Virtual physical education lessons – does it make sense?

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Virtual physical education lessons – does it make sense?

The COVID-19 pandemic is back in full swing, and for some time now all school classes have been conducted online. The restrictions have also applied to physical education, which due to its specificity is a subject particularly limited by remote teaching. This raises the question: is it really worth organizing virtual PE?

September and October last year were the only months since the outbreak of the pandemic during which schools were bustling with activity. Online classes are slowly becoming something completely normal and everything indicates that this situation for the vast majority will not change soon. By the decision of the Ministry of Education and Science, only the youngest students of elementary school in grades 1-3 will cross the thresholds of their schools.

Lack of regular contact with peers and inability to participate in traditional lessons have a negative impact on students’ psyche, which is also connected with the issue of physical condition. Among the classes that lose the most quality in the virtual version is certainly PE.

Physical education teachers from various schools are unanimous – the curriculum of their subject is by definition based on team games, which cannot be conducted through online meetings. Therefore, classes have taken on a general developmental form and now consist mainly of not too complicated exercises that can be performed in a home environment. Although there are some unfortunate exceptions…

Małgorzata Klich told WP Sportowe Fakty about the problems connected with the remote teaching of physical education. The mother of a primary footballer of Leeds United, and a teacher by profession, revealed that her classes are now based primarily on health education. To this end, she uses a variety of apps to show her pupils, for example, how to calculate their calorie intake correctly. However, she is also well aware that theoretical PE lessons are a short-term solution.

Other serious problems that teachers point out are the honesty of students and their reliable approach to remote classes. The motivation to actively participate in online meetings is becoming less and less, while the number of young people not even turning on their webcam for the meeting is growing. Thus, it is impossible for the teachers to determine whether the students show any initiative.

Opinions and experiences of teachers leave no doubt – P.E. is not a subject designed for remote teaching, and conducting virtual classes of this type often misses the point. When will students be able to return to school and enjoy the competition during team games again? At the moment the answer to this question is unknown. Minister Przemysław Czarnek only announced that it will be possible to consider such a possibility only when the morbidity drops to the level of several thousand cases per day.

Featured photo: Freepik

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