach) and where physical activity may become a habit of regular engagement over the full life-span. A program of physical education for Lifelong Fitness [Physical Education for Lifelong Fitness 1999] has been suggested with special emphasis on the following:  • Focus on positive – salutogenesis instead of pathogenesis approach. • Educational – pupils learn why activity is important and how it benefits them today and for a lifetime (traditional PE tells pupils what to do but not why). • Health-oriented – it emphasizes health-related fitness in addition to skills-related focus of traditional programs.  • Individualized – pupils are not treated as clones of each other, but rather are helped at their own levels so they can achieve their potential capabilities (traditional PE provides the same instruction for all students at the same time). • Fair – pupils are assessed based on personal improvement, not judged against each other in a standardized norm. Physical fitness test results are used to help pupils understand the components of health-related fitness and to set individualized goals for improvement (traditional PE uses fitness tests scores to determine grades and awards). • Enjoyable – it advocates the use of physical activity that pupils enjoy and promotes individual choices whenever possible (traditional PE uses the same drills and games regardless of pupil interest, offering no pupil choices). • Realistic – pupils explore many ways to be physically active and improve health-related fitness so that there may be greater transfer to real-life settings approach (traditional PE offers a narrow curriculum, often repeating the same activities year after year without proper mastery of the sequences to achieve a basic level of performance competence).                                       
Marcus and Sallis [1997] believe that all kinds of physical activity interventions (in and out school) and programmes are  most effective when they target the following determinants and mediators in youth:  enhance enjoyment of physical activity,   encourage perception of competence at physical activity,   increase intentions to be active,   reduce perceived barriers,   enhance social support,  increase time spent outdoors. Every curriculum designer (or every PE teacher) should bear in mind the abovementioned factors before planning and implementing their teaching/learning process.
 
4. PLANNING  THE  CURRICULUM
 
 
4.1. Planning the teaching/learning process 
 
Planning work is one of the most essential parts of any kind of work if reasonable progress is to be achieved. When planning, no matter whether a single lesson or a unit of lessons, the teacher will have to undertake four major tasks:  1. Decide on the learning objectives and outcomes. 2. Select appropriate teaching approach (method, content, teaching styles, class management issues and suitable teaching activities to cover both inner and cross curricular objectives). 3. Prepare a lesson plan (for the size and age of the class, with suitable size and number of the resources/equipment).  4. Decide on the assessment (introducing criteria, monitoring progress and developing  tools for evaluation – all leading to developing pupil’s sense of self-control and self-evaluation, but also their self-esteem).    Obviously, while planning the process of physical education lessons, the teacher has to consider such aspects as aims, objectives and teaching methods as well as forms of classroom management and the most appropriate forms of assessment. The lesson plan must be an integral part of the unit of work and of an overall semester working scheme. In order to maintain some continuity it must include (refer to) the pupils’ previous educational experiences and prior knowledge. As the unit of work (the sequences of the subsequent lessons) progresses, the complexity and practicality of the activities that pupils learn, needs to be increased although it should still be adapted to suit their ability, age category, size of the class or even cultural and social backgrounds.  Understanding the importance of cross-curricular objectives and the balance between the complexity and practicality of the teaching materials seems to be the fundamental factor affecting the long term effectiveness of the educational process. Contrary misconduct of professional preparation may lead to accidents, misbehaviour of pupils or at the very least, may lead a to waste of time and illusive gains in terms of education or sport/health-related skills or knowledge.  Therefore, PE teachers need to be well prepared before they begin planning the process of teaching. There is certain information which the teacher must be aware of prior to the lesson. This includes the class (year/size/gender), consecutive lesson number in the unit of work (e.g. 1/4 to know whether it is the first lesson in a cycle or maybe the last one 4/4), equipment required for activity (practical) and resources/materials – worksheets for in class and/or homework tasks as well as special safety requirements. After considering this general information, every teacher needs to consider the lesson aims, lesson objectives, relevant links with the national curriculum attainment targets and crosscurricular links based on previous experiences. The way these pieces of information are organized will differ according to the individual national requirements. For example, it might be organized as it is presented in fig. 3, based on country specific outlines of some English schools.
 
 
LESSON  PREPARATION  SHEET General information: Outdoor PE lesson Year: 8             Group size: 25 boys Resources:  Unit: Field hockey (beginners) Lesson in series (1 of  5) Physical Education Learning Objectives:  (what pupils should know/be aware of and be able to demonstrate or do by the end of the lesson/unit) Cross-curricular objectives: (connections and links with other subjects and with literacy, numeracy, thinking skills/problem solving, group working)  Assessment criteria and strategy: (how and when to assess pupils)
 Future actions:  continuity, progress, complexity  (links with previous learning objectives and route for further development)  Figure 3. An example of a lesson plan preparation sheet in the English physical education system
 
In  other  countries it will  vary.  Here  is  the  example  deriving  from  the  health(a)ware  project. (European  Union  Grant  128737-CP-1-2006-1-DE--Comenius-C21: „Health(a)ware an experienced-based learning and teaching approach for physical and health education”) – fig. 4.
 
LESON  PREPARATION  SHEET
Main Module
               Body & Measure
                Body &  Time
                   Body &  Bodies
                    Body & Environment
 O Yes             O No  
O Yes            O No
O Yes                   O No O Yes                    O No Figure 4. An example of a lesson plan preparation sheet in the proposal of the European health(a)ware project
 
4.2. Learning aims, objectives and outcomes 
 
When planning a lesson, the teacher needs to have clear and concise aims and objectives for the pupils. These aims and objectives should interrelate with the content of the lesson in that the skills that they are teaching the pupils combine with the objectives so that pupils are able to identify the learning outcomes at the end of the lesson and state whether or not they have been successful in achieving all the aims and objective given to them from the start of the lesson. Therefore it is important to make sure what will be emphasized in the lesson. Siedentop [1989] has found that teachers who emphasize subject matter in their planning tend to pose more questions, teachers who used objectives in the planning seemed to display more goal-setting behaviours, and teachers who refer to pupils when planning prior to and in adaptation of, lessons appeared to show more concern for pupils they taught.  For the precision of planning it has to be clarified that aims provide overall purpose and direction (more general intentions) for the National Curriculum and for the subject. Thus, these are more general aims and need to be broken down into “operational segments” with more specific focus. These will be called objectives for units of work (which define the end product of the unit) and learning outcomes for individual lessons (identify what pupils should achieve in a particular lesson). The example of an aim for the school physical education department will be to “initiate pupils into playing invasion games”. An objective of a unit “pupils are able to play a 6 v 6 football match” and a learning outcome of the lesson “pupils understand and can demonstrate the roles of attack and defence in a 6 v 6 situation in football”. The abovementioned aims are statements of the intended goals and answer the question – Why? In this case the answer could (and should) be to achieve the objective of developing teamwork. But for the subject to become more interdisciplinary (and thus more
educationally valuable within other school subjects) aims should be addressing cross-curricular elements such as: promoting citizenship, teamwork, creativity,  critical and analytical thinking, communication and leadership as well as other social aims including developing self-esteem, empathy and respect to all and improving attitudes to learning and behaviour. But to achieve such aims, teachers need to plan their work, remembering that physical and motor skills learning does not happen through automatically delivering development of any broader aims.  Objectives are more specific purposes and intentions; building blocks which put together results in achievement of the aims. These come as Intended Learning Outcomes  (ILO) planned to be achieved in a particular lesson. They differ from education, to school, to curriculum, to subject and shape the final selection of the tasks for each individual lesson and for each individual group.
 
 
4.3. Structure and organization of the teaching/learning         process
 
When constructing lesson plans, teachers need to think carefully how they allocate time for learning (acquiring) a skill, for developing it and in the subsequent lessons, for mastering it. They also have to propose a mode of evaluation of the progress. This will determine the structure of the lesson, the methods they use and even the time they spend on each particular task.  To ensure that the lesson goes ahead in a structured and professional manner the teacher has to consider the most appropriate use of:  1) equipment,  2) organizational methods for teaching lesson,  3) social skills and etiquette for conduct,  4) lesson modification: ways to adapt certain lessons and activities to help pupils with special needs, with other examples changing the size of the playing area, different types of equipment for lessons or altering rules of game to allow modifications in performance, expectations and outcomes of the lesson,  5) safety regulations and identifying potential dangerous hazards that could harm or inflict injury to students or staff within the lesson,  6) rules (to be obeyed and followed in particular settings and circumstances),  7) general teaching suggestions and clues that apply to the entire lesson.  In the English system, these modifications are in place to provide pupils with the best possible learning experience set by the national curriculum of physical education practices and procedures [DfEE, 1999]. Consequently this will influence the flow of the lesson and finally determine its intensity. So it is important to be aware of how different the intensity profiles of lessons (based on particular sports) are in order to keep a reasonable ration of high (moderate-to-vigorous like types of activity with an average heart rate above the value of 140 beats per minute considered to be cardiorespiratory fitness stimulation threshold) to medium and low intensity profiles lessons, which, according, to the latest recommendations [European Union Physical Activity Guidelines, Brussels 2008, p. 5] which, for school-aged children, should be 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. For a healthy adults aged 18-65 it should be 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity  five days a week or 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity three days a week. This also applies to adults over 65 (with an additional activities two or three times a week which are intended to increase muscular strength and endurance).  My own research [Bronikowski 2005, 2008] revealed that lessons of team invasion games and outdoor athletics provided a higher level of intensity workloads (moderate-to-vigorous intensity) than for example lessons of volleyball or gymnastics. Aerobic and dance are also among those that are potentially health enhancing while lessons devoted entirely to testing motor fitness or skills testing are far below the recommended 140 heart beat rate per minute and thus are insufficient in stimulating cardio-respiratory fitness.  But one has to remember that keeping the profile of intensity of a lesson high cannot be the ultimate goal of physical or health education.  Differences in intensity profiles of particular lesson types will also occur at different phases of the teaching/learning process, with less intensive lessons at the beginning than in later phases, at the level of mastering and assessing the
acquired skills [Bronikowski et al. 2009]. However, there are methodological and organizational aspects which, if improved, can enhance the flow of the lesson and thus elevate the intensity. Nevertheless, the main aim of the lesson is teaching the benefits of a positive attitude and healthy life style throughout life, not just during the school years.  In different countries, national curricula are built in a way that derives from the educational tradition of a particular system. In  England for example the physical education curriculum is based on four strands:  Strand 1 – acquiring and developing skills, with emphasis on introducing a pupil to a wide range of movements (A&D),  Strand 2 – selecting and applying skills, tactics and compositional principles (S&A) with emphasis and lesson planning,  Strand 3 – evaluating and improving performance skills with emphasis on developing skills in selfevaluation (E&I) and  Strand 4 – knowledge and understanding of fitness and health, emphasizing health-related aspects of human development across the life span.  In more a precise way the curriculum described earlier [QCA, 2000c:4] Stages 3 and Stage 4 in the following way:  acquire, develop, learn to select and apply skills,  develop ideas in a creative ways,   set targets for themselves and compete against others, individually and as a team member,   understand what is takes to preserve, succeed and acknowledge others’ success,  respond to a variety of challenges in a range of physical context and environments,   take the initiative, lead activity and focus on improving aspects of own performance,  discover preferences and develop positive attitudes and make informed decisions about the importance of exercise in one’s life.                                                                                         [QCA, 2000c:4] 
 
