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Grading in Secondary Physical Education

The term physical education refers to learning whereby the students are provided with the values, knowledge, capacity and skills that ensure they are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Physical education activities are developed to promote physical fitness of the students by instilling knowledge of rules and developing motor skills in students. Secondary physical education is whereby a teacher or a physical educator assists adolescents or teenagers to become physically active in their day to day activities.

In this from of education, a teacher develops physical education programs that assist students to successfully undertake physical fitness activities. There is need for teachers to embrace a curriculum model that is well suited for physical education . This is because physical education is very important for the students just like other courses at school. Secondary physical education requires a teacher to do lesson and unit planning for the course. In addition, teachers should be able to develop objectives that will ensure that physical education is characterized by lesson and unit planning for the course (Anderson, 1989).

In the modern society, the need of students keeps on changing and this demands that a teacher should always ensure that the physical education programs are able to keep pace with the students’ changing needs. For instance, incorporating technology in learning may be necessary for the teacher to address the changing needs of the students. Due to the diverse student population, physical education programs may be diverse. However, the programs should be able to meet the needs of all the students.

Grading in secondary physical education is important since it allows a teacher to evaluate a student’s success in physical education. Various grading methods are used by teachers in secondary physical education. Over the years changes have been witnessed in grading due to new international standards of grading. In efforts to comply with the changing needs of students in physical education and the international standards of grading, physical educators have been changing grading methods. In this paper, the objective of secondary physical education will be discussed.

Various grading methods will be evaluated and recommendations on what a grading method should address made. Aims and goals of secondary physical education The primary goal of secondary physical education is to assist students to become active in life. However, physical education programs are designed to suit the needs of the students at a given time. Through physical education, students are able to acquire knowledge and skills on how to remain physically fit. In addition, teachers provide students with an opportunity to embrace values and have the capacity to maintain a healthy lifestyle through an active life.

Physical education activities aim at instilling knowledge and understanding about rules in students, as well as strategies and concepts that will be beneficial in future when addressing certain issues. For instance, physical educations through rules that are given in sports instill discipline in students. Discipline is very important for the students in future. Due to the competitive activities that are undertaken in physical education, students are able to learn how to effectively work as individuals or as a team. For example, two teams in a match encourage each team member to work together to win a match.

In this case, students acquire skills on how to work well in a team (Cathrine et al, 2003). Secondary physical education has become very important as a strategy of maintaining good health especially in a society where many young people are facing problems that result from poor health. For example, overweight or obesity is a health problem that is common in young people. Therefore, there is need for schools to embrace secondary physical education programs that will promote good health of students by preventing obesity and health complications that may result from one being overweight.

However, it is important that teachers do not concentrate on weight loss to avoid unhealthy physical activities such as over exercising. Many schools all over the world are now required to develop a physical education curriculum for young people. In the United States, students are able to participate in physical exercises based on the physical secondary education curriculum. In many countries, a secondary physical education curriculum is designed to allow the students to have exposure to various categories of activities.

These activities include dancing, gymnastics, conditioning activities, team sports and athletics. Modern secondary physical education programs aim at addressing the changing needs of the students in relation to physical activities. In order for teachers to do this, they need to improve their effectiveness when it comes to responding to the needs and the growing demand for physical education programs in young people. One of the most important aspects of secondary physical education is the appropriate use of technology in teaching.

Because physical education activities can impact negatively on students if not well planned, secondary physical education programs aim at making physical activities friendly and safe for the students (Jackson et al, 2004). Physical educators have proved that they can create programs that can assist the students to adopt an active life. However, physical educators and teachers face some challenges in teaching and grading students. Educators and teachers in secondary physical education are required to use programs that address the needs of the students and that improve the effectiveness of a program.

Physical educators must be focused on the real objective of physical education programs in order to assist students to embrace an active life. Grading in secondary physical education Grading in secondary physical education is important because it enables physical educators to evaluate how well a student is doing in achieving the objectives of learning. In many schools, grading in physical education is done in order to evaluate a students’ success in attaining physical fitness which is considered to promote moral, spiritual, and mental fitness of the students.

One method of grading in secondary physical education that has been recommended is the achievement based unit grading. Other methods of grading include grading based on good behavior, attitude, and attendance. The assessment of students based on their achievement is not very common in a secondary school physical education environment. Performance -based assessment is a grading method that focuses on the how well a student performs in learning and undertaking physical activities.

