About Comprehensive Health and Physical Education
Successful preparation of students for the opportunities, rigors and advances of the 21st Century cannot be accomplished without a strong and sustained emphasis on the health and wellness of all students. Today’s students are continually bombarded with physical, mental, and social influences that affect not only learning in school, but also the lifelong health of the citizens that schools are preparing for graduation. To that end, the New Jersey Student Learning Standards - Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (NJSLS-CHPE) were revised to address the need for students to gain knowledge and skills in caring for themselves, interact effectively with others, and analyze the impact of choices and consequences. The NJSLS-CHPE mission and vision reflect this perspective:
All students will acquire the knowledge and skills of what is most essential to become individuals who possess health and physical literacy and pursue a life of wellness by developing the habits necessary to live healthy, productive lives that positively impact their families, schools and communities.
A quality comprehensive health and physical education program fosters a population that:
• Maintains mental health awareness and relies on social/emotional support systems;
• Engages in a physically active lifestyle; • Maintains awareness of health and wellness and how to access resources;
• Recognizes the influence of media, peers, technology, and cultural norms in making informed health-related decisions as a consumer of health products and wellness services;
• Practices effective cross-cultural communication and conflict resolution skills;
• Builds and maintains healthy relationships;
• Accepts and respects individual and cultural differences; and • Advocates for personal, family, community, and global wellness and is aware of local, national and global public health and climate change issues.
Spirit and Intent
The NJSLS-CHPE highlights the expectation that all students participate in a high-quality, K-12 sequential, health and physical education program that emphasizes 21st Century skills and interdisciplinary connections to empower students to live a healthy active lifestyle. The standards provide a blueprint for curriculum development, instruction, and assessment, and reflect the latest research for effective health and physical education programs. The primary focus of the standards consists of the development of concepts and skills that promote and influence healthy behaviors.
The foundation of the NJSLS-CHPE reflects three dimensions — health and physical education practices, disciplinary concepts and core ideas. The performance expectations are derived from the interplay of these three dimensions. It is essential that these three components are integrated in all learning experiences. Within each standard document, the three dimensions are intentionally presented as integrated components to foster healthy interaction, self-care, and choices and consequences. Because the NJSLS-CHPE is built on the notions of coherence and developing skills, each of the health and physical education practices and emphases on developing and building health-related skills appear multiple times across topics and at every grade level. Additionally, the three dimensions should be an integral part of every curriculum unit and should not be taught in isolation.
The NJSLS-CHPE revised standards incorporate rigorous evidence-based processes resulting in a focus on concepts that are essential for lifelong student wellness. This set of standards disaggregates disciplinary concepts of health and physical education into three standards, adds ten practices to promote student-centered learning, develops K-12 learning progressions for disciplinary concepts, and incorporates legislative requirements into the standards. In addition, the standards reflect the current thinking and best practices found in health and physical education documents published by national content-specific organizations as well as public health and other education organizations and agencies.
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