Recently however, [QCA 2009] the idea of these key strands have been explained in more detail and children must cover at least four of the following tasks in Key Stages 3 and two in Key Stages 4:   outwitting opponents,   accurate replication of actions, phrases and sequences,  exploring and communicating ideas, concepts and emotions,  performing at maximum levels in relation to speed, height, distance, strength or accuracy,   identifying and solving problems to overcome challenges of an adventurous nature,  exercising safely and effectively to improve health and well-being. On the other hand for example, in New Zealand school curricula, there are seven essential learning areas, where health and physical well-being has been developed within a new teaching/learning paradigm of physical education [Culpan 2004]. The Health and PE curriculum is based around the four major strands:   Strand 1:  well-being,  Strand 2:  health  promotion,   Strand  3:  socio--ecological perspective and Strand 4: attitudes and values. Accordingly in New Zealand [Culpan 2004] physical education is a learning area that:   promotes the learning of new skills (not just physical skills) associated with, in, through and about physical activity (movement skills for physical competence, enjoyment, self-worth and active lifestyle);  enhances, extends, informs and critiques the deliberate use of play, exercise, sport and other forms of physical activity within and individual and societal context (knowledge and understanding of scientific and technological influences on physical activity, knowledge and understanding of cultural practices associated with physical activity);  emphasises the inter-relatedness of physical education, social, mental, emotional and spiritual nature of well-being (personal, and inter-personal skill development, knowledge and understanding of the significance of social influences on physical activity, personal values, attitudes, behaviours and actions in physical activity settings). 
Nevertheless, since physical activity (which was once associated with energy expenditure through skeletal and muscular movement) appeared on school curricula it has needed to be enhanced with educative values and built upon using pedagogical concepts.  The way to achieve the abovementioned goals and learning objectives will have to be through greater individualization (personalization) of tasks assignments and assessments which will eventually lead to an increased level of engagement. Such approaches to delivering the contents of physical education have been proven to be effective in gaining both health-related as well as socio-related benefits and thus, opens a chance for creating a long-lasting changes in attitudes towards active lifestyles [Bronikowski 2008].
 
 
 
4.4. Schemas, units of work and single lessons
 
In their teaching, PE teachers usually worry about covering the national curriculum. This is combined with strong administrative expectations to cover the curriculum emphasized by the school authorities (e.g., head teachers, PE department heads). However,  national curricula usually offer the absolute minimum to make sure that the minimal objectives are followed in schools across the country and that the fundamental needs of the pupils’ are being met. But national curricula in different countries do not limit the contents nor the teaching strategies. In fact there may be more paths that lead to meeting the same objectives (especially with skilful, and pedagogically autonomous and experienced, teachers) and they will differ within the teaching units and even from lesson to lesson, where separate lesson plans are needed for each class and it will be at the teacher’s discretion to adapt to match the individuals, whether they be a beginner or an advanced in a particular skill or sports. If pupils find a technique too easy then the teacher can increase the distance or have them increase the speed at which the task is being carried out. This will hopefully help with continuity and progression of the skills (whether it be sport skills, moral/social skills or skills concerning motor development).  Good planning enables pupils (and reassures teachers) to visualize the lesson scenario in a structured and detailed way. It allows preparation and re-consideration in advance of every step and phase of the lesson, which smoothens the flow and helps both parties focus on achieving the objectives and learning outcomes. Furthermore, lesson  plans are also useful after the lesson as they provide a record of progress and can be referred to in order to estimate the outcomes and the size of the effects. However, to be able to assess the pupils progress, the teacher needs to develop evaluation strategies (and criteria) prior to the lesson and has to make them clear to the pupils beforehand. It also provides pupils with a sense of direction and helps to emphasise the inner and cross-curricular links, providing the teacher has interwoven them into her/his  planning and they are aware of the links. It is the lack of planning which contributes to the unsatisfactory status of physical education in schools (and stereotypes associated with this profession) discussed in a world-wide context by Hardmann and Marshall [1999], but also activities devoted to performance, the shaping of the body and working on fitness – with its endless measuring – do not help to elevate the statues of physical education in public minds.  Therefore, changing the present situation requires actions at multiple levels. To combat the low status situation of physical education and physical activity Dauer and Pangrazi [1975, p. 574] have given some guidelines, which should be considered when planning any changes:  1) current educational and sociological trends,  2) rationale for the program, 3) guidelines for program planning, 4) organization for the effective teaching, 5) basis of movement learning and education, 6) guiding the learning process, 7) teaching styles, lesson planning and introductory activity, 8) implementation of physical fitness in the program, 9) postural consideration,  10) perceptual-motor competency, 
11) creative play-story games and dramatic plays, 12) manipulative and apparatus activities,  13) stunts and tumbling, 14) combative classroom and game-type activities, 15) integration with other subjects, 16) general consideration of sport activities such as basketball, football, hockey, soccer, softball, track and field and volleyball, 17) facilities and equipment. These guidelines contain extensive coverage of activity sequences, particularly those that incorporate perceptual-motor concepts, principles and activities into regular program activities. Despite these generic guidelines, some actions need to be undertaken at the roots of teaching. Changes will have to be aimed at alternating the existing routine. Brady [1998, p. 35] found in his research that ‘when a task is practised repetitively, skill acquisition is enhanced’, though one has to remember that repetition of the same task over and over again in a command-like teaching style is reminiscent of a drill and this can be monotonous and de-motivating. As Berstain [1967] suggested in his theory of motor learning, differentiation of the complexity, as well as the change of the context, should be the main areas of concern for the teacher while planning the teaching process. An understanding of the balance between complexity and practicality, as well as the teacher-to-pupil ratio of time spent on a task, is not an easy task and comes from years of teaching and gaining more experience and expertise.   When a pupil performs a motor skill, the performance-related information needed, is typically available from two sources: task-intrinsic feedback and augmented feedback. Task-intrinsic feedback comes from the learner sensors as a natural consequence of any movement. It can be received from sources both outside the body through such senses as vision and audition (exteroreception), and inside the body from proprioceptory sources such as the muscles or joints. This kind of feedback is certainly one of the earliest and most important for developing movement competence. But recently, more and more emphasis has been laid on the role of the social context of learning and therefore augmented feedback becomes highlighted as a vital source of influence in motor skills, but also other movementrelated skills learning. Typically, augmented feedback is delivered to a pupil after the task is finished and it acts as a supplement to naturally occurring intrinsic information. The most commonly used types of feedback are knowledge of performance (KP), which informs the pupils of the quality of their movement in performing a motor task (e.g., such as “your follow through was good on your forehand shot”) and knowledge of results (KR), which is augmented feedback that tells the learner what success they had in performing a motor task, it gives specific information to the learner (e.g., such as “the ball was in on the last serve”). The latter method of augmented feedback (KR) helps to serve the naturally occurring “reference of correctness”, which is produced by the learner’s intrinsic information sources. The problem with teaching physical movements in schools is that itreduces the level of teaching to merely confirming KP and KR information which the learners would have otherwise already acquired through their intrinsic sources. As this internal information arrives in our brain first, this makes teacher’s comments redundant in influencing the learner’s perception and motivation and thus do assist in producing long-term and firm attitudes. Therefore nowadays, finding a way to influence the learner’s perception through sequence of pedagogical activities enhanced by socially and morally granted tasks and designed for and in physical setting contexts, should become the fundamental principle of teaching at all levels.    The cyclical nature of the education process is presented in the model underneath including diagnosis, lesson preparing, teaching and evaluating of the outcomes. This cycle should be maintained throughout the school year as well as in every single lesson – fig. 5. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Figure 5. Long term (schemes of work) – medium term (units of work) – short term (single lessons), source: Bronikowski [2005]  
 
 
 
Teachers in the their work are supposed to produce work schemes, unit plans and lesson plans, which all contain specific objectives and timelines among which, lesson plans are more flexible and fluid as they are supposed to cater to pupils’ individual needs on a daily basis, whereas units and schemes give more of a route to go along. Therefore, in lesson planning, different teaching styles and varied activities are vital. Some teachers tend to use a “trial and error” approach, but it can only be helpful if it is planned and organized well and not used too often. When this happens due to the teacher’s lack of preparation it actually may bring more hazard and risk involving unexpected situations, something which the teacher can not foresee. But even this method may be tried out with different teaching styles to find out which style suits a particular teacher the most (as long as they are aware and are experimenting with  different teaching styles, not just the command or practice ones). Before deciding on more detailed aspects of teaching/learning process, each physical education teacher has to decide on the teaching models to be used (sport model, motor learning/ecological task analysis model or health(a)ware model) and only she/he can they  sufficiently employ one (or a combination) of the models into their planning. Whatever, physical education model they decide to use in their teaching, it is advisable to follow the consecutive phases increasing the efficiency in all working environments. However, the teacher has to recognize the situation first (carry out a diagnosis) and only after having gathered information about the context of teaching, may they plan and execute the realization of the process and finally assess its effectiveness (assess the progress gained in the evaluation phase).  
 
 
4.5. Technical aspects of planning the teaching/learning         process 
 
In some countries, national educational authorities require very strict preparation procedures prior to each individual lesson. In others, there are some basic requirements and ready-to-use proforms to make sure that the way each teacher prepares, it is more or less similar. Here are some examples of such forms for unit preparation according to the some English schools (tab. 1). There are
         L o n g  t e r m – s c h e m e s  o f  w o r k
Units of work
Single lesson
II klasa III klasa
I semestr
II semestr
I semestr
I semestr
II semestr
II semestr
also single lesson preparation tables in some English schools (tab. 2) and a new, universal health(a)ware proposal for pan-European physical education system (tab. 3).  
 