In grading where performance-based assessment based on the behavior of the students is used to determine a student’s success in physical education, the teachers grade students based on the student positive or negative attitudes and behavior (Lund and Kirk, 2002). This means that those students who show bad behavior during learning do not get a good grade. One the other hand, those who seem to be well behaved and disciplined is able to earn a good grade that their fellow classmates who show bad behavior fail to get.

Physical educators find poor attitude and behavior of the students to be very frustrating during teaching and therefore they use the attitude and behavior of students as factors of determining their grades. When students are graded base on this method, physical educators are able to assess skilled students in class although they might disrupt learning through bad behavior. Because the disruption is categorized as bad or inappropriate, teachers may have to assess students who are highly skilled in the physical activities but show inappropriate behavior.

Physical educators use subjective measurements based to grade students depending on good or bad behavior. When using this method of grading, physical educators face the challenge of how to grade students who are skilled but have bad behavior. For instance, a student many disrespect a referee’s decision, may humiliate other students verbally, or may brag about his/her skills. However, the student may earn good grades in other areas of assessment such as in motor skills or attendance. This presents the educator with the challenge of how to grade the students’ overall grade.

To address this challenge, a collaborative approach method of grading can be used. In the collaborative approach, the skills and behavior of the students are all used in grading. Unlike the method of grading that emphasizes on the behavior, a collaborative approach requires that a physical educator assess a student’s skills independently. The educator then uses the students’ behavior to determine whether students get or fail to get additional grades in the overall calculation of the grade. The students who are skilled get additional points on their grade if they are well behaved.

However, students who are skilled but show inappropriate behavior fail to earn additional points on their grade. In this method of assessment, it is important for the physical educators to ensure that the atmosphere in class is improved so that it does not promote inappropriate behavior in students. This method of assessment also needs to make the students understand how they are expected to behave in a physical education environment. Performance-based assessment may require physical educators or teachers to use rubric scales to evaluate the success of the students.

In this case, the teacher prepares rubric scales that are used for grading students based on their knowledge and skills . This is sometimes very challenging for the teachers. It is very vital that physical educators write rubrics effectively and in a manner that allow the rubrics to be tailored to suit different students and activities. Rubrics are considered to make grading less difficult and also encourages positive outcome of both the students and the teacher. For individual and team sport units, performance-based assessment units can be applied in learning.

Some physical educators may use letter grades to grade students in secondary physical education (Lund and Kirk,2002). This method requires that in order to describe the students achievement in physical education, teachers may use narratives. Teachers can then describe various aspects of students’ performance such as effort, achievement, improvement, and behavior to grade them. This ensures that teachers are able to provide detailed information on the various aspects of performance in students. This demands that a teacher be creative when writing the letter grades for the entire class.

For the teachers, being creative when writing letter grades is one of the major challenges of this method of grading. This is because a teacher or a physical educator may find out that after writing a narrative for a few students, the comments that follow on other students may be similar due to lack of creativity. Another challenge of this method of grading is that it is time consuming and this requires physical educators to invest a lot of time in writing a narrative for all students in a class. For teachers who have a large number of students in a class, then using letter grades become a great challenge.

However, due to the modern technology in computer programs, physical educators are now finding it easy to generate comments about the students. When a teacher uses a computer program to generate comments, he or she is able to select the most appropriate comments for each student. The computer combines the selected comments into a narrative. This grading method can also be disadvantageous for the students if they compare their narratives with those of the fellow classmates. The computer generated narratives may impact negatively on grading when the students discover the similarities between their narratives.

Therefore, the students may consider the grading as inaccurate A grading method that evaluates the proficiency of the students in physical education may use a check list. A check list is made up of a list of skills or topics that a physical educator considers to be important in learning. In this form of grading, the teachers are able to use a scoring system to indicate whether the students in class are able to obtain proficiency in the characteristics that are critical in achieving the objective of secondary physical education.

Because checklists contain detailed information, they are very useful in giving a diagnosis and prescription. However, research has shown that some parents do not understand check lists when they are used to grade their children. One disadvantage of this method of grading students is that although it reflects a students’ progress in physical education, it does not report well the appropriateness of the various students’ progress. The need to inform parents on the progress of their children as compared to that of others students in class makes it necessary for a grading method to provide that comparison (Zakrajsek et al,2003).

Because parents would like to know how a child is doing below or above the average grade level, a grading method in physical education should be able to give a comparison between a child’s progresses with that of the others. Although letter grades may not be able to address the problems experienced in other grading formats, many parents have become accustomed to them. Consequently, this has made parents to become less critical about the letter grades’ shortcomings.

