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Physical Education

The following process was used to identify standards and benchmarks for physical education:

Identification of Significant Reports

Three reports were identified as useful documents for identifying physical education standards: Moving into the Future: National Standards for Physical Education: A Guide to Content and Assessment (1995) and Outcomes of Quality Physical Education Programs (1992), both from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE); and a draft of the Michigan Department of Education's Physical Education: Content Standards and Benchmarks (1996).

Selection of the Reference Document

The NASPE's Moving into the Future: National Standards for Physical Education: A Guide to Content and Assessment (1995) was selected as the reference document for identifying standards and benchmarks. The Standards were developed with the input of physical education professionals across the country. The work was also based on the Outcomes of Quality Physical Education Programs (1992) from NASPE.

Identification of Standards and Benchmarks

NASPE's Standards work shares a number of features with our model for the identification of benchmarks and standards. First, the standards statements in the document are expressed at an appropriate level of generality, since they are stated broadly enough to allow for benchmark statements to be articulated across K12. In addition, beneath each standard, the document provides various descriptions of the knowledge and skills that students should acquire from K12, stated for selected developmental levels.

There were a few areas, however, in which the document was not directly compatible with our approach. Beneath each standard, student knowledge and skill is described in several sections: a paragraph summarizing the knowledge and abilities expected for the grade range under discussion; a more specific list of those skills that should receive particular emphasis; and sample "performance benchmarks," assessment examples, and criteria for assessment. Frequently, it was necessary to take information from several of these sections in order to construct each benchmark. This was done, for example, when the assessment criteria section could provide additional information on the knowledge or skills identified, or when material from still another section helped to make a benchmark less narrow in scope, or when specific examples of the kind of knowledge and skills required was found to be useful. In addition to this modification in the content, some changes for the grade range of the material were necessary. The reference work has seven levels: kindergarten, and grades 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12. Because our benchmarks are at primary, upper elementary, middle, and high school, we adopted the following method for aligning the grade levels between the two documents in order to maintain as much grade-specific information as possible. For the primary grades (level I), the information from grade 2 of the reference material was our primary source, but it was supplemented with information from kindergarten for any descriptions of knowledge or skill that weren't encompassed by the material at grade 2. Similarly, for our level II, we identified grade 6 as the primary source of information, using grade 4 material from the reference document wherever material was found that was not presented at grade 6. Middle school (level III) was defined as grades 78 and was taken solely from grades 78 in the reference work; high school (level IV) was identified from the material at grades 10 and 12, again using the material from the earlier grade to supplement information taken primarily from the later grade.

Integration of Information from Other Documents

Additional material from NASPE was also used and cited in many benchmarks. Their 1992 Outcomes document provided us numerous examples or elaborations on material found in their Standards document. Also helpful was a draft of physical education standards from Michigan's department of education. This draft occassionally provided some explanatory material that was useful for completing benchmark ideas developed from the NASPE documents. The Michigan document was cited not only in those instances where additional material was used, but also wherever similar ideas were found both in the Michigan draft and in the standards and benchmarks that were developed for this report.