 
 
 
 
Table 1. A structure of a unit of work (an example of some English schools)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In other European countries teachers, usually plan their process of delivering physical education in cycles of lessons linked up in a series of consecutive single lessons. With more experienced teachers it will often be the case that they plan objectives and outcomes for the whole cycle and then break it down into more specific objectives for every particular lesson or even a singular task. This form of planning usually brings positive and lasting educational effects and allows the teachers to improve the ways they carry out their teaching from year to year. However,  with more experience, teachers tend to limit their planning to single lessons. Examples of single lesson plans in two abovementioned different approaches are presented in tab. 2 and tab. 3.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unit of Work
Area of activity:  Key stage: 
Year Group:  Duration: 
Resources:  Language for learning: 
Prior Learning:  Key Skills: 
Intended learning outcomes  Learning activities  Teaching strategies 
ACQUIRING AND DEVELOPING 
 
SELECTING AND APPLYING
 
EVALUATING AND IMPROVING 
 
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING ABOUT HEALTH AND FINTESS 
 
Table 2. A structure of a single physical education lesson – (an example of some English schools)
 
Single lesson plan Learning Outcomes: (major activities in the lesson) Time length /number of repetitions
 
Teaching activities and teaching styles used
Organization (diagrams of lay outs)
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
Table 3. A structure of a single physical education lesson – (Health(a)ware proposal for pan-European physical education)
 
Single lesson plan
2
Lesson theme: Instead of a time schedule the teaching example is divided into different steps
 
S  T  E P 
 
1 E P E T E P 1
Introduction 
 
Short description of the necessary (activity) tasks within the first part of the teaching example 
 
(Activity) Task 1 
 
(Activity) Task 2 
 
(Activity) Task 3 
 
In-between Reflection: experiences, background information, feedback (questions and comments)
S T E P
 
2S T E P 2
Main part 
 
Short description of the necessary (activity) tasks within the second part of the lesson
 
(Activity) Task 1  (Activity) Task 2 
 
(Activity) Task 3  (Activity) Task 4 
 
In-between Reflection: experiences, background information (questions and comments)
 
 
S T E P
 
3 T E P
Short description of the necessary (activity) tasks within the third part of the teaching example 
 
(Activity) Task 1 
 
(Activity) Task 2 
 
In-between Reflection: experiences, background information, feedback (questions and comments) 
 
S T E P 
 
4 Fi na l St ep
Cool down
 
Final Reflection: Reflection of individual experiences, background information, feedback and evaluation (questions and comments)  Summary of the lesson’s aims and tasks  The teacher revises the elements practiced during the lesson (suggests taking up any of the discussed sports by the students in their free time 
References (Literature and links about the theme)  Additional Information (Theoretical aspects, background, recommended reading)
 
 
 
5. TEACHING  PHYSICAL  EDUCATION
 
 
5.1. Teaching approach – direct or indirect methods?
 
The development of positive attitudes toward physical activity requires some sort of emotional engagement in the process by the pupils themselves. This obviously will not be enough but it will certainly improve the quality of teaching. Educational processes have to provide the choice of contents, use a range of resources, and a variety of activities and teaching approaches. However, one must remember that too many changes at one time can make pupils (used to “traditional” methods) feel uncomfortable and incapable of accomplishing the task, which may slow down the progression of acquisition and eventually break down the structure of a lesson. The “traditionally” structured framework of the lesson (so-called lesson routine) gives a pupil a sense of security and guidance which provides them (and the teacher) with physical and mental support. But on the other hand, it doesn’t challenge the routine, it is the routine that is monotonous and when it coincides with poor quality (i.e. unattractive content delivered in a command teaching style) this may result in children dropping out of after-school physical activity thus, countering what physical education is all about – developing a physically active life style.  The traditional teacher-centred approach to teaching in which the teacher transmits knowledge to pupils and uses direct methodologies does not provide opportunities for creative thinking as it is
the teacher who makes most (if not all) of the decisions. Furthermore, indirect methodology cannot be applied in all cases and tasks. Research [Curtner-Smith et al. 2001] indicates that PE teachers spend most of their time using direct teaching styles (both in urban and rural school settings) with difficult behaviour of a large portion of pupils as one of the major factors influencing the teachers’ styles of instruction, making it too risky for other styles to be used. Other influences are accounted on teachers’ own school experience (being themselves taught by teachers employing direct styles) and initial teacher training (focusing on skill development). Peers (other teachers) pressure, using direct instruction styles themselves, influence novice teachers as well. Changing stereotypes about teaching physical education will require long-term working on the quality of its delivering and broadening a range of contexts.  It seems as if direct teaching styles (command, reproduction or even assimilation styles) may be easier forms of instructing a pupil, but as a matter of fact they are not. They require constant attention (to maintain the discipline) and concentration on the next instruction and its fulfilment. Such intellectual and emotional engagement is energy draining and fatigue can set in quickly. Whereas using teaching styles such as guided discovery, divergent, learners design style or according to Salvara et al. [2006] in their recent division – discovery and production styles, would call for more prior preparation and critical thinking from both teachers and pupils. It would also require “higher teaching/learning skills developed by providing: the context of criticism (in which pupils will challenge the theory and out-side school reality), the context of discovery (in which new concepts are developed and used) and the context of practical application (in which new ideas are tried out in the real world)” [Young 1998, p. 154]. It is clear that the way in which the content is delivered depends on numerous circumstances such as: Key Stage of learning, gender, teaching model used, teachers personal pedagogical skills and preferences and the educational experience of the pupils, all of which need to be taken into account while planning long-term content and delivery strategy in the educational setting. However, it seems that for lower teaching levels and ages of the learners, a higher  percentage of direct methods is more advisable to be used as they may help to lay a solid foundation for exploration of one’s own talents and limits through discovery and guided teaching styles at later stages (when more problem-based learning (PBL), is employed larger “chunks” of material and more intellectual freedom needs to be given to the pupils in order to keep them attracted and to let them discover the “story of their body”).  This indirect methodology would include giving clues (but limiting them to only necessary hints), for example, by organizing the pupils’ school setting in a way that requires certain movements or tactical solutions. It would require individualization of the pace of learning by providing pupils with increased decision-making opportunities. This could be achieved most effectively by prescribing a series of progressive, sequential and hierarchically sequenced learning tasks, with learning information size depending on the level of complexity of the task and the expected Intended Learning Objectives (ILO’s). If the teacher aims at developing (or supporting) self-autonomy, the size of the learning information should be bigger and should allow time and opportunities for engagement and cognitive processing. So we can say that, although direct teaching methods are essential, they are insufficient in covering the whole range of educational needs and expectations. In comparison with this by using a more pupil-centred approach, indirect methods support pupils in finding out information by themselves through the exploration process and this may enhance their self-confidence. But will it develop their subordination for example? One has to remember that the teaching style and methodological approach will not make for a satisfactory “one and only” solution. The contents of today’s national physical education curricula are simply  inconsistent. They have to concentrate more on providing paths to developing “physical literacy” (doing by learning, learning by doing and learning how) and use experienced-based and life skills-based learning methods or theme-based learning approach instead of a sport-based one. But to achieve this, the most suitable mode of teaching needs to be selected.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
5.2. Preparing for teaching and learning.  Diagnosis – getting to know your pupils 
 
During the school year, it is the introductory classes of the first weeks in school that give the teacher and the pupils a chance to get to know each other and to set the rules and expectations for the forthcoming school year. In order to do this successfully,  the teacher needs to assess pupils’ abilities and interests, especially when they are coming into contact for the first time (e.g. pupils coming into a new school). For some teachers, the easiest way to plan the route is through the various forms of assessing physical fitness. Some simple tests including sit-ups, curl-ups, push-ups or a distance running test (e.g. The Cooper test) could be helpful. Some teachers tend to rely upon a set of the wellknown batteries of tests like the Eurofit or YMCA Fitnessgram test, which would usually have good, scientifically verified population-wide norms. These tests give teachers a chance of establishing certain reference-related expectations and so allowing them to plan their work accordingly around achieving those goals and objectives. But even when doing this, teachers have to make sure that they do not emphasize fitness as a major objective of physical education, but rather indicate its relations with health and general well-being, making it more a health-related quest for personal optima, rather than a competitive form of motor-performance rivalry. For these reasons it is recommended that pupils be asked to keep a record of their achievements (in all major areas of interests) and teach them how to monitor their progress over their life-span. It is especially important for teachers to show their acceptance of all pupils regardless of the fitness level or their other skills. The teacher will also have to set the expectations for other pupils to accept each others’ strengths and weaknesses. It is also a good idea to protect one’s privacy during the testing of fitness, especially when for example it may include skin-fold measuring or body mass control, particularly with girls, who are often more sensitive about their appearance. But this can be easily achieved by a simple play activity. For example an activity in which pupils concentrate on one form of movement (e.g. running and bouncing a basketball ball) but at the same time are asked individually by names to run to the place where an equation for calculating BMI index (body mass/square body height in meters) is placed together with weight and height scale by the side. After measurement body mass and height, the pupil runs to another corner of the gym to check his/her status according to the BMI norms (in. norm, overweight, obese or underweight) but the information stays exclusively with him/her.  The most difficult task seems to be a pre-assessment of pupils’ technical skills in various sports. But this can also be achieved relatively easily by asking pupils to pick up equipment for their favourite sports laid down on the gym floor prior to the lesson or to present some basic skills in their sports. This will also give the teacher a grasp of understanding of what are the favourite sports in that particular group – and this is also a form of a group diagnosis. The teacher may also ask pupils to divide themselves by choosing the right side of the gym in the case of all those who prefer individual sports and the left side for those who favour team sports. This will give the teacher some idea of what methods of motivation they need to be used – i.e. more individual mentoring (i.e. starting from scratch in building a team cohesion) or vice versa  through team cooperation challenging individuals to pursue their excellence but in order to contribute their best to the team.  If the teacher wants to recognize the good sides of the class and discover the socio-stars or subgroups existing in a class she/he needs to organize a problem-solving task which would require a good level of cooperation with a rotation of the functions in the group. The simplest example would be a task such as racing with a balloon, where a group has to keep it up but without the use of hands, while trying to get the opponents’ balloon down. The more difficult activity could be the following example – trying pulling up a skittle (or a simple plastic bottle) by the whole group. The skittle is placed in the middle of the circle surrounded by the pupils each of whom is holding a skipping rope attached (tied) to the skittle. All the pupils have to stretch the ropes at the same time and with the same force lift it up, they need to cooperate effectively. With more skilful children the teacher would use a task requiring carrying an object (i.e. a ball) only by keeping it up on the rubber ring with skipping ropes attached to it and stretched by all members of the team equally and at the same time with adequate force vectors. Moving with it (e.g. around the obstacles) or tossing the ball (e.g. toward the basket) would require high movement competence and a good level of team cooperation. With pupils of an upper-level class, the teacher could use one of the blindfolded activities, where a pupil who is not blindfolded is carried
by some other pupils who have their eyes covered with a scarf and are only informed where and how to overcome the obstacles (i.e. plastic bottles, skipping ropes hung between the cones, etc.). Afterwards questions can be asked like: did all of you contribute to the task? did you listen to the others for their ideas? and who was the leader? etc.     For recognising the climate in a class the teacher can also introduce a play activity called “friend-tag” where a person chased by the ‘tag’ can be secured and saved by another person (a friend) only by giving him/her a hand to hold for 5 sec. A raft race can be used where every team is given two rafts to cross the river and the teacher observes which team cooperates the best and the most smoothly to move all team members from one raft onto another as quickly as possible and shift the raft over and over repeating the same actions again. Pupils can also be asked to go round the class with their favourite sport to convince with their arguments the highest number of pupils to agree to do it for the next three weeks. In this way the teacher may recognize whether there are any conflicting situations in the class or, in the second example, who is the leader, and can make use of this knowledge in the future in difficult situations where they might be looking for help and support from the class. It is worth remembering that non-competitive activities should be selected more frequently than competitive ones for pupils at early stages of education: cooperation should precede competitiveness. It is better to have more activities, with more equipment, during the lessons with early adolescents than just one sport/game throughout the entire duration of the lesson. Mass practice can be used when the learner is older, more mature and able (has the ability to focus) to concentrate on a task for a longer periods of time. Cooperative working (i.e. in team games) involves working together as a group, brainstorming possible solutions, trying the solutions that seem to have the best possibility of solving the problem and arriving at the best outcome against an opponent in a competitive situation in a real game.  
 
