Introduction to Curriculum
• Ultimately a curriculum is about planning
instruction in order to maximize student
learning thereby promoting lifetime
physical activity.
Why is a Curriculum Important?
• There are many reasons but let’s discuss
two quotes
– Failure to plan is planning to fail
– If You're Not Sure Where You're Going,
You're Liable To End Up Someplace Else
Who should be involved in the
curriculum writing process?
• PE teachers
– The more the better because that increases buy-in.
If your district has a physical education coordinator,
he/she should also be present.
• Students
– Invaluable having student perspectives but this is not
• Depending on district
– District curriculum coordinator (person who helps in
the development of several curriculums)
– Parents
– Admin
What is the Basis for a
• The standards provide a basis for what
students should know and be able to do.
– In most cases, when you are employed in a
school district, the curriculum will have already
been written and you will be updating it.
– There are a litany of PE curriculums on the
internet, some we will discuss in this course.
They are valuable resources but as with
anything on the internet, you must be a
“discerning consumer.”
When is a Curriculum Created?
• Typically in the summer as part of a paid
stipend. The amount varies by district,
some do not offer monetary
Organizing a Curriculum
• K-12 with grade level sections
– Each grade level (ES, MS, HS) creates a curriculum
that may be combined into one overall curriculum
– Generally the case with PE curriculums
• K-12 without grade level sections
– Not recommended because the content, instructional
models, assessments, and organization of the content
(units v. spiral curriculum) vary so much across the
grade levels. These curriculums attempt to “do it all”
but cannot be “all things to all people.”
Organizing a Curriculum
• The grade levels should periodically meet to align the
– Elementary PE should provide students with the adequate
skills to succeed in MS. Likewise, MS PE should provide
students with the necessary skills to succeed in HS PE.
– The depth of elementary content should stop where MS
begins and so on (a little overlap is OK).
• A major complaint of students in PE is that they do the same thing
year after year. If a curriculum is properly aligned, this will not
Organizing a Curriculum
• Minimum Components (Rink, 2007)
Philosophy statement
Specific program goals
Sequence of performance indicators/objectives/outcomes
Content framework
Yearly block plan
Placing the objectives into units
Assessment meant to verify learning
Examples from other
• Generally curriculums start with a mission
and philosophy statement. However, the
next several components vary, yet each
method is systematic and organized.
– See examples
Our Curriculum
1 – contextual characteristics
2 – mission and philosophy statement
3 – instructional model
4 – goals and objectives
5 – organizational framework
6 – student assessment
7 – technology and equipment
8 – program and teacher evaluation
9 – extending PE
10 – resources
Characteristics of a Good Curriculum
• The document is user-friendly and has day-to-day
The content is specific enough to provide guidance for
lesson and unit planning but not overly restrictive as to
subvert teacher creativity and independence
Content is aligned with the standards
Progressive sequence that is developmentally
appropriate over the years
Assessment materials included that measure
achievement of the goals and objectives
Verbiage confusion?
• You will find curriculums use several words to
express similar concepts. For example:
• Enduring understandings
• Guiding questions
• Benchmarks
• Outcomes
• Indicators (performance indicators)
• Standard statements
• Goals
• Objectives
• You must determine what level of specificity is
being used.
Brief Tangent
Role Conflict?: PE Teacher & Coach
 Always remember, your primary responsibility is
to students, all 100% of them, not just the
 Beware shortchanging PE for athletics. Doing
so deprives students of the education they
deserve and contributes to poor wellness as
adults – something YOU are responsible for.
There is NO EXCUSE for hurting students in
this manner.