K-12 Physical Education



This document will be used to assess NC Physical Education Teacher Education Programs (K-12 Initial Licensure, Physical Education) for state accreditation approval. As such, it is critical to keep in mind that the standards and indicators below are representative of the knowledge and competencies of teacher candidates who have just completed a four-year teacher preparation program in physical education. These competencies, along with further teaching experience within the public schools, will provide novice teachers with a solid foundation of knowledge and teaching skills necessary to advance to the mastery level competencies representative of experienced and effective physical educators in K-12 programs.


The conceptual framework for these standards was based upon the North Carolina Core Standards for Teachers and the 2001 draft of the NASPE/NCATE Standards for Initial Physical Education Teacher Education Programs. Within this conceptual framework, the panel formulated one major goal of alignment with the following documents: a) NASPE/NCATE Standards for Initial Physical Education Teacher Education Programs, b) NC Core Standards for Teachers, c) INTASC Standards, and d) North Carolina Standard Course of Study, Healthful Living, K-12 (Physical Education component). In addition, efforts were made to address and support the North Carolina State Board of Education initiatives. The draft of NASPE/NCATE Standards for the Initial Physical Education Teacher Education Programs was modified, as needed, to address specific aspects relative to North Carolina Initial Teacher Licensure in Physical Education.


The document format was adopted to align closely with both the NASPE/NCATE Standards for Initial Physical Education Teacher Education Programs and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, Healthful Living, K-12 (Physical Education component), in terms of both standards and common terminology. Each standard represents the large-scale picture of what the teacher candidate will know and be expected to do within the context of the specific standard. The indicators represent the explicit behaviors/actions and knowledge necessary to demonstrate that the teacher candidate has successfully met the standard.


The term developmentally appropriate is used consistently throughout the document. The following NASPE definition reflects its intent: ADevelopmentally appropriate practices in physical education are those which recognize children’s changing capacities to move and those which promote such change. A developmentally appropriate physical education program accommodates a variety of individual characteristics such as developmental status, previous movement experiences, fitness and skill levels, body size, and age. Instructionally appropriate physical education incorporates the best known practices, derived from both research and experiences teaching children, into a program that maximizes opportunities for learning and success for all children.” (NASPE/COPEC, 1992)



Standards and Indicators



Standard 1: Content Knowledge

A physical education teacher understands physical education content, sub-disciplinary concepts, and tools of inquiry related to the development of a physically educated person. This standard represents the discipline specific content and skill knowledge.



Physical Education Teachers:


Indicator 1:    Identify critical elements of motor skill performance, and combine motor skills into developmentally appropriate sequences.


Indicator 2:    Demonstrate competent motor skill performance in a variety of physical activity categories consistent with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, Healthful Living, K-12 (Physical Education component).


Indicator 3:    Describe performance concepts and strategies related to skillful movement and physical activity.


Indicator 4:    Describe and apply bioscience and psycho-social concepts to skillful movement, physical activity, and fitness.


Indicator 5:    Understand and debate current physical education/activity issues and laws based on historical, philosophical, sociological, psychological, and economical perspectives.


Indicator 6:    Demonstrate knowledge of approved local, state, and national content standards (e.g. Physical Education, K-12).


Indicator 7:    Demonstrate knowledge of principles related to organization and administration of physical education programs.



Standard 2: Growth and Development

A physical education teacher understands how individuals learn and develop in order to provide opportunities that support physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. The focus of this standard is application of growth and development concepts to specific teaching experiences.



Physical Education Teachers:


Indicator 1:    Monitor individual and group performance in order to ensure safe instruction that meets learner developmental needs in the physical, cognitive, and social/emotional domains.


Indicator 2:    Understand the biological, psychological, sociological, experiential, and environmental factors that impact the ability to learn and refine movement skills.


Indicator 3:    Identify, select, and implement developmentally appropriate learning/practice opportunities based on understanding the interaction of the learner, the learning environment, and the activity/task to promote learning.



Standard 3: Management and Motivation

A physical education teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a safe learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. This standard is concerned with the teacher candidate’s use of a variety of strategies to institute behavior change, manage resources, promote mutual respect and self-responsibility, and motivate students.



Physical Education Teachers:


Indicator 1:    Use managerial routines that create productive learning experiences and environments.


Indicator 2:    Organize, allocate, and manage resources to provide active and equitable learning experiences.


Indicator 3:    Use a variety of developmentally appropriate practices to motivate learners to participate in physical activity inside and outside of the school.


Indicator 4:    Use strategies to help learners demonstrate responsible personal and social behaviors that promote positive relationships and a productive learning environment.


Indicator 5:    Develop effective behavior management strategies.



Standard 4: Communication

A physical education teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and multi-media communication techniques to enhance learning and engagement in physical activity settings. Teacher candidates demonstrate sensitivity to all learners, and model appropriate behavior.



