LSU Leads New and Improved State Physical Education Standards
BATON ROUGE – LSU is helping the state combat its health and obesity ranking by working one-on-one with physical education teachers across the state. Kathy Hill, LSU kinesiology adjunct instructor, leads the Louisiana Physical Education Standards Committee. She and a team of educators from around the state are revamping the standards for K-12 public school physical education programs. So far, Hill and the committee have trained more than 1,000 teachers through workshops held at 13 parishes.
“Our aim is to teach young people about being fit individuals,” Hill said. “We’re not talking about marathon runners, but someone who can go through the daily routine of their lives without being exhausted, overweight or having high blood pressure."
Beginning with kindergarten, teachers are taught to teach their students responsible, realistic fitness goals. In elementary and middle school, students work in groups and learn how to play the role of coach, player and trainer in various physical activities.
At the high school level, Hill and her team recommend teachers set aside one semester of PE for health education so students learn about heart health, body mass index and other concepts that will help them monitor their health throughout their lives. The new standards also call for two semesters of lifetime sports, like tennis and golf that students can play at any age.
“Despite an ambitious timeline and volume of work to be accomplished, we were able to organize an excellent group of physical education professionals to review and revise the standards,” said Michael Comeaux, who leads the Healthy Communities Section for the state’s Department of Education.
He said Hill and her team are making a positive impact in the physical education world.
“Their passion, knowledge, experience and dedication enabled us to assemble some strong workgroups to revise the standards at all grade levels,” he said.
The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has teamed up with the Louisiana Department of Education; Louisiana Association for Health Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; the Department of Health and Hospitals; and the Alliance for a Healthier Education to develop a comprehensive physical education standards document to help PE teachers in Louisiana promote wellness and lifelong fitness from kindergarten through high school.
“When we talk to the teachers, we tell them, ‘We aren’t here to tell you how to do your job, but to help you create new ways to help teach children how to set realistic goals even at Kindergarten so they can take responsibility for their own physicality throughout their lifespan,” he said.
Contact Beth Carter
LSU Media Relations
LSU Media Relations