The landscape of elementary school physical education

Kim C. Graber, Lawrence F. Locke, Dolly Lambdin, Melinda A. Solmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Elementary school physical education has repeatedly been shaped by the forces of history. Presently, concerns about the obesity epidemic and the low levels of physical activity in children are exerting a major influence on curriculum. Whereas building physical fitness has been a dominant influence during wartime, the focus today is on (a) providing students with ample opportunities for vigorous physical activity, (b) teaching basic motor skills, and (c) guiding children toward subsequent adoption of physically active lifestyles as adolescents and adults. The purpose here is to provide readers with information about the social context and present status of physical education in elementary schools. Attention is given to the effect of national recommendations from governmental and scientific health agencies, newly devised standards from professional organizations, recent legislative mandates, experimental trials of sustainable in-service education, and the role of research in shaping both pedagogy and curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalElementary School Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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