When we think about standard tests in education, let alone physical education, it may send some of us into a cold sweat. Thinking of the days when coopers 12 minute run, flexed arm hang, and push up tests were a common occurrence in physical education classrooms. A joy for few - but pain, stress, and anxiety for many. Standards however, provide us feedback of where we are comparing to expectations of others our age, size, gender etc. Do standards have a place in today’s physical education classes? Have they been replaced by participation or simply showing up? Has the pendulum swung so far away from standards that our only measure of the health of our nation is obesity rates and body mass index (BMI)?
Promoting physical activity is far more simple than providing kids with a physical education. This leads to common questions like "why is physical education so much more important?" or "what is the difference between physical activity and physical education?". Simply put, physical education helps develop physical literacy. Physical activity alone, does not. Using every gimmick under the sun to get people active provides a band-aid solution at attempting to put a long-term dent in rising physical inactivity levels across our population. In comparison, physical literacy provides a cure.