 
5.3. The process of teaching and learning 
 
A single lesson is the fundamental link of every educational process. However, to change anything in a lesson, one needs to re-consider the whole range of factors influencing that process. To meet the needs of modern societies, teaching needs to emphasize more creativeness and self-autonomy rather that repetition or reproduction. Preparation of a lesson is a very important aspect of teaching as it sets out a clear, systematic and progressive structure for which the teacher and the pupils can work together. The content of the lesson plan needs to be progressive – one task/activity leads up to and links with another so that by the time they are approaching the end of the lesson, the pupils can demonstrate the skills that they have been trying to learn (and hopefully have learned). However, the teacher must be aware that some skills, especially involving intellectual capability like cross-subject tasks will require more time than just one lesson to be absorbed. The pace of the lesson is also critical as it should be neither too fast nor too slow so that pupils can learn effectively and don’t become bored easily [Mayer 2008]. This notwithstanding, whether they are going to produce their best will also depend on the level of attractiveness of the task and how challenged they may feel. 
 
Lesson plans are an integral parts of every teacher’s job. They allow the teacher to structure the time with the pupils to get the best out of them. A lesson plan is a teacher’s detailed description of the course of instruction for the individual lesson. By using lesson plans, teachers can accurately state what the objectives of the lesson are, and the pupils should be able to do (skills), understand (knowledge) by the end of the lesson and how this will affect their attitude towards their own healthrelated statues across the life-span. The lesson has clear Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO) described and broken down into sections: the warm up, main part and then cool down part. Each activity should have a clear description of how they fulfil the objectives of the lesson.   For the lesson to run smoothly the teacher needs to ensure that the explanations of activities and expectations, given in the lesson, are clear (the best way is to provide an explanation with a demonstration of an appropriate form of the task the pupils are to learn, adjusted to the motor and cognitive abilities of the pupils) and that the language (its technicality and complexity) is appropriate to the pupils’ level of understanding.  
Lessons can be organized in a number of different ways (e.g., three-part, whole-part-whole, accelerated learning cycle) but they should always include the following elements: learning objectives and outcomes, some sort of high pace questioning to diagnose prior learning and current levels of understanding (or clarifying misunderstandings). Lessons will also include visual, auditory and kinaesthetic stimuli to encourage working inside and outside preferred learning styles (e.g., going beyond traditional teaching) with a variety of problem-solving activities developing a higher level of intellectual processing and thinking skills. Therefore providing opportunities for enjoyment, (while dealing with intellectual, emotional and physical workloads through fun, plays and games, of various nature and multicultural origins, and movement performances) remain one of the most fundamental aims of physical/health education. In other words, pupils need to be allowed a chance to think for themselves, work with appropriate assessment and timely feedback (leading to the development of self-assessment skills), having to work on creative and challenging tasks both independently or in collaboration with others.      Certain “key points” in lesson planning have to be included. It is necessary to explain to pupils what and why they are going to learn something (via clear visual and kinaesthetic examples). The teacher has to ascertain pupils’ existing knowledge and misunderstandings, provide an opportunity for a variety of activities that will allow them to think for themselves and work with peers and set high expectations (showing them that you want them to succeed). In addition, the teacher needs maintain a balance between low-level recall questions and high level of thinking questions if she/he wants to activate sufficient cognitive processing in pupils. In order to stimulate all of the pupils to think, the teacher can give the pupil feedback individually (when helping/assisting at the task side) or evaluate them from the experience through the use of questions and answers, where the teacher questions the pupils individually or as a group in some moments of the lesson (usually towards the end of the lesson. In the Kolb experience-based learning cycle this questioning may occur in the earlier stages of the lesson, e.g., after experiencing some activity at the beginning of the lesson). This process, and more advanced methods of interactive teaching (like “decision making tree”, “mapping”, “brain storm” or “projects” and “portfolio” methods), have been blended together and presented in a quite refreshing didactical approach in some recent publications for physical education students and teachers [Harris, Elbourn 2002, Krawański 2006, WHO 1997, 1998, 2006, Mohnson 2008]. It is important also to plan the exact amount of time spent on each specific task so that there is sufficient time for pupils to practice and learn and meet the learning outcomes of the class. But when considering the lesson plan, it is important for the teacher to first diagnose the ability and the level of the group. The teacher must be aware whether or not a particular task may be too easy or too complex for the majority of the group and if so, it would be more valuable if the teacher used an activity that was less difficult and built up to the original task over a period of time. It is also important for the teacher to ensure that the task is not too easy for the group as there must be room for the pupils to improve their skills (and give the teacher an opportunity to evaluate progression more than performance). Failure to do this would result in the lesson not being challenging enough for them and thus de-motivating. If the lesson is well planned, where both parties are challenged, both will enjoy it and the positive feedback will enable the teacher to come up with even more challenging tasks for the next lesson, thus maintaining the motivation level at a  reasonably high level. That said, it is certainly more difficult with qualitative outcomes to be measured and evaluated than it is with quantitative (especially motor fitness assessment) ones. It is equally important to provide both forms of assessment leading to the development of self-accuracy and self-confidence of one’s own performance (not only in record-related sense) and allowing for more a responsible approach to one’s physical and health status. There is always the opportunity for more progression based on a systemic approach, as well as a chance for the teacher to re-focus and correct their (and pupils) plans in the event of  negative feedback or lack of progression. If the pupils are able to provide  structured and reasonable feedback, it demonstrates their understanding of the task (which proves they have engaged in cognitive processing) and helps to plan further steps on basis of what they have already learnt. 
 
 
 
 
 
 A typical lesson plan will include three major parts: 
 
1. Introduction and warm-up Remind about previous tasks, explain the intended learning outcomes and topic for the lesson and set up the first tasks. Gradually raise body temperature and heart rate. The warm up is led for 3 reasons: • to improve performance, • to prevent injury, • to prepare psychologically for the next, more challenging events. It is worth remembering that in case of cardio-vascular warm up, the teacher starts with these exercises, which raise the pulse rate slowly (i.e., start moving parts of the body closest to the heart). This is usually followed by some sort of trot and then stretching, which forms the second phase of the warm up. There are 3 ways of doing this: • static stretching – easy stretches which are held for about 10-20 secs. These should be related to the main activity and the main topic of the lesson,  • ballistic stretching with bouncing stretches of contraction and release,   • proprioreceptive neuromuscular stretching, which is a form of assisted stretches using the help of another person (mainly done by the top athletes after they have performed their static stretches, but might be also used by some highly qualified teachers working with elite sport students).
 
2. Main part  Usually in the main part, major activities may take a variety of forms. It may vary in terms of training session e.g. interval training, continuous training, ‘Fartlek’ training, circuit training, weight training or aerobics, but the whole idea is to introduce new skills, revise and practice/master old ones and depending on the focus and strands  (acquiring, selecting and applying or evaluating) organize the rest of the lesson content.  This part is usually broken into whole-part-whole approach and will relate to the whole activity in the final part of the lesson. It will obviously vary depending on  what  the  objectives and intended learning outcomes (ILOs) are (i.e. to lose weight, to win a class title, to improve current fitness, to have fun and be healthy or to build social relationships). Now it is recommended that this part should concentrate on other aspects of human physical activity such as discovering one’s body and how it changes with time and what needs it has and building the relationships with others in range of social environments, thus making it more physical and health education than physical training. 
 
