A group of students play basketball in a school gymnasium.

Physical education is one part of the elementary and high school curriculum that periodically comes under scrutiny. Some people view physical education as an important way to teach children the value of exercise, while others consider gym far less important than academics and standardized test scores. Therefore, physical education teachers must have clearly defined goals and objectives of physical education that outline physical education learning goals and measurable outcomes.

Physical Education Learning Goals

Physical education teachers are often the only adults in a child's life who can teach him the fundamentals of playing sports. For some children, this might be the first time they are holding a bat, kicking a ball or trying to score points. Teachers can focus on one skill at a time, such as the proper way to hold a baseball bat, to help children improve their game for life. Your lesson plan should clearly define your physical education goals for the children that they will achieve through the activities presented. For example, learning to skillfully use sports equipment can improve hand-eye coordination and dexterity. By practicing a new skill with children every week or every two weeks, you will ensure they graduate from the year with a collection of improved abilities. Physical education objectives and examples can extend to helping students achieve better body image, self-esteem and self-confidence.

Physical Education Program Goals

The goals and objectives of a physical education program include teaching lessons that apply to life, as well as sports. Children who know how to quickly learn and follow rules are better able to take direction in the classroom, which can help them achieve academically. Similar to the skills involved in playing games, children might be unaware of the rules of some sports games. One objective of the P.E. teacher should be to teach the rules of sportsmanship basic games such as soccer, basketball and baseball, while introducing other games to children that they might not know. These can include dodgeball, tennis, kickball, football, squash, lacrosse and swimming. Presenting students with a game they would otherwise be unaware of gives them a chance to play more sports outside of school. If they have no interest in the standard games but enjoy squash, for example, they may become more active.

Physical Education Goals for Students

Don’t assume students understand the critical importance of exercise in maintaining health throughout their life span. For sedentary children, the amount of exercise your students will get per week depends on how many hours your school has allotted to the physical education period. No matter how many hours or how little, this class gives the children a chance to move around and be active, possibly for the only time all day. With the abundance of video games, social media and music videos, children have more temptation than ever before to just sit on the couch. The goal of physical education for students is to show them that exercise is fun and important.

Main Purpose of Physical Education

The main purpose of physical education is to teach wellness, which must include physical activity, not just health eating. Physical education educates students on the lifelong goal of the class, which is to incorporate regular exercise into their daily lives. Physical education teachers can explain the benefits of exercise, as well as the problems that can arise from inactivity, such as obesity, high cholesterol levels and overall poor health. Children should end the year with the importance of exercise impressed upon them.