Content Standards in the USA

The first edition of standards for physical education in the USA was published by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) in 1995 and subsequently revised in 2004. The current edition, the third, is published by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America, 2014). The key difference, indeed an area of progress, in this edition is the addition of specific learning outcomes for each standard at each grade level. It is not my intention here to attempt to address every grade level in terms of alignment of a standard to Game Sense, rather to select the most relevant standards and provide examples of how Game Sense content can apply at different grade levels. The 2014 content standards are provided in Table 11.1.

Intuitively, Game Sense applies most to Standard 2, so I will focus on the alignment of grade level outcomes and Game Sense lessons to that standard, with a focus on upper elementary and middle school outcomes, these being the levels at which the standards focus on game-based outcomes.

The major focus of SHAPE America outcomes for Standard 2 at the elementary level is the application of concepts, principles, tactics and strategies to

TABLE 11.1 Content standards for physical education in the USA


The physically literate individual


Demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns


Applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance


Demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a healthenhancing level of physical activity and fitness


Exhibits responsible personal and social behaviour that respects self and others


Recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction

performance, but the emphasis is placed firmly on basic movement concepts and principles such as space, levels, pathways and shapes. However, this does change at fifth grade when outcomes require application of‘basic offensive and defensive strategies and tactics’ in small-sided practice situations in invasion games and in net/wall games. Games lessons with a focus, for example, on components of restarting play in an invasion game can be very successful at this level, with tasks and questions designed to foster tactical thinking, particularly regarding where, when and how to restart play effectively. Similarly, the problem of transition in invasion games, with tasks and questions designed to encourage an understanding of why and how to transition quickly from defence to offence in an invasion game, is an aspect of Game Sense that is easily learned at this level.

The majority of Standard 2 outcomes at the middle school level are games related with all game categories represented. This should not come as a surprise given the cognitive nature of Standard 2, and these outcomes align clearly with Game Sense outcomes. Remember that Game Sense has its roots in the TGfU model, a substantially cognitive approach to teaching and learning. Table 11.2 presents examples of Standards/Outcomes and Game Sense alignment, with examples from across game categories.

Clearly then, alignment between Game Sense and both the Australian PE Standards and the SHAPE America (2014) National Standards and Grade Level Outcomes can be established rather easily. But what of the standards of other

TABLE 11.2 Examples of Alignment of SHAPE America Middle School Standard 2 outcomes with Game Sense content

SHAPE America standard and outcome

Grade-level outcome

Possible Game Sense content using modified games

S2, Ml

8th - Opens and closes space during small-sided game play by combining locomotor movements with movement concepts

Soccer or Rugby

S2, М2

7th - Creates space by staying spread out on offence, and cutting and passing quickly

Soccer or Basketball

S2, M8

7th - Selects offensive shot based on opponent’s location (hit where opponent is not)


S2, M9

6th - Selects appropriate shot and/or club based on location of the object in relation to the target

Golf or Bowling

S2, M10

6th - Identifies open spaces and attempts to strike object into that space


S2, Mil

Selects the correct defensive play based on the situation (e.g., number of outs)


countries in which GBAs are a commonly used instructional approach? In the next sections I address standards in England and Singapore for the purpose of determining whether or not such alignment is common.

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