Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Importance of Fundamental Skill Development and Assessment

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        There are many reasons why fundamental skill development has a high importance to physical education. Within every lesson plan a physical educator creates, he/she should emphasize on the students to acquire a new knowledge of skills related to the current topic. Fundamental skill development is most essential at the elementary setting because the teacher instructs the students on basic body movements. Also, learning basic movements at a young age helps the student because these skills will feel more natural as the student grows older.

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        Having the ability to develop the fundamental skills will benefit the child later in life as he/she can be competent in sports and physical activity. A child who grasps the idea on throwing a baseball properly will more likely succeed at baseball and any sport involving throwing movements. Children who are incapable of successfully performing such body functions will become easily frustrated. As a physical educator we need to possess the ability to clearly instruct our knowledge, so the students become competent in the three categories of fundamental skill development; stability, locomotor, and manipulative. If the student is not taught proper body movements it will be harder for him/her to break bad habits later in life when a coach or physical educator attempts to correct his/her technique. Three organizations who promote fundamental skill development are the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), and the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). All of these organizations devote time towards the physical activity of young children.   
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        Assessment is important as well because it allows the educator to see where the students stand with the correct knowledge and body functions on a topic. A teacher should assess his/her students three different times throughout the course of a lesson. First, pre-assessment is used to see where students are before the unit begins. Second, is the formative assessment which provides feedback during and throughout the unit. Third, post-assessment is given after the unit is completed to see what the students have learned from the unit. The assessment of a physical educator tracks the progress of a student from beginning to end. By assessing a class the educator is able to identify the students with good form, and in return be able to devote more time to the individuals encountering difficulty with the skill. Assessment of all the students provides the teacher to determine the effectiveness of previous programs and where to begin a unit.
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