Examples of letter grades or words that are used include pass, outstanding, fail, and satisfactory. When such words or symbols are used to abstract a lot of information into a single word or letter, grades may be misinterpreted. In order to improve this grading format, recommendations have been made that the symbols or words that are used should give clear and stable points of reference when they are used. There is need for teachers to communicate to the parents, college officials and administrators about each student’s performance.

This requires that teachers make the students aware of the physical education goals so that students can work towards achieving the set goals (Jackson et al, 2004). Achievement based grading unit has been recommended for assessing students’ progress in secondary physical education (Randall, 2008). Many experts have supported the idea that performance assessments have great value in physical education grading. However, there have been resistance to this achievement based grading. The resistance has been attributed to the resistance of the parents, community, and students to this method of grading.

In addition, physical educators sometimes have concerns and doubts about achievement based unit grading as well as performance based assessment. In achievement -based unit grading, the physical educators are expected to give an emphasis on the positive scoring in students as well as student accountability. Furthermore, the student understanding of the meaningful educational outcomes is encouraged. There are various reasons why achievement- based unit grading is necessary for assessing students in secondary physical education.

According to the United States National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), achievement -based grading should be able to enhance learning instead of documenting learning. As a method of evaluating students, achievement-based grading can be able to combat any marginalization in secondary physical education. Achievement-based unit grading also improves both learning and teaching when grading is wisely executed. Recommendations on grading In most secondary physical education programs, the physical educators grade students based on their participation, behavior, attendance, conduct, and dressing.

However, grading that is based on these factors is not effective and need to be discouraged. Grading in secondary physical education should be based on the achievement of the learning objectives (Thorburn, 2007). The grading on above factors which are referred to as administrative or managerial factors should be replaced with grading methods such as the achievement based unit grading because any method of grading that is based on the participation and attendance of students in physical education can contribute to the marginalization.

In addition, teachers should be very cautious about the reliability, validity, and objectivity issues when grading students based on participation, improvement, and sportsmanship. This is because if this is not put into consideration, the factors may reinforce beliefs that there is no education value in physical education. In an achievement-based unit grading, a physical educator in secondary physical education can implement a good system by using strategies that enhance learning and encourage student accountability. Conclusion

Physical education has become very critical in the modern society due to the need for people to remain physically fit. People are now participating in physical activities in order to remain healthy and in efforts to do this in schools; secondary physical education has been integrated in the curriculum to ensure that teenagers and adolescents remain active. Through the physical education programs that are developed to suit the needs of various students, physical educators have managed to assist the students acquire knowledge and skills that are important in maintaining good health.

Examples of physical activities that students undertake in secondary physical education include athletics, sports, games, and gymnastics, conditioning activities, and dancing. Physical educators when developing physical education programs must consider the various needs of the students. One way through which the educators are trying to improve physical education is by incorporating technology in learning. The teachers or physical educators are required to develop physical education programs that promote physical activities which are friendly to the students.

In addition, the physical activities should not put at risk the safety of the students. To evaluate the performance of students, teachers use different grading methods. The various methods of grading are designed to evaluate certain aspects of performance in students. For instance, grading aims at determining the skills, attitude or the behavior of the students in class. Although traditional methods of grading have been used for a long time, efforts are now being made to encourage the physical educators, parents, and administrators to adopt new methods of grading that evaluate the success of the student based on the learning objectives.

References Anderson, D. 1989. The Discipline and the Profession. Foundations of Canadian Physical Education, Recreation, and Sports Studies. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Publishers Cathrine, H. , Gayle, H. , and John, R. 2003 . Teaching secondary physical education: preparing adolescents to be active for life. Human Kinetics Publishers Jackson, A. , Morrow, J. , Hill, D. , and Dishman, R . 2004. Physical Activity for Health and Fitness- Updated Edition. Human Kinetics Publishers Lund, J. , and Kirk, M. 2002.

Performance-based assessment for middle and high school physical education. Human Kinetics Publishers Randall, J. 2008. Overcoming resistance to achievement-based unit grading in secondary physical education, The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, April 1, 2008 Thorburn, M. 2007. Standard Grade Physical Education Success Guide. Leckie and Leckie Publishers Zakrajsek, D. , Carnes, L and Pettigrew, F. 2003. Quality Lesson Plans for Secondary Physical Education, Human Kinetics Publishers

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