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Physical Education's Potential to Overcome Socioeconomic Constraints

MARCH 2022

The findings from the Power of the Curriculum: Content, Context, and Learning in Physical Education study show "that despite school  socioeconomic (SES) and environmental constraints, the constructivist approach to physical education can significantly enhance student knowledge about physical activity and benefits. In addition, the power of the constructivist curriculum enables the students to overcome SES-related barrier prior knowledge to turn around in learning and gain necessary knowledge in the physical education experiences. In other words, the constructivist curriculum empowered the students to reverse the impact from their disadvantageous prior knowledge and prevail in learning. Consistent with the findings from pedagogy research, the study also reveals that, among the various environmental factors, teachers are the most prominent factor to influence student learning. Taken together the findings continue to show the power of a well-planned constructivist physical education in developing children’s scientific knowledge about physical activity and its health benefits." (Read the entire study.)


Conceptual Physical Education (CPE) that focuses on teaching knowledge is especially beneficial in helping low SES kids. CPE builds knowledge and motivations that leads to out of school activity.  


Fitness for Life Middle School Health 2E and Fitness for Life 7E


Fitness for Life, Seventh Edition, and Fitness for Life Middle School, Second Edition, are considered to be CPE programs because they use a textbook, they involve students in classroom sessions, and involve students in physical activity sessions closely tied to the content of the text and classroom sessions. Learn more about the Fitness for Life K-12 Program.