These are interesting times (2006) to be working in Physical Education and School Sport (PESS). 2004 was designated the European Year of Education through Sport, and 2005 was named the United Nations’ International Year of Physical Education and Sport. In the United Kingdom, 2002 saw the emergence of the well-funded Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) strategy that involved a number of initiatives aimed at raising levels of participation.
The separate nations have gone on to promote the subject within their own contexts, such as England’s Public Service Agreement aimed at increasing the percentage of children spending a minimum of two hours each week on ‘high quality’ PESS, and Scotland’s decision to train specialist teachers for Primary Schools.
Implicit within these policies and initiatives is a view that, in some way, PESS has significant and distinctive contributions to make to children, to schools, and to wider society. What are these contributions? Advocates have listed numerous positive outcomes associated with participation in PESS. For example, the International Council for Physical Education and Sport Science claims that PESS helps children to develop respect for the body – their own and others’, contributes towards the integrated development of mind and body, develops an understanding of the role of aerobic and anaerobic physical activity in health, positively enhances self-confidence and self-esteem, and enhances social and cognitive development and academic achievement (ICSSPE, 2001). In a similar vein, a Council of Europe report suggests that PESS provides opportunities to meet and communicate with other people, to take different social roles, to learn particular social skills (such as tolerance and respect for others), and to adjust to team / collective objectives (such as co-operation and cohesion), and that it provides experience of emotions that are not available in the rest of life (Svoboda, 1994).
Editor's comments - [ The aim of this Academic Review is to examine claims about the impact of PE and School sport by reviewing critically their empirical and theoretical bases. So many claims have been made over the years for the benefits of PESS, and in such confident tones, that an innocent observer might assume that the case has been made conclusively, and that there is little more to be said on the matter. A valuable service that academics can provide, in this regard, is to ask some searching questions about the nature and validity of these statements. In other words, we can seek to distinguish between advocacy rhetoric and scientific evidence. This, the authors suggest, is a vital and timely task. ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>
In the text: Cryer (year)
Reference : Bailey, R. Armour, K. Kirk, D. Jess, M. Pickup, I. Sandford, R. (2006). The educational benefits claimed for physical education and school sport: An academic review. London: BERA
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