 
 
3. Conclusion (cool down) The cool down part gradually returns the body to its normal temperature and the working pulse rate to the resting pulse rate. It eases down  the emotional excitement of the fun factor of the physical activity. It also helps to prevent long-term stiffness and soreness in the muscles by dispersing lactic acid. In order to return the pulse to its resting rate, a similar activity could be used as the one in the warm-up but with less intensity or an increased number of pupils, equipment, limited space etc. Starting the lesson, the teacher needs to allow a recap of what has been covered previously, what learning has taken place and remind pupils of the key words to consolidate. It is a good idea to use the same pattern during the final moments of the lesson not only in order to calm down emotions, but also to leave a trace of information (reinforce) of what has been covered in the lesson.  Teachers should remember that motives for participating may vary as each individual will vary. Some will want to improve skills and will lose their interest if there is no progress (i.e. due to the monotonous repetition of the same tasks), others will enjoy being active and the fun factor will play a crucial role but they will be discouraged by too much pressure (i.e. if there is an emphasis on winning in racing or in a game). However, all of them will definitely feel better if they face a challenge which makes them feel more self-confident.  
For a number of years there have been calls for more health-related exercise in physical education.  Coming from the position that it is insufficient in stimulating fitness, particularly cardiorespiratory fitness, some teachers tend to over-care about the intensity issues. It is understandable that the different sports used in physical education will influence the intensity profile of the lesson. Some sports, like invasion team games (e.g. basketball, football, handball or field hockey) will elevate the heart rate to the level above the 140 beats per minute, believed to be the stimulating threshold for young people [WHO 2006]. Other sports (e.g. volleyball or simple non-apparatus gymnastic routine) will not reach the abovementioned threshold. On the other hand, skill improvement and motor testing lessons reduce the average heart rate to around 110 b/min due because of the long queuing and standing time. There is also a question of the place of the lesson in the teaching process: – is it the first lesson of  four, where everything has to be explained to the pupils and the breaks between time on the task are longer?, or is it the last lesson in the cycle, where pupils are competent enough to make their own choices and the teacher only provides tasks of gradually increasing complexity and laid down in a sequential order to get the best effects and to achieve the objectives they have planned? To illustrate the idea, below are some types of lesson, which may be considered valuable in improving one’s functional fitness – fig. 6 and fig. 7, There are other lessons (fig. 8) which, despite the high intensity profile, do not provide an appropriate didactic context (usually it will be playing a team game – football – over the whole duration of the lesson without any didactic moments in that lesson). So it is important not to over rate the intensity on the cost of neglecting all other, equally, if not more, important aspects of the educational process. Other lessons (including other sports) may not have such an impact on cardio-respiratory fitness but may have a strong socio-moral impact or will equip children with other life-skills (fig. 9 and fig. 10). 
 
 
 
Figure 6. The intensity profile of a basketball lesson with 13-year old pupils
 
 
Figure 7. The intensity profile of a track and field lesson with 13-year old pupils
 
 
 
Figure 8. The intensity profile of a football lesson with 13-year old pupils
 
 
 
 Figure 9. Conflicting situations in various physical education lessons (source: Broni-kowski M. et al.  2006)
 
 
 
 
A successful lesson plan will be the one which makes the lesson well-organized, with challenging activities resulting in a free flow of the teaching/learning process in which all the pupils take part, enjoy and develop upon. But they will also need to receive some feedback. This brings us to another equally important aspect of the lesson planning, often overlooked: Evaluation. There is also a question of a risk assessment: teachers must always be prepared for the unexpected and by planning and estimating the risk assessment of what “might happen” they are, in some ways, prepared for the unexpected accidents and have clear emergency plans of action in place, should any of these problems arise.
 
 
5.4. Teaching styles 
 
Various teaching styles have different implications and may be used for different purposes. The command style may not lead to the development of a self-efficient individual but it does provide a clear and concise guide to what is going to happen within the lesson and immediate recall leaves no room for forgetting the task. On the other hand, immediate recall may not give the pupils time to process information and this could lead to errors and unwillingly committed mistakes resulting from a lack of understanding.  It is very likely that one teaching style cannot cater for everyone and if it clashes with teaching the same content over and over again will add to the shortage of motivation. Therefore it is important to include various teaching styles and differentiate the content being taught as well as the forms of
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Figure 10. Typology of conflicting situation in physical education classes (source: Bronikowski M. et al. 2006)
 
Percentage distribution of conflict sources in PE
activities being provided. They will differ from beginner, intermediate to advanced levels in allocations of pace and complexity of teaching material as well as teaching methods.  Teaching styles differ and range from totally teacher-centred and teacher-directed through those that encourage cooperation between teachers and pupils and on to those that allow almost complete pupils autonomy. The most common teaching styles have been listed by Moston and Ashworth [1994] and examples of sample lessons have been given by Mohnsen [2008]. Teaching styles: a) The command style  The teacher makes all the decisions on the three sets (pre impact, impact and post impact). The objectives are: immediate response to stimulus, accurate and immediate performance and synchronized performance in a group. of a task so it can stimulate physical development. The teacher shows care and sensitivity during this style of teaching, it is not a strict method. An example of this method is Aerobic dance, where the teacher shows the steps and the learners follow, but they can still decide what they are going to do. Example. Objective: pupils demonstrate the correct technique for the grapevine dance step. Activities:  1. Demonstrate the starting position  2. Ask the pupils to step and provide them with feedback 3. Ask the pupils to perform other steps and movements 4. Provide them with feedback. b) The practice style The learner can make decisions on impact set in nine specific areas: postures, decisions, order of tasks, pace and rhythm, stopping time of task, intervals, appearances, initialization  and, finally, questions for clarification. The learner is afforded time to perform his/her task individually and privately; the teacher may also have time to make immediate, private, feedback. An example of this method is a teacher or student demonstration of a “set shot” in basketball, after which, students go and practice. Example: Objective: Pupils demonstrate the correct technique for dribbling/passing/ trapping (and also a combination of the three skills). Activities:  1. Set up, divide the group into pairs. Each player take turns dribbling around one line of cones. 2. In pairs, dribble the ball up and down the field, passing the ball. 3. Play a 4-on-4 mini-soccer game against the divided groups.   4. Mark two areas with four boundary cones. Play a 2-on-2 keep away game. The team with the ball can dribble and pass anywhere in the marked area. The other team tries to steal the ball. If the ball goes out of bounds, the ball is given to the team that didn’t kick it out of bounds.  5. Provide appropriate reading and writing materials. Read about biomechanical principle of absorption of force and write a paragraph explaining how it relates to soccer.  (The teacher can use a circuit form and circulate from station to station, providing feedback and indicating when pupils must rotate to the next station).   c) The reciprocal style This style revolves around feedback and socialization skills offered by a peer. A “Triad” comprising a pair of students and the teacher is formed. Communication is solely with student “observer”, with feedback personal immediate within the pair.  The observer acknowledges what was done well then offers corrective feedback about errors. In this style one needs criteria such as: observe, compare/contrast or feedback. The crawl stroke in swimming is an illustrative example (refer below), where the tasks cannot be done quickly. Example: Objective: Pupils identify the critical features of the crawl stroke. Activities:  1. Identify the critical features of the crawl stroke.
2. Demonstrate the crawl stroke incorrectly, requesting feedback from pupils.    3. Have pupils practice the crawl stroke in pairs. Ask one pupil to perform the stroke while the other pupil gives feedback. Have the pupil giving feedback focus first on the arms (bends elbow slightly as hand pushes water down the centre of the body toward the feet), then on the breathing (turns head to one side, angling the chin slightly up, inhales and exhales through the mouth), and then on the kick (begins up-and-down flutter kick at hip, bends knee downward slightly at the start of the kick). Adjust forms so they are suitable for the deck and pool environments and for repeated use.  d) The self-check style Using pre-given criteria the objective is to assess one’s own performance by observation. Using task and criteria allied with self-reliance and intrinsic motivation this style is directed to those who are task-competent, not to those who struggle. Tasks must be external to the body like diving or dancing. If the learner is stuck on the process, the teacher must change the style to another style. Skills like golf shot and tennis serve characterize this style. Example. Objective: Pupils demonstrate the correct technique of the full swing in cricket/baseball/golf, demonstrate responsibility by assessing their own performance and potential hazards. Activities:  1. Introduce and demonstrate the concept of swing movements.     2. Have pupils line up with their back to the sun, each with a bat/club/racquet and balls in hand.    3. Have pupils practice the swing, checking their own body positions. 4. Have pupils gradually increase the distance of the swing.  Homework: Have pupils develop a practice plan for improving their swing technique. Encourage pupils to use their understanding of developing and improving performance of closed skills, performed in a stable environment (learned in previous lessons), to write their practice plans.  e) The inclusion style The objective of this style is to provide a task with different levels of difficulty to be performed by a mixed-ability group; the level of the is are defined by the learner so it can include everyone in the group. In this group the objective is not to side-line pupils but, through sensitive dialogue, encourage improvement of the group members. As this style represents true mixed-ability teaching, differentiation of tasks is needed. An example of this style is “circuit training” where the learner has to do the task at his/her own level of skill. Invasion games can also be achieved and developed in one group by using different tasks depending on ability levels. The main goal is to develop pupils in a way that they compete against their own skills, and not against the others. Example (badminton): Objectives: Pupils improve the accuracy of the forehand underhand clear, the forehand overhead clear, the backhand underhand clear, and the backhand overhead clear. Students demonstrate responsibility for selecting the appropriate practice setting. Activities: 1. Set up each court in the gymnasium or outside area for clear stroke practice. Mark one side of the court in three places down the centre of the court at different distances from the net. Mark the other side of the court with a large rectangular area and a smaller rectangular area.  2. Have pupils select one of the three distances from the net to begin practicing. Allow pupils to make 10 attempts to hit the shuttlecock into the large target area, using one of the four clear strokes. Allow pupils a choice, based on their success, either to aim for the large target area again or to try for the smaller target area. After, they have successfully hit the shuttlecock into the smaller area, allow pupils to decide whether they want to move farther from the net or try a different clear stoke.  f) The guided discovery style In this style the teacher guides the learner systematically towards discovering a pre-determined target that was previously unknown to the learner in the following sequence of actions: question, learners response, feedback, next question and final response. The questions must be in logical sequence to the sort of learning effect. It can be used in the previous styles except the command style and it is also
useful for short introductions to new topics. Introduction to badminton serves as an example. The teacher asks: What are we aiming to do in this game? followed by an answer to find a way to arrive at a final phase of this skill learning to get the shuttlecock on the floor of the opponents court. Example (long jump): Objectives: Pupils demonstrate the correct technique for the long jump, explain how to increase their jumps using the biomechanical principles of projectiles, use higher-order thinking skills to discover the correct technique for the long jump.  Activities:  1. Ask pupils a series of questions to help them understand the correct technique for the long jump and to increase the distance of their jumps: – Is it better to start the long jump from a running or standing position? (anticipated answer: running) – Is it better to take off from one or two feet? (anticipated answer: one) – Is it better to land with knees bent or straight? (anticipated answer: bent) – Is it better to fall forward or backward on landing? (anticipated answer: forward).  g) The divergent style In this style the objective is to generate a multiple number of answers to a single question and all of those answers are considered correct; in music – melodies; in English – words (poetry) and in Physical Education – movements. There are no barriers, placement of standards or values in the way of the learner. In this style, nothing prevents the pupils from learning and creating their own answers so the feedback comments are not so immediate as they are in command or practice styles. As an example in sports we can have multiple answers to a challenge in team games – How to beat the defenders in a specific game? In adventure activities? How to pass a ravine without touching the ground? In athletics how to find a way to throw the ball as far as possible? Example. Objectives: Pupils demonstrate their understanding of rules, boundaries, and strategies by developing their own games, use higher-order thinking skills in creating their new games, collaborate to develop their new games.  Activities:  1. Explain to pupils the five important elements of a game, as follows: Boundaries – large areas, small areas, specific dimensions. Equipment – bats, balls, gloves, beanbags. Players – numbers, positions, functions. Scoring – how to score, scoring options, point value. Penalties – illegal events and actions and penalties for those events. 2. Have groups of four pupils each develop a game. Once they have done so, have each group teach their game to another group. h) The learners design In this style, the teacher that provides opportunities for the learner to create and develop his/her own program based on the cognitive/physical capacities of a particular topic based on the previous seven styles mentioned before. The teacher decides the general subject and even specific topics but it is the learner who decides the rest. Although it seems rigid, this style may be beneficial as it may result in a combination of styles led by learners. Example. Objectives: Pupils improve their personal fitness and develop personalized fitness plans, based on their own fitness level.   Activities:  1. Introduce the exercise physiology and health-related fitness unit to be ensure that pupils understand principles and concepts associated with health-related fitness. 2. Have pupils select their own questions or problems related to improving their personal fitness (e.g., Do low-carb diets help to reduce body fat?). 3. Have pupils each research an area of interest and share the information with one another.
More interesting examples and activities for each of the teaching styles may be found in the teacher’s guidebook by Mohnsen Teaching middle school physical education [2008]. Recently Salvara et al. [2006] in their division of teaching styles group them together into four main teaching styles:  1) Reproduction style – where a learner’s role is narrowed to clarification of teacher’s explanation and the learner shows no activity, there is a reproduction of an exercise (usually with many repetitions), step-by-step in a uniform and coordinated (by the teacher) way and reinforced by the teacher. Evaluation is based on the exact response to the role. 2) Assimilation  style – where, with clarification of teacher’s and learner’s roles, comes presentation of the structure of the task and execution of the plan. There is application of the exercise plan through working individually with teacher’s feedback or working reciprocally with self-check or selection of the difficulty level and using the task chart for the feedback. Evaluation is based on the response to the role and pattern assimilation.    3) Discovery  style – where there is clarification of the first question or problem and explanation of the teacher’s and the learner’s role stimulating learner’s cognitive understanding. There is a recall of previous knowledge, repetition of the first question (for eventual future clarification) and of formulation of hypothesis for solving the given problem. Then there is a quest for the solution (finding the answer to the questions posed) with feedback until the discovery of the unique solution to a given problem with the use of cognitive processes. Evaluation is based on the effectiveness of movement execution of the discovered solution for verification of its correctness (or uniqueness).  4) Production  style – where there is a clarification of the problem or individual programme and explanation of teacher’s and learner’s role. There is a recall of previous knowledge and notification of hypotheses for solving the given problem. The teacher defines the general area and learners decide on the specific sub-area. One of the main points is transformation of a choice to a problem for solution by exploring multiple solutions to a given problem. It is usually done by collecting information through performing tasks, experimenting and classifying findings. Evaluation is based on execution of discovered solutions for the verification of their reliability and presenting some illustrations (movement presentations of the solution).    To make sure that physical education is not separated from the rest of the curriculum (because of its particular focus on physical skills) and prevent the PE teachers from distancing themselves from the rest of the teachers in school, sometimes head teachers assign them responsibilities beyond those connected with delivering sporting contents in school. It is a good idea for PE teachers to understand how to undertake and extend their wider societal roles. In school, cross-curricular ties are one of the ways and extra-curricular activities is another, of the potential areas of involvement. But nevertheless, it is PE teacher’s role to contribute to the development of desirable moral and social behaviours (and its maintenance on school premises). With bullying, aggression or unhealthy eating habits there are far more challenges facing PE teachers today than some thirty to forty years ago. But this can also be very rewarding if the teacher shows consistency and earns his/her authority through his/her professional conduct. Thus, arguably the role of a teacher is one of the most crucial in initiating youth into active lifestyles.  
 
