Constructivist Learning in K-5 Physical Education


Constructivist Learning in K-5 Physical Education

Matthew Cummiskey

Temple University

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What is constructivist teaching


Constructivist Principles

• Encourage students to arrive at answers in different ways

• Invite students to describe how they generated solutions to the learning problems

• Have students articulate, defend, refine and adjust their own strategies to solve problems

• Establish classroom social norms for listening to other and sharing solutions

• Build learning on students previous knowledge while integrating concepts into broad understanding (pathways)

Advantages for Students-

Improves the following:

• Positive self image & confidence

– slanted rope

• Critical thinking

Movement vocabulary

• Creativity

• Self-responsibility

• Enjoyment of class

• Social interaction

Advantages for Teachers

• Get “inside” a child’s head

• Adjust teaching based on responses

• More interaction with students

• Involve multiple movement education concepts and skill themes

• Non-competitive or low competitive level

• Higher activity time

• Promotes leadership and success

• Higher interscholastic participation rates



• Guided Discovery

• Problem Solving

• Reciprocal

• Convergent


• Command

• Practice

Constructivism at Its Best

The basics of

• Movement Education (K-3)

• Movement Education Schedule

• Skill Themes (4-5)

• Skill Themes Schedule

See material under “curriculum and teaching models” tab on homepage

Spiral Curriculum


K – Self Space

K1 – Range

1 st – Force

2 nd – Pathways

3 rd – Rhythm

4 th – Movement and Position

4 th – Bounce Pass

5 th – Cooperative

5 th – Throwing Challenge

Develop your own constructivist lesson using the movement education or skill themes approach

Constructivism – Helps children become skillful movers and develop positive attitudes towards themselves and physical activity.



– portfolio/conferences/presentati ons.htm

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