National Standards for Physical Education

  • National Standards for Physical Education


    Physical activity is critical to the development and maintenance of good health. The goal of physical education is to develop physically educated individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity.


    A physically educated person:

    Standard 1:
    Demonstrates competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.

    Standard 2:
    Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities.

    Standard 3:
    Participates regularly in physical activity.

    Standard 4:
    Achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.

    Standard 5:
    Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings.

    Standard 6:
    Values physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expressions and/or social interaction.

    Source: National Association for Sport and Physical Education. (2004). Moving into the future: National standards for physical education (2nd ed.). Reston, VA: Author.

    Appropriate Physical Education Instruction:

    • Full inclusion of all students
    • Maximum practice opportunities for class activities
    • Well-designed lessons that facilitate student learning
    • Out of school assignments that support learning and practice
    • No physical activity for punishment
    • Uses regular assessment to monitor and reinforce student learning

    Opportunity to Learn:

    • Instructional periods totaling 150 minutes per week (elementary) and 225 minutes per week (middle and secondary school)
    • Qualified physical education specialist providing a developmentally appropriate program
    • Adequate equipment and facilities

    Meaningful Content:

    • Instruction in a variety of motor skills that are designed to enhance the physical, mental, and social/emotional development of every child
    • Fitness education and assessment to help children understand, improve and/or maintain their physical well-being
    • Development of cognitive concepts about motor skill and fitness
    • Opportunities to improve their emerging social and cooperative skills and gain a multi-cultural perspective
    • Promotion of regular amounts of appropriate physical activity now and throughout life