PUTTING FITNESS EDUCATION TO THE TEST IN HPE

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Description

There are a few things that we know about fitness testing in HPE:

  • most Secondary HPE teachers carry out fitness testing at least once per year with each class/grade (Alfrey & Gard, 2014).

  • some children enjoy participating in fitness testing (Alfrey & Yager, 2020).

  • some children find fitness testing painful, embarrassing and shameful (Alfrey & Yager, 2020; Garret & Wrench, 2008), and these feelings can persist into adulthood, to damaging effect (Sykes & McPhail, 2008).

  • children’s experiences of fitness testing are not always meaningful or educational (Mercier, Phillips & Silverman, 2016).

  • there is no evidence that fitness testing is successful in promoting healthy lifestyles, physical activity, or develop the required knowledge and skills for lifelong physical activity (Cale & Harris, 2009).

In addition, school-based challenges, mental health and body image are of concern for approximately a third of young Australians (Carlisle et al., 2018).

With these points in mind, this blog post shares some evidence-based thoughts related to why so many of us use fitness testing as a context for learning, and how we might work towards inclusive, safe, educational and relevant/meaningful fitness education for all students within HPE.

Period1 Jun 2020

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Keywords

  • Health and Physical Education
  • Fitness testing
  • Curriculum
  • Pedagogy