Publication Date


Document Type



Master of Arts in Education (MA)

MA Concentration

Teaching and Learning


Interdisciplinary, elementary physical education


Roger Pence, Pamela A. Redmond, Jim O'Connor


As of 2013, obesity was considered the most critical health issue facing children in the United States. With the potential to provide 97% of American children with regular physical activity, elementary school physical education classes could play a crucial role in preventing obesity and improving health among youth. Despite the drastic need, only 3.8% of elementary schools provide daily physical education. Budget cuts commonly lead to the elimination of physical education specialist positions, which puts the responsibility of teaching the subject into the hands of classroom teachers. Because many classroom teachers have not received professional preparation in physical education, they lack the knowledge and confidence to incorporate the subject into their curriculum.

Additionally, classroom teachers commonly avoid teaching physical education because it takes time away from the core subjects in which students must show adequate yearly progress. Even though studies suggest reducing time spent on academic subjects by as much as an hour each day does not negatively affect standardized testing scores and increasing physical education time can actually increase academic success, teachers are still reluctant to dedicate class time to physical education. Because many teachers fear taking time away from core subjects will cause standardized testing scores to suffer, an interdisciplinary approach to physical education is a practical solution. However, there is a lack of resources that provide guidelines for this methodology. To address this need, a website with interdisciplinary strategies for incorporating physical education into other subject areas was created.