One often overlooked aspect of K-12 education is the crucial role of physical education. Physical education, or P.E., not only improves student health, but it also improves academic performance, providing them with a host of skills and knowledge to succeed in school and beyond. Physical education teachers are educators and mentors, and a career in physical education can be rewarding and downright fun.
Below are just a few reasons to earn a Master of Science in Education in Health and Physical Education:
Physical Educators are the Backbone of Student Success
Physical educators play a crucial and unique role in students’ physical, psychological and cognitive development. Whether establishing basic competency in locomotor and non-locomotor movements at the elementary level, developing social skills in middle school or building lifelong interests and participatory behaviors in high school, physical educators instill values that lay the groundwork for student success.
Studies have shown that regular physical activity used as a break from academic learning time can result in better attention, increased on-task behaviors and improved academic performance. Those who receive a MSEd. in Health and Physical Education learn from expert faculty who hold the highest degree in their fields and share their passion for transforming student lives.
Physical Education Goes Beyond P.E. Class
Despite what television might depict, modern physical education extends way beyond physical activities. Many schools incorporate wellness curricula into their physical education programs to take a holistic approach to wellness education. These might include anything from first aid and nutrition to sexual and relationship wellness.
A master’s degree in health and physical education prepares physical educators to make deeper impacts on students’ individual and collective health. Such programs offer training in instructional practices that combine physical activity with curriculum learning backed by current research. Physical educators are also mentors, offering and modeling values that will carry students forward in life, such as motivation, teamwork, leadership and a sense of individual identity.
P.E. Can Directly Benefit Diverse Student Bodies
Those who pursue an advanced degree in physical education and health can also specialize in Adapted Physical Education (APE). According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA), physical educators with additional training in APE are responsible for ensuring that children with disabilities receive quality physical education.
The coursework for such a degree program allows potential physical educators to study best practices for differentiating instruction among students with diverse physical, emotional and cognitive abilities. It can also contribute to stress reduction in students who are overwhelmed by the demands of academic coursework while facilitating increased emotional resilience and stability.
There are Multiple Career Opportunities in This Field
Northwest’s MSEd. in Health and Physical Education program does not require a teaching certification because not all graduates of such programs go on to become P.E. teachers. This master’s degree program also prepares graduates to become adaptive physical education specialists, athletic coaches, collegiate instructors or coaches, sports managers and sports marketers, depending on one’s individual interests. The principles and research that drive this degree program are applicable in a variety of settings, and graduates are trained in everything from managing funding opportunities to using data and observation to establish, develop and improve wellness programs.
Physical Education Can Be Fun
Today’s physical fitness educators are battling a student health epidemic caused by inactivity inside and outside the classroom. The latest trends in physical education emphasize lifelong wellness activity. To promote lifelong wellness habits, physical educators increasingly turn their attention to finding activities and habits that are actually enjoyable. When students find wellness habits and fitness activities that they enjoy, they are more likely to engage in them regularly and adopt them for life.
Earning an MSEd. in Health and Physical Education not only prepares graduates to teach students about wellness, but it also offers them a career in finding innovative, fun ways to instill lifelong habits.