 
5.5. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the teaching/learning         process
 
One of the fundamental elements of all educational processes is its evaluation, which if done properly, enables the parties involved to learn from their mistakes, highlights the positives and enhances a further development of the achieved gains, which are cornerstones of individual development. However, in practice, not everyone likes to be assessed, particularly if this implies rewards and punishments. But a certain degree of reflective critique (both peer but also self-reflective) has to be applied if any progress is to be achieved. Evaluation is also required as it places a pupil within the context of their class mates and enables them to realize their place in the group. The grade
received is also a message for pupils’ parents (carers) – “your son/daughter is good/not so good in the class at this particular subject (task)” – it may read. Feedback given in a lesson (or after the end of each phase or unit of work) enables pupils to gain an awareness of where improvements are needed and to ensure that pupils fully understand the purpose of the task carried out. In the long term, this will also help to build their self-confidence and one has to remember that goal-setting is a powerful facilitative tool in bringing (and maintaining) motivation and perseverance and gives both teachers and pupils sense of long-term direction. This cannot be achieved with a simple, single, mark often given for some physical merits (i.e. for a result in a 100 metre sprint).   But it has to be “both teachers and pupils, who need to use their observational skills to recognize, check, analyse and alter aspects of their performance and there should be carefully planned progression if fluency, mastery and individual responsibility for developing skilfulness and creativity are to be achieved” [Chedzoy 1996, p. 52]. Physical education teachers usually assess their pupils on the basis of physical efforts. Running (both short and long-distance) will provide give some information on pupils’ motor abilities (speed and endurance) but giving it a mark (a school grade) may cause some confusion with less motorcapable pupils. Much will depend on the form of evaluation and the criteria the pupils will be evaluated against. If the norm they are going to be compared against is a performance-related norm this will obviously support the fittest, those with the highest motor abilities and trainability and undermine those who are less fit. But will this really be proof of the teacher’s educational endeavours? What, then, should the teacher be assessing? Genetically inherited potential or progress made in a training cycle? What about the rest of the class? Will individuals remain motivated to carry on their efforts in pursuit of their individual excellence when they have been set against the standards of the most sporty pupils in the class? On the other hand, if the teacher wants to use the criterion-norms, (which are supposed to set some standards, from the point of view of demands required to achieve positive changes) what reference group should they choose? (i.e. population norms may sometimes be misleading – if norms are low, one’s scores may be high, but still lower than the European average for example). So there are many problems, which have to be carefully considered prior to the teaching/learning process. Motor testing is only one of the problems with the evaluation of the pupils; there is a whole range of skills that need to be assessed in order to tell the pupils where they stand, what the level of their competence is and what their good and not so good qualities are. One needs to remember that in the end, all of this should lead to increased self-confidence and a sense of comprehensibility and manageability in organizing their own physical activity in later life. Therefore, no matter how simple “a skill testing” may seem, it has to be done with caution. Before engaging in the process of evaluation, the teachers should ask themselves if they have done everything to provide the pupils with every possible opportunity to achieve the objectives set for them prior the lesson. The teacher has to analyze their professional manner – the way the content was taught, the methods used, whether the pace of teaching was suitable for every learner, whether the material was appropriate and even if the task the teacher has designated for pupils was challenging enough to emotionally involved them. Evaluation may come in different forms depending on what is to be evaluated. Sometimes the teacher will have to subject pupils to public exposure by asking them to perform in front of a class. On other occasions they will be evaluated for efficiency in cooperation with other members of a team. Assessment of skills requires good performance technique, but knowledge may be tested in various contexts – in a game by asking a pupil to organize a game, to referee a game or by answering random questions after every exercise during the lesson or even by completing a simple multiple choice schedule after it. However, even evaluation of some skills might be difficult, because of its subjective nature. Reflecting on pupils’ moral skills (fairness, sense of equity, loyalty) or social skills (responsibility, respect) will be difficult, but this should not discourage teachers from carrying it out. The better the teacher is prepared in the teaching/learning process, the more effective she/he will be in achieving valuable educational outcomes. If the pupils are clear about what is expected from them this will also make the process of evaluation easier. The question of tools is secondary, though still very important. For example self-reflective questionnaires may be used, even a simple sheet of paper pinned on one’s back as a platform, where everybody is welcomed to write their comments (the idea is that once the sheet is on your back, you can’t see who is writing what on it). This task also includes
the teachers having a sheet of paper on their back as well, so the pupils can write their comments without fear of the consequences. Nevertheless in any situation, pupils need to be made clear what the criteria are at the beginning of the process so they will not be surprised when it comes to the assessment. However, in the end, it is the teacher and the pupil together who should set the objectives for an each individual pupil, make them aware of clear targets.  Evaluation is also about giving a pupil (or a student) a final grade. This requires a lot of attention and it is generally a good idea to allow the pupil to earn the grade by working systematically throughout the whole semester. In some schools there is a system of different assignments contributing to the overall final grade. Therefore, a pupil must participate actively in all (or most) of the lessons and perform specific skills, which are assessed by the teacher. It is understandable that in European educational systems the criteria, means  and  terms  of  evaluation  differ.  Generally,  assessment  is  regarded as a process of acquiring either qualitative or quantitative information or both at the same time (which should be the case in all artistic domains like art, music or sport). Assessment may be based on a criterion-reference system of grading, where an outcome of one’s efforts is compared to a criterion. This can obviously have some subcategories and divisions (ideally adjusted to the individual capabilities of each pupil). Benchmarks set the targets and expectations of what all pupils should know, be able to do/perform at the end of a certain level. A single lesson assessment is more often based on a system of grading, assigning a numeric grade to denote progress (or sometime regress). However, in physical education it is performance that is assessed rather than progress. This performance-based assessment is based on direct observation and often the subjective judgement of pupil’s performance is undertaken by the teacher. These assessments replicate the actions required for actual performance of the task rather than reference the tasks indirectly. They require pupils to construct a response, create a product, or perform a demonstration. Sometimes there are some standards set (standard-based assessment) to determine whether, and to what extent, the pupil can demonstrate the standard required. It will usually end in a summative assessment, which is considered to be a culminating assessment for a unit or level, providing a status report on the degree of mastery according to identified standards  [Mohnsen 2008]. In some subjects, pupils prepare a portfolio – a collection of their works, papers, essays and other achievements aligned to the standards set by the curriculum.  It needs to be noted that there are also different grading systems across European countries. In England, at universities, evaluation and marking is divided according to the percentage. To be awarded A (excellent) one has to obtain more  than 70%  from  assessed assignments.  B (very good) is between 60-69%, C (good) ranges from 50-59%, D (satisfactory) from 45-49% and the final grade allowing a subject/module pass is E (sufficient) from 40-44%. Receiving F (insufficient/fail) with less than 40% stands for failure in  the subject module. But in different European countries, grades vary in ranges and scales. In Poland, the grading system is based on 1 to 6 scale of grades, where 1 is a nonpass (fail) grade and 6 signifies excellence. This applies to education from primary to secondary levels. At the university academic level a system of 2 to 5 grades applies, with 2 as a non-pass grade and 5 standing for the best grade.  Below, there is a conversion table for national grading scales within the European Community with data extracted from the International Office of Students Exchange Life Long Learning programmes (table 4).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Table 4. Grading scales in various European Union countries
 
