\ CNN - Kinder, gentler P.E. meant to get kids hooked on exercise - October 2, 1999
ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 SPACE
* HEALTH
 AIDS
 Aging
 Alternative
 Cancer
 Children
 Diet & Fitness
 Men
 Women
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 ARTS & STYLE
 NATURE
 IN-DEPTH
 ANALYSIS
 myCNN

 Headline News brief
 news quiz
 daily almanac

  MULTIMEDIA:
 video
 video archive
 audio
 multimedia showcase
 more services

  E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Or:
Get a free e-mail account

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 AsiaNow
 En Español
 Em Português
 Svenska
 Norge
 Danmark
 Italian

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 TIME INC. SITES:
 CNN NETWORKS:
Networks image
 more networks
 transcripts

 SITE INFO:
 help
 contents
 search
 ad info
 jobs

 WEB SERVICES:

  health > story pageAIDSAlternative MedicineCancerDiet & FitnessHeartMenSeniorsWomen

Kinder, gentler P.E. meant to get kids hooked on exercise

physical education class
Instructors are boosting confidence levels by designing classes in which students participate at their own level  

October 2, 1999
Web posted at: 6:50 p.m. EDT (2250 GMT)


In this story:

'For every youngster'

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



From Reporter Kathleen Koch

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Remember the old-time gym classes, with strenuous calisthenics, screaming drill instructors and constant competition?

Well, in some schools these days, that kind of physical education class is just a bad memory, replaced by a kinder, gentler gym philosophy called 'new P.E.'

 VIDEO
VideoKathleen Koch reports that many physical education teachers today promote individual performance rather than competition to become the best athlete in the class.
Windows Media 28K 80K
 

Gone are the rigorous exercises and games where the skilled students excelled and the weak struggled. Instead, instructors are boosting confidence levels and the fun factor by designing classes where everyone participates at their own level.

'For every youngster'

"Athletics are great. But physical education is for every youngster -- to help them learn about themselves, learn about their bodies, learn ways to become physically active but not necessarily to compete," said Dr. George Graham, a P.E. professor at Virginia Tech.

girl and hula-hoop
 

In schools with new P.E., grades are based not on who is the strongest or fastest but who can meet their own personal standards in various exercise disciplines.

For example, students might be judged on whether they can reach their target heart rate level and keep it for a certain period of time, rather than who can run the farthest or fastest or lift the most weight. Or they might be graded on how much they improve their level of fitness over time.

"The goal is ... to get kids to strive to better themselves and where they are," says Barbara Clark, a P.E. teacher at Woodson High School in Virginia. "It's a fitness goal. It's no so much a competitive goal."

The switch is being made because the old-style gym classes were making exercise a turnoff for youngsters -- one in five of whom is overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But for the "new P.E." to change sedentary lifestyles, experts say kids need more exposure to it. Lack of time and money has caused most schools to offer P.E. only one to three days per week.



RELATED SITES:
Welcome to Virginia Tech
PE Central: The Web Site for Physical Education Teachers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

LATEST HEALTH STORIES:
China SARS numbers pass 5,000
Report: Form of HIV in humans by 1940
Fewer infections for back-sleeping babies
Pneumonia vaccine may help heart, too
 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.