The Role of Students in Health and Physical Education

Health and Physical Education classes provide students with opportunities to develop their higher-order thinking skills and make connections to the world in which they live. By recognizing these connections, students can apply their learning while making decisions about their health and well-being.

Students are responsible for actively participating in their own learning. As students recognize that health-related decisions can have significant effects on the physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and spiritual aspects of their lives and the lives of others, they learn effective decision-making skills. Students can also learn to communicate respectfully with one another and with the educator. By considering the possible impact of their comments, prior to sharing them with the class, students demonstrate maturity and consideration for others.

Theory into Practice - Consider co-constructing criteria for students to use as filters when sharing their comments with the class.

Before speaking in class, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Is it necessary?

In order for students to participate effectively in an increasingly global, connected, and complex world, they must develop respectful attitudes towards a wide variety of values, perspectives, and identities. In Health and Physical Education classes, students not only need to reflect on their own prejudices, stereotypes, and biases about the learning, but also engage in opportunities to understand and appreciate diverse experiences and points of view. When students can recognize that we all possess unique perspectives, personal histories, and identities, they are more likely to respect one another. Acknowledging differences can lead to a caring, safe, inclusive classroom and school environment.

Theory into Practice – Consider having students read personal accounts of community members and share them with the class. Use role play with students to help them view issues from a variety of perspectives.

Additional information regarding the role of students in H&PE may be found on pages 12–13 of the Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 to 12, Health and Physical Education.