Elementary Physical Education in the United States

Authored by: Melissa Parker , Kevin Patton

Routledge Handbook of Primary Physical Education

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138682344
eBook ISBN: 9781315545257
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Physical education was established in United States elementary schools 2 in the early 20th century. Though originally taught by generalists or itinerant teachers with a watered-down secondary curriculum, by the beginning of the 21st century elementary physical education had emerged with its own curriculum and pedagogically appropriate practices for children. The commonly accepted purpose of contemporary physical education in the United States, both at the elementary and secondary levels, is the development of physically literate individuals who have the “motor skills, knowledge and behaviours of active living, physical fitness, sportsmanship, self-efficacy, and emotional intelligence” (SHAPE, 2016: 6). As such, physical education is considered an essential part of the school curriculum and is based on a planned, sequential, standards-based program with written curricula and appropriate instruction.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.