Physical Education Teachers:


Indicator 1:    Communicate in ways that demonstrate sensitivity to all learners.


Indicator 2:    Communicate managerial and instructional information in a variety of ways.


Indicator 3:    Describe and demonstrate effective communication skills.


Indicator 4:    Describe and implement strategies for enhancing interpersonal communication among learners in physical activity settings.



Standard 5: Pedagogy

A physical education teacher plans and implements a variety of developmentally appropriate instructional strategies to develop physically educated individuals based on local, state, and national content standards (e.g., Physical Education, K-12). This standard deals specifically with pedagogical knowledge and application. The core of this standard will be a series of sequential and progressive field experiences that allow teacher candidates to refine, extend, and apply their teaching skills.




Physical Education Teachers:


Indicator 1:    Identify, develop, and implement developmentally appropriate program and instructional goals.


Indicator 2:    Create developmentally appropriate short and long-term plans that are linked to program goals, learner needs, and performance levels.


Indicator 3:    Select and implement instructional strategies, based on content, learner needs, facilities and equipment, context, and safety issues, to enhance learning in the physical activity setting.


Indicator 4:    Design and implement learning experiences that are safe, developmentally appropriate, relevant, and based on principles of effective instruction.


Indicator 5:    Apply pedagogical and sub-disciplinary knowledge in developing and implementing effective learning environments and experiences.


Indicator 6:    Provide learning experiences that allow learners to integrate knowledge and skills from multiple content areas.


Indicator 7:    Select and utilize teaching resources and curriculum materials.


Indicator 8:    Select developmentally appropriate instructional cues and prompts to link physical education/activity concepts to appropriate learning experiences.


Indicator 9:    Develop a repertoire of direct and indirect instructional strategies to accommodate student learning in movement settings.



Standard 6: Learner Assessment

A physical education teacher understands and uses assessment to foster physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of learners in physical activity. Teacher candidates will use various forms of authentic and traditional assessment to determine achievement, provide feedback to students, and guide instruction. Critical to this process will be an analysis of the appropriateness of various assessments.



Physical Education Teachers:


Indicator 1:    Identify key components of various types of assessment, describe their appropriate and inappropriate use, and address issues of validity, reliability, and bias.


Indicator 2:    Use a variety of appropriate authentic and traditional assessment techniques to assess learner performance, provide feedback, and communicate learner progress.


Indicator 3:    Involve learners in self and peer assessment.


Indicator 4:    Interpret and use performance data to make informed curricular and instructional decisions.



Standard 7: Technology

A physical education teacher uses a variety of technologies to enhance learning, as well as personal and professional productivity.



Physical Education Teachers:


Indicator 1:    Demonstrate knowledge of current technologies and their application in physical education.


Indicator 2:    Design, develop, and implement learning activities that integrate information technology.


Indicator 3:    Use technologies to communicate, network, locate resources, and enhance continuing professional development.



Standard 8: Diverse Learners

A physical education teacher understands how individuals differ in their approaches to learning, and therefore creates appropriate instruction adapted to these differences. Through this standard, teacher candidates demonstrate their ability to plan and implement learning experiences that are sensitive to diverse learners.



Physical Education Teachers:


Indicator 1:    Identify, select, and implement appropriate instruction that is sensitive to strengths/ weaknesses, multiple needs, learning styles, and/or experiences of learners.


Indicator 2:    Identify and/or use appropriate strategies, services, and resources to meet diverse needs of all learners.


Indicator 3:    Create a learning environment that respects and incorporates learners’ cultural experiences.



Standard 9: Reflection & Professional Growth

A physical education teacher is a reflective practitioner who evaluates the effects of his/her actions on others (e.g., learners, parents/guardians, and fellow professionals) and seeks opportunities to grow professionally. This standard can be met through a series of learning experiences that promote self-reflection on the part of teacher candidates.



Physical Education Teachers:


Indicator 1:    Apply the five-step NC Performance-Based Licensure Product reflection cycle to reflect on teacher candidates’ actions and learner responses in order to improve instruction and enhance learning.


Indicator 2:    Use available resources to develop as a physical education professional.


Indicator 3:    Construct a plan for continued professional growth.




Standard 10: Collaboration

A physical education teacher fosters relationships with colleagues, parents/guardians, and community agencies to support learners’ growth and well-being. This standard also encourages teacher candidates to seek opportunities to promote and advocate for quality physical education.



Physical Education Teachers:


Indicator 1:    Pursue productive relationships with parents/guardians and school colleagues, to support learner growth and well-being.


Indicator 2:    Identify strategies to become an advocate in the school and community to promote a variety of physical activity opportunities.


Indicator 3:    Actively participate in physical education/activity professional organizations.


Indicator 4:    Identify and seek community resources to enhance physical education opportunities.



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