----2018 ICHPER.SD Forum. Held in conjunction with the SHAPE America Annual Convention and Exposition: March 20-24, 2018 Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.-------The 44th Volume of the Journal of ICHPER-SD has been released and sent via e-mail to all members.-------

International Standards for Physical Education and Sport for School Children

International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance (ICHPER•SD)

in collaboration with
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)


Assemble and articulate the collective voice of professional organizations in the establishing the Standards.

Establish global standards enabling quality physical education curricula in schools, thus, helping insure that every child and adolescent is physically educated?a fundamental human right (UN Charter).


Provide content standards which form the foundation for developing and assessing all school-based physical education curricula.

Communicate globally, the nature of physical education curricula depicting essential content common to all curricula.

Establish operational definitions enabling, implicitly, distinctions and relationships between/among physical education and allied fields (e.g., dance, health, recreation, sport).

Establish operational definitions enabling global dialogue, research, understanding, and exchanges among professionals and between professionals and leaders of government agencies.


For the purposes of this document the following definitions are used.

Physical Education

An academic content area, physical education is comprised of two major components: human movement and physical fitness (motor and health-related); and is based on the following disciplines: motor learning, motor development, kinesiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, sport psychology, sport sociology, and aesthetics.

Physically Educated Person

A physically educated person HAS learned skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities; IS physically fit; DOES participate regularly in physical activity; KNOWS implications of and benefits from involvement in physical activities; and VALUES physical activity and its contributions to a healthful lifestyle. (National Association for Sport and Physical Education, AAHPERD, 1992).

Standards represent what children/adolescents ought to know and be able to do as a result of the instructional program. Standards 1