By Dr Ken Hardman, Professor Ken Green

The booklet offers an perception into the present scenario of PE in colleges throughout Europe as a forerunner to addressing PE-related present and rising concerns in a number of contexts.

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Extra resources for Contemporary Issues in Physical Education: International Perspectives

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As the areas of education and sport fall under the same Ministry, political decisions have also extended to the sports field. Numerous declarations related to physical education (PE) and extra-curricular sport programmes for children and youth have not been actioned at time when the position and share of PE in the curriculum has deteriorated particularly during the last five years. Moreover, because of ill-conceived solutions (such as, for example, disbanding the institution that oversaw children and youth extra-curricular sport programmes and inadequate provision of financial resources for such programmes) formulated without consultation with experienced PE domain experts, the proportion of physically active young people in these programmes has decreased (Kolar, Jurak & Kovac˘, 2010).

PE is the most popular school subject among young people, and parents attribute special significance to it for their children’s future lives (Kovac˘,Jurak, Starc & Strel, 2007). , 2010). Well organised and free of charge extra-curricular sport programmes became available for young people and attracted a high proportion of the young population group. In the period 2004-2008, some political decisions did not favour PE and sport programmes for children and youth. The number of PE lessons was reduced, inferior PE curricula were introduced and extra-curricular sport programmes were neglected.

There is only one exception and this is for the 55-59 years age group. At least two issues arise here: (i) the gradual decline with age may be interpreted as an indicator that there should be a stronger emphasis on programmes of career-long/continuing professional development (CPD); up to now in Germany, there has been no obligation for a teacher to attend any further training or continuing education once he/she is employed in the school system; and (ii) with regard to the age group 55-59 years, the data may be interpreted as an attempt by these teachers (who will have only a few more years to work before they retire) to initiate some changes in their own professional teaching and perhaps in their behaviour towards the pupils.

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