Methods of Teaching Physical Education ("Methods") is a required course for students seeking health and physical education teacher licensure. It is the first course in a two-course series formerly entitled, "Instruction and Curriculum I & II" (HSES 320 & 410). It focuses on the daily curriculum, whereas the second course, "Curriculum Design in Physical Education," provides a more global view by examining the curriculum on a unit and year-long basis. "Methods" is designed to develop effective teaching skills (managerial, instructional, and interpersonal) that will enable them to create a classroom environment where learning takes place. Students systematically learn skills and then apply them in a variety of laboratory experiences.

Historical Background

The evolution of this course dates back to Spring, 1993. It has been offered annually almost every year since then. The first title of the course was, "Selecting Content in Physical Education" (HSES 420). It transitioned to "Instruction & Curriculum I" (HSES 320) in Fall, 1993, and finally the name of the course was changed to "Methods" in Fall, 2003. When the Health & Physical Education Teacher Licensure Block System went into effect in Fall 2004, "Methods" was placed in Block 2, or the spring semester of the junior year.


The main objectives of this course are to enable students to develop knowledge, skills, and the ability to reflect and improve their own teaching skills. As stated on the course syllabus, the objectives are as follows...

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of effective teaching strategies in physical education.

  2. Successfully implement effective teaching skills in a peer teaching situation and at a local school.

  3. Reflect upon and assess his/her teaching skills and develop a plan for improvement.

Course Design

Playing tennis requires one to learn and practice a number of skills such as the forehand, backhand, serve, overhead smash, and more. A coach would isolate each skill and drill players until they achieve some level of mastery. The players' success depends upon how well they integrate these skills and develop the ability to use them as necessary in an interactive game situation.

In the same way, the teaching act can be broken down into a series of behaviors or skills. Preservice teachers can learn and practice these skills in lab situations. But their ultimate success in the classroom is dependent upon their ability to interact with the teaching situation and use their skills as necessary. The goal of a tennis player is to earn points and win the game. The goal of an effective teacher is to bring about student learning. This course is designed to facilitate the development of teaching skills necessary to produce learning in the physical education classroom.

In order to meet the course objectives (knowledge, skills, reflection), the course is designed to enable students to:

  1. Gain knowledge through readings, discussion, and the observation of teaching and student behaviors (live and on video).

  2. Develop skills through laboratory experiences in which they practice selected teaching behaviors.

  3. Reflect upon the quality of their skills and their ability to utilize them appropriately.

One unique feature of the course design is peer observation and feedback. The students are encouraged to treat the development of teaching skills as a cooperative process in which one freely gives and receives constructive criticism.