National grading scales within the countries of the European Community (university level) ECTS Grade A U S T R I A
 B E L G I U M
 G E R M A N Y
 D E N M A R K
 S P A I N
 F I N L A N D F R A N C E
 G R E E C E
 H U N G A R Y
 I T A L Y
 I R     E L A N D
 H O L L A N D
 P O R T U G A L P O L A N D
 UK/ E N G L A D
 Excellent  (A) 1 18 17 1 1,5 13 12 10 3 16 10 5 30 1 10 9 20 17 5 over 70% Very good (B)  16 14 1,6 2,0 11 10 9 3 2,5 15 9 8 5 30 2nd/I 9 8 16 15 4,5 6069% Good (C) 2 13 2,1 3,0 9 8 7 2,5 2+ 14 7 4 29 27 2nd/II 8 7 14 13 4 5059% Satisfactory (D) 3 12 11 3,1 3,5 7 6 1,5 1+ 12 6 3 26 25 3rd 7 6 12 11 3,5 4545% Sufficient (E) 4 10 3,6 4,0 6 5 1 10 5 2 24 18 pass 6 10 3 4044% Insufficient/fail (F) 5 9 7 4,1 5,0 5 0 4 1 0 9 7 4 2 1 17 fail 5 1 9 1 2 1 below 40%
 
   Table 5 below contains proposed evaluation criteria used in some English schools to assess physical education process of teaching and learning [after Capel 2005]. 
 
 
Table 5. Evaluation sheet for physical education lessons
 
Evaluate your outcomes (and your planning)  Comment Intended learning outcomes are specific and assessable (pupil will learn, rather than will do) include verb, context, quality. 
 Key words are identified from the intended learning outcomes for this lesson and they have been informed by assessment data from previous lesson.
 Action points are included for a sample of pupils.  Learning activities are differentiated for individuals/groups.  Learning points are related to what you expect to observe. These should also represent all the NCPE strands identified in the intended learning outcomes.
 Full consideration has been given to pupil/equipment movement, taking into account of safety factors.
 Comments and targets for future lesson planning:
 
Table 6 comprises a proposal (Bronikowski) for evaluating one’s lesson or making evaluation from observation of another teacher/student performing a physical education lesson. Each of the aspects indicated in A to F may be graded in % (from 0 to 100%) or in marks from 1 to 6 and the total average mark may be provided at the end of the observed lesson if needed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Table 6. Evaluation and observation sheet for physical education lessons
 
Evaluation criteria  Points A. Selecting content for the lesson. 1. Accordance with the physical education curriculum. 2. Suitability for reaching the outlined objectives.  
 B. Methods and organization of the classroom  1. Appropriateness of selected methods and forms for the particular subject and specific conditions of the lesson.  2. Methodological innovativeness, own initiative, pupils creativity.  3. Introduction to the topic (manner of presentation and clarity of description of the tasks). 
 C. Organization of the lesson. 1. Have all parts of the lesson been covered sufficiently?  2. Teacher’s ability to deliver contents in all aspects of the lesson objectives?    3. Following the basic principles of the PE lesson (holistic approach, gradually increased intensity and complexity of the tasks, emotional involvement and cooling down, building a long-term motivation to physical activity). 
 
D. Teacher-pupils relationship and interactions  1. Teachers actions leading to increasing motivation (individualized, team work)  2. The way the pupils were approached  (personalized/anonymous) – gesture, mime, choice of vocabulary, voice timbre, methods of encouragement on failures and successes.   3. Criteria, methods and tools for assessments (were the clear before the lesson started, were they followed when evaluation was undertaken, did they have any educational/social follow ups?, was the teacher evaluated by anyone as well?)  4. Degree of pupils’ participation in the process of selecting and preparing the teaching contents and the way it was delivered. 
 E. Formulation of objectives: Professionalism in operationalization of objectives in the following areas:  a) knowledge-related b) skill and motor-related c) socio-morally-related
 F. Summing up the lesson outcomes  1. Self-evaluation on achieving the lesson’s objectives (by the teacher).  2. Setting objectives for the future lessons in the unit of work. 3. Indication of further actions and motivation to after school leisure activation.  
 
Total average (points)
 
 
Comments: 
 
 
6. TEACHER  OF  PHYSICAL  EDUCATION
 
 
As is the case in many educationally bound processes, much depends on the authority of the person in charge. However, this authority cannot be self-claimed, rather it has to be earned. Some PE teachers try to earn it by “showing off” their physical abilities, by dominating children in motor and sports skills, but this cannot be a long-time strategy if a proper pedagogical process is to be maintained. Knowledge about the subject taught can always help but the most effective in achieving lasting positive attitudes is the “magical” ability of being a pedagogue, not just a mere sport instructor or a sport coach. This implies that teachers are able to deal with a class in every kind of educational circumstances and that their professional teaching skills are not narrowed to one subject specific area (so physical education teachers would have to be able to deal with controlling a math or biology class, in case of a sudden “emergency” one-off replacement). This obviously comes with experience. Shulman [1987] suggests that, as teachers develop, they acquire knowledge of the learner, knowledge of the curriculum, knowledge of the context and knowledge of the pedagogy – the sum of all these types of knowledge has been labelled as “Pedagogical Content Knowledge”.  Social changes require changes in a matter of a teaching conduct. The difference between what was believed to be traditional and progressive was described by Bennet [1976, p. 38, after  Capel 2005]  as presented in table 7.  Although this division clearly shows the difference between the two approaches to teaching, today education demands more if it is to keep pace with the changing world. We can point to some aspects, which are even more important today than they were thirty years ago and are still neglected (or undermined). A modern teacher would regard the curriculum (textbooks) as a set of minimal educational standards with some key elements that have to be learned at first, to establish a solid foundation. So in the case of physical education in England, the six major activities (dance, games, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, outdoor and adventurous activities), which are mentioned in the national Key Stages standards, should be seen as a starting base that needs to be extended each teaching year. The same applies to teaching strategies which would evolve and expand along the Key Stages together with the growing experience of both pupils and the teacher. 
 
 
Table 7. Differences between traditional and modern teaching
 
Traditional teaching Modern (Progressive) teaching 1. Separate subject matter 2. Teacher as distributor of knowledge      3. Passive pupil role  4. Pupils have no say in curriculum planning  5. Accent on memory and practice 
 
6. External rewards used, e.g. grades 
 
7. Concern with academic standards                                         
 
8. Regular, formal testing                                                                       9. Accent on competition                                                       10. Teaching confined to classroom base  11. Little emphasis on creative expression 
1. Integrated subject matter 2. Teacher as a guide to educational experience     3. Active pupil role 4. Pupils participate in curriculum planning
 
5. Learning predominantly by  discovery techniques 6. External rewards (extrinsic motivation) punishments not necessary (intrinsic motivation)                                         7. Not too much concern with  conventional academic standards                                                                      8. Little (formal) testing 9. Accent on cooperative group work 10. Teaching not confined to   classroom base      11. Accent on creative expression
 
 
Modern teaching requires the teacher to involve pupils in the process of curriculum planning. This could secure engagement from the pupils as they would feel they had a chance to decide and influence the flow and direction of their education. The focus though, needs to be placed not only on the gym, but also, if not mainly, outside the gym. The same with using educational means – implementation and repetition of mere physical drills has been one of the major concerns and demotivating factors for a long time. Today new didactical tools need to be employed as well, but with caution, not to turn it into entirely “watchable” activities as physical education aims to set pupils on the road through activity, rather than through sitting on the couch for life. For those teachers who have over-used sports in physical education, creating a new pedagogical approach (and thus tools) may prove to be too difficult. On the other hand, many novice and pre-service teachers have an opportunity to build up their skills in this new mode.      To be an effective and competent teacher one needs to have an awareness of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). Shulman [1986, p. 9] describes PCK as the “ways of representing and formulating the subject that makes it comprehensible to others”, which means transforming the subject into teachable and learnable contents (how to teach specific tasks to a specific group). Research on teaching effectiveness indicates that teachers with insufficiently developed PCK have trouble designing an appropriate level, sequence and progression of learning tasks. They also cannot recognize common performance errors and do not provide appropriate feedback to their pupils [O’Sullivan 1996, Rovegno 1995]. It is also incumbent upon the teacher to show openness to new, modern, technologies and ways of learning. This issue was indicated by Lortie some years ago [1975] when she found that teachers tend to be conservative and tend to treat new ideas and innovations with some scepticism. Siedentop [1989] found that teachers who emphasized subject matter in their planning tended to pose more questions, teachers who used objectives in the planning seemed to display more goal setting behaviour, and teachers who referred to pupils when planning prior to and in adaptation of lessons appeared to show more concern for the pupils they taught.  Many teachers ultimately teach in the way that they were taught, and remain unaffected by the four or five years of teacher training they received during their studies. Some commentators argue that teachers believe they are open to experiment with new methods and activities but fear that pupils may lose out [Butler 1996]. However, the question is whether they consider it a risk for the pupils or for  themselves?  Rovegno [1994] reports the research connection between school teaching culture and the content taught in classes. When administrators’ primary concern was discipline and control and when the hierarchical school organization reinforced control as the top priority (as it was the focus of the respective principals), teachers became too focused on control to the detriment of learning. When the work of administrators and organizational rewards were aimed at control rather than instruction and curriculum teachers engaged in “defensive teaching”. They chose “to simplify content and reduce demands and minimal student compliance on assignments”. Pupils’ learning became secondary to control. Teachers in their teaching stay within the curricular “zone of safety” but such teaching may be inadequate for higher grade education. Better intellectual and emotional development of older pupils requires a learning process involving a certain level of processing and, therefore, interactive teachinglearning methods would be more suitable here. A high level of PCK seems almost a necessary condition to acquire some pedagogical effectiveness and choosing a model of teaching, or the content, are issues of a secondary matter although, for example, neglecting the traditional sporting heritage of one’s own nation seems simply like “killing” the culture of the sporting tradition.     Overall such a (un)professional attitude does not pay off.  As Hardman and Marschall [1999] have reported, the status of PE teachers is low and PE in school is in a defensive position fighting for its legitimization in school curricula in competition with other “more important” subjects.  Perhaps it should be compulsory that every teacher take an extra course on their workshop skills once every 2-5 years after diploma graduation. This could help them to alternate their traditional ways of conducing teaching practices and become aware of new methodologies and open to introducing them, despite the potential difficulties this may cause in the teaching/learning process.  
 
 7. SAFETY  IN  PHYSICAL  EDUCATION
 
 
Planning a process including physical movements always involves some risk of  unexpected situations, particularly when dealing with teenagers whose behaviour is not always as appropriate as is required. Therefore, the better prepared the teachers are for the lessons, the less frequently they are faced with unexpected situations. It is advisable (and this especially concerns novice and pre-service teachers) to try to foresee the potentially risky class situations and plan accordingly to prevent them from occurring in the first place and have a ready-to-use plan of action in case anything does happen. Once they have been identified, teachers should estimate the potential risk (low, medium, high) and consider actions to be undertaken in case of emergency (have a plan of routine action in place and all necessary medical equipment, such as a First Aid Kid, and important phone numbers at hand). There will be a different level of hazards according to sports (i.e. more conflictive situations have been reported in invasion team sports like basketball or football than in less dynamic volleyball) and it will vary according to the phase of lesson and to the level and the form in which the workloads have been applied. The difference will also apply to the moment of the class (i.e. if there is no proper warm up, or a warm up is inappropriate, there is an increased risk of accident or injury in sports requiring high level of fitness) and the equipment and facilities to be used. It is well-known that pupils who are more fit and better prepared are less exposed to injuries or other risks but on the other hand, in school, those pupils who are usually more physically capable tend to get bored easily, especially if the task is not challenging to them. This can more often than not result in misbehaviour and a general lack of discipline. Each national educational board or safety authority will have different safety procedures, so there is no reason to cite them all here as each teacher will have to go through the training in her/his specific environment. It is, however, important to understand some universal principles of maintaining safety environment in teaching physical education.  Each teacher will need to be informed (instructed) on key healthy and safety procedure in their schools (usually by a school safety officer) and if it is not the case, it is every teacher’s responsibility to request it. This will enable the teacher to create and maintain a safe educational environment and thus minimise potential hazards and risks. The procedure of checking the safety aspects of the teaching/learning process concerns every single lesson throughout the school year as well as any outof-school endeavours (like inter-school competitions). Checking the  quality  and  appropriateness of equipment needs to be carried out before and after each lesson (whether it is age-adjusted or genderrelated), as well as at the beginning and end of the school year. One may even rate it each year to see the changes from the previous  year and apply the most suitable actions to minimise and eliminate the risks. But teacher’s roles go beyond the teaching environment of a particular school. When travelling to other sport venues or during simple outdoor activities, teachers become responsible for pupils in terms of a duty of care and in “loco parentis” as they are carers (in other words in place of their parents). Therefore, it is vital that teachers make sure that all the pupils have handed in written participation agreements prior to such circumstances.  Among the risk areas that a physical education teacher must be aware of are the following:  1. Teacher’s professional (unprofessional) conduct – planning (clear lesson plan with obtainable objectives and expected outcomes), preparation of equipment and tasks (who, what, when), teaching strategies and methods to be used in the lesson but also organizational and management issues in the lesson.  2. Level of pupils’ skills, fitness and intellectual capabilities which, blended with their ambitions (either intrinsically/extrinsically or both bound), create the motivational aspirations and climate of a lesson.  3. Place of the teaching/learning process, hazards it brings, risks it poses use of facilities and equipment, ration of number of pupils to the venue size (small gym or outdoor green area of a school yard).        
 
In table 8 below there is an example of a simple risk assessment card from an English school, which may be useful while preparing teaching of a physical education lesson. 
 
 
 
Table 8. An example of risk assessment form
 
Risk Assessment Form Activity:        
 
HAZARDS ex. Football  1. Indoor activity – pupils will be playing     on a hard surface. 2. Potential dangerous slide tackling.   3. Goalposts – danger to collide with.
 
 
 
ex. Ringo or Volleyball  1. Slip, trip, fall hazards. 2. Collsions with partners, with the net. 3. Ignorance of instruction, inappropriate      warm-up.
 
ex. Field hockey (or Cricket)  1. Handling and carrying equipment to the      place of practice. 2. Hitting other pupils with a hard ball or       being struck with the wooden stick (or       bat).  3. Colliding with other pupils during the      play. 
RISKS ex. Football 1. Injury on the fall to the hard surface or     danger of a slip. 2. Injury to others while making a slide. 3. Injury on collision (also with walls).  
 
 
ex. Ringo or Volleyball 1. Twists, sprains, bumps and serious       injuries such as ligaments or muscle       damage. 2. Strained (even torn) muscles.
 
ex. Field hockey (or Cricket) 1. Arguments, refusals.  2. Broken bones, bruises, dislocations (of      shoulders), cuts.  3. Strains, loss of consciousness.     
CONTROLS ex. Football  1. Warn pupils of the dangers and      consequences of playing on a hard      surface. 2. Impose tackling rules – no sliding, no      contacts. 3. Warn pupils not to play close to the      goalpost (nor hanging on the goalpost),      keep away from the walls, ensure      benches are removed or secured.
 
ex. Ringo or Volleyball 1. Check the equipment (net, posts,       inflated/ deflated balls). 2. Ensure that warm up is efficient and      appropriate attention is paid to      stretching. 
 
e.x. Field hockey (or Cricket) 1. Clear division of duty – who carry       what, why and when (building       responsibility, caring for others, 
EMERGENCY ACTION ex.  1. First Aid Kid nearby. 2. Keep the surface (floor) tidy and dry. 3. Have emergency phone numbers at       hand. 4. Have clear rules for those who disobey      regulations.
 
 
 
 
ex. Ringo or Volleyball 1. Instruct pupils on safety concerning       hanging and taking off the net. 2. Have an extra tasks for those not      following instructions.  e.x. Field      Hockey (or Cricket).
 
1. Have a set of penalty actions for those      who misbehave. 2. Have first aid kid fully equipped nearby      and emergency numbers displayed in a 
     respect to the equipment etc.). 2. Proper warm up including dynamic      stretching. 
    well visible place. 
INCIDENTS / ACCIDENTS (in case of an incident have a clear procedure on how to report it back and to whom it should be reported).
 
CONCLUSIONS 
 
 
The main aim of this book was to show that learning needs to be an education enterprise that spans a whole lifetime. Moreover, it is one in which the development of appropriately relevant skills has a significant presence. A special role in this process has been ascribed to physical education which ought to counteract the growing prevalence of the “couch potato” generation. The problems are not going to be only health-related ones, not mentioning economical (medical) costs. To put it quite simply – the more healthy young people are, the lower cost for National Health Services in the future, hopefully. It has been a difficult and complex endeavor to introduce physical education into school curricula on a regular basis and as a subject equal to other ones. But since then,  a lot of changes have happened to educational systems all over the world. Some subjects adjusted to those changes faster than others. Physical education has been undergoing a “little” crisis recently and it as appears that it will have to fight its way back to the front line of school education. With this manual, to the aim was to provide some basis for international understanding of various contexts on teaching physical education. Such a book was extremely necessary, especially for growing Erasmus programme of students exchange.  Physical education students are among the forerunners in this programme. When they find themselves in Poland or in Greece or Spain, or in fact, in any European country, they want to see what schools are like in that country and what the physical education system is about in orderto compare it with what they knew from their school days in their home countries. Such observations in person certainly enrich their educational experience, but understanding the theoretical frameworks underpinning teaching/learning process could better prepare them for active participation in the profession in the future within the labour market of a united Europe.  This book gives students some background information on the place of physical education within a broader context of physical culture as a key sphere of human activity. As it was designed to provide a common platform for studying this subject by students from different universities, it required clarification of some basic terms useful for further physical education specialist. Therefore in the first parts of the book there are shortened explanations of motor abilities. But since physical education is not just about physical aspects of physical education in the book there are also definitions of social skills and attitudes which are also valued in this area of education. And although, for some, these sections may look a bit eclectic, it allows us to build a common understanding of basic standards among such diverse classes as Erasmus students usually are. This is followed by an explanation and exemplification of play, game and exercise, all to make sure which term we refer to when we plan lesson schemas or contents of a single lesson. Delivering curriculum, preceded by a discussion on the teaching models, with details such as teaching methods, styles and teacher preparation is explained a bit further. This is put into a wider perspective and enhanced with cross-national illustrations as examples of good practice. There are also selected issues related
to the efficacy of teachers of physical education and in the final sections, matters such as safety and the role of the teacher as a carer, or in the position of in loco parentis, are dealt with.  Some things have not been fully dealt with in the book for example, competences. Certainly more could have been expanded on health issues in physical education. I understand that for some, the selection of topics may seem somewhat complex or incomplete, but the reasons for that were rather simple one. Firstly, the author was given only limited space for this book Secondly, the key had to be a degree of applicability that would be universal enough to match the needs of teaching students the basic skills.    Various threads have been negotiated and the context-setting issues, which were introduced,  were aimed to enhance understanding acquisition as well as stimulate reflection on what physical education really is today and how can it be up-graded to fit the expectations of today’s and tomorrow’s youth. The chance lays on the creative and open-minded preservice and in-service teachers of physical and health education.  
 
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