Saturday, September 24, 2011

To dodge or not to dodge ...

The subject on dodge ball and several other similar activities has been controversial for years. In my eyes this is an easy topic. A game that has children as the targets should not be promoted in a school setting. If kids want to play these games out on their own, that is there choice. However, in school it is our job as professional teachers to uphold the integrity of our mission as physical educators. The NASPE standards are aimed for child growth and motor development, variety in skills, social behavior, and among all things to be physical educated. The games that anyone can teach, well what is the point in that? If the children can teach themselves the game and play on their own, then I do  not see the purpose of playing in school.

I would not choose either kickball or dodge ball for an activity in class. These games along with the other 'hall of shame' games promote violence, bullying, ganging up on a smaller child, separation, and exclusion. Yes it can be fun if everyone enjoys the game, but not everyone in PE will. When I am a PE teacher I will do it differently. For some reason if I need a 'filler' day, perhaps kick ball could be an option, with modifications of course. The reason I would choose kickball to range off of is because it is similar to baseball and softball with running the bases and typical rules. The modifications would be that instead of being able to throw the ball at a student to get them out, the ball needs to be either caught or ran back to the base. This way, it eliminates the child as being the target. It will still be enhancing running, throwing, catching, kicking and teamwork but without the target issue. Students who do not want to play the kickball game will have ANOTHER option. Many teachers forget to give options for students. Not everyone is an athlete and defiantly not everyone enjoys sport activities. That is why if we have kickball as a 'filler' activity, I would provide an alternative option such as going to the weight room or ask for suggestions from these students. Any activity that makes a student feel uncomfortable needs to adjustable in order to ensure all students are being active during PE class. There are thousands of options out there that can be used in class. Let's keep PE an enjoyable safe environment. Ultimately that is our goal right? To create physically educated people, who will be able to enjoy activities for their life journey.

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