National physical education standards: A summary of student performance and its correlates

Heather E. Erwin, Darla M. Castelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


This study was one of the first to examine elementary student performance on the first four national standards for physical education (National Association for Sport and Physical Education, 2004). Motor skill competency, strategic knowledge, physical activity, and physical fitness measures were collected from fourth- and fifth-grade students (N = 180) in the midwestern United States. Students demonstrated difficulty in attaining all four standards, particularly physical activity. Both personal demographics and physical attributes influenced performance. In particular, gender was a correlate of motor competency. Although the expectations may not be attainable at given times because of developmental differences, the study results provide some support for the value of guiding students to competency in all standards, as opposed to a single expectation. These findings also suggest continued use of the standards as a framework for physical education. Further research is warranted to explain student performance levels and develop effective methods for competency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-505
Number of pages11
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Motor skills
  • Physical activity
  • Physical fitness
  • Strategic knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Nephrology


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