Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act Passed

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was signed into effect by President Obama in December 2015. Under the ESEA, health and physical education are now included as “well-rounded education subjects”. The inclusion of these subjects as part of a student’s well-rounded education means that health and physical education courses now have greater access to federal education funding.


Commentaries on Physical Activity and Health

Physical Literacy and the Rose: What Would Shakespeare Say?

by Thomas L. McKenzie, PhD., FACSM & Monica A. F. Lounsbery, PhD

Physical Literacy: More than Just a New Fad

by E. Paul Roetert, Ph.D., FACSM

Thom McKenzie Paul Roetert

“What’s in a name?” Is physical literacy simply “a rose by any other name”? In a recent paper,1 we identified the similarity of the terms “physically literate” and “physically educated” and, from a definitional perspective, found little difference. According to most dictionaries, literacy is identified primarily as the ability to read and write. The term, however, is often used more broadly to refer to having knowledge or competence in an area (e.g., cultural or computer literacy).

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One of the earliest mentions of the term physical literacy in an academic journal was in 1938.2 Since that time, it was seldom used until the early 1990s when the term garnered more significant interest following Margaret Whitehead’s landmark publications on the concept of physical literacy. Today, physical literacy is the goal of SHAPE America’s National Standards for K-12 Physical Education.3 This brings it in line with terminology currently used in other subject areas such as health literacy and math literacy.

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