1. Why do we need a P.E. strategy?
The Hungarian Government considers school-based physical education a high priority. The development of the physical education strategy (P.E. strategy) is urged by several important factors, but mainly by the adverse physical and psychical situation of the adult population, as well as by the increasing risk of developing a physically inactive lifestyle among young people. The decisions on the new direction of the education – especially on the introduction of daily P.E. classes – the new core curricula contains several short and medium term challenges towards teachers and P.E. teachers. These are on one hand organisational challenges, on the other hand professional-methodological requirements that in the short term will affect on of the biggest teacher community in Hungary. The Hungarian Government commissioned the Hungarian School Sport Federation to assess and present the current situation of school-based physical education and to draft propositions for the medium term.
2. What is the objective of P.E. strategy?
With the preparation of the P.E. strategy, HSSF undertakes to indicate for the next seven year what kind of legislation works, methodological and human resources developments or investments are needed in the field of school-based physical education. Our objective is to indicate the way for development in conformity with the economic performance of Hungary and the real situation. In order to do so, it is essential to implement the strategy for physical education in the EU 2020 strategy and in the whole public education system, within the framework of the accessible funding.
3. Who is the target group?
The strategy will have the biggest impact on teachers and students. Our aim is achieve results and to introduce quality physical education in Hungary already in the short term, through the steps and programs defined in the strategy. The target group of the strategy is therefore the Government and especially the officials dealing with policy-making in the educational sphere: the Ministries concerned, the State Secretariats and the institutions maintaining schools. Our goal is to reach all the policy makers dealing with education policy and to inform them of the tasks to be performed, make them identify with the strategy and convince them to remove all the obstacles.
4. How do we do it?
We consider strategy development as a very important field, therefore we wanted to involve all the stakeholders in the process of designation of development trends. As a first step, as of summer 2013 we are carrying out a situation analysis survey among school administrations, teachers and students in relation to the following fields: effect and objective of school-based physical education (health development) challenges related to organising the educational activity (daily P.E., talent promotion) professional-methodological challenges (new core curricula, inclusion) infrastructure, equipment supply, human resources motivational questions and career orientation. Our goal is to carry out the survey on a large sample (questionnaire) in order to demonstrate the strengths, weaknesses, potentials and dangers related to current physical education. We are convinced that in this way, the interventions aiming at the development of physical education will meet with the real needs.
1. Why do we need to complete the current P.E. methodology with new elements?
Both pedagogy and P.E./sport science experienced an extraordinary development in the past 10-15 years. We believe, this is one reason why the traditional elements of the P.E. methodology should be corrected, with regards also the objectives included in new National Core Curriculum (NAT) and the frame curriculum approved by the Hungarian Government. The new contents on cultural fields, the student-oriented personal development and health conscious lifestyle entailed the urgency of reviewing the practice developed and used for decades. Therefore, we need to discover the new fundamental processes and show P.E. teachers the latest alternative methods. Furthermore, we need to find solutions to challenges arising from the implementation of daily P.E. classes, i.e. problems related to the lack of gyms as well as to inclusive physical education.
2. What does it mean to “put P.E. at the heart of health development program”?
According to the new National Core Curriculum (NAT), school-based P.E. and sport are a qualified part of the complex school health development program. P.E. classes guarantee a unique possibility to raise the attention of students on the positive values related to physical activity from both intellectual and emotive point of view, as well as to transfer knowledge in relation to healthy lifestyle. We believe that tools and methods supporting this initiative should be present in every P.E. class. In order to solve these challenges we need to give methodological support to P.E. teachers, as the principles, objectives and consistency of the new NAT changed significantly compared to the practice followed during the previous decades.
3. What is the role of talent promotion in the new methodology?
Talent promotion gained an important role, as – according to the new National Core Curriculum (NAT) – P.E. classes should serve also the purpose of talent promotion. HSSF is the organisation that has been organising for more than twenty years the only exclusive talent promotion and competition system based on public education, the Diákolimpia® (Student Olympics). It is very important for us to find and support gifted students in the field of sport. We believe that putting P.E classes at the heart of health development program and through the National Student Fitness Test (NETFIT®) we will receive clear and objective results in relation to students having an outstanding fitness condition and biological parameters compared to fellow students. Our methodological program therefore supports the individual development of students and the organisation of school-based sport activities. Our objective is to allow P.E. teachers to become core actors in the selection of talented students and in their career orientation. This may be the key to be able to select children for the adequate sport schools and for the national and sectorial junior team programs of the different sport types.
4. Will students continue regular physical activity as adults?
We cannot guarantee this, but we need to act in order to approach this objective. Similarly to adults, children are moving less and less in every corner of the World, even in Hungary. HSSF considers a priority to give all help to students within the framework of P.E. classes to be able to continue their studies and to follow a lifelong healthy lifestyle. Our objective is to be able to provide students with information on biology and nutrition, the related physical activity knowledge and of course, to develop a positive attitude towards physical activity.
5. What is the concrete role of HSSF?
The renewal of P.E. methodology is one of the first (practical) steps of the reform of the P.E. strategy. HSSF – within the framework of its projects – undertakes to organize free of charge the accreditation in-service training of 7,200 P.E. teachers; by the beginning of the school year 2014/2015, HSSF prepares the P.E. methodology handbooks, provides teachers with online material through its website and elaborates different test protocol materials (in book and DVD format). These materials will be provided to every Hungarian school free of charge and will focus on the following fields:
- general skill development
- alternative motor games
- health development
- creative and children dance
- basic relaxation movements
- further alternative P.E. class material.
HSSF is determined to cooperate with the stakeholders of higher education in order to reform the initial training of primary school teachers and P.E. teachers. Our objective is to train future P.E. teachers and to provide them with all the methodology needed to be able to plan secure P.E. classes and to create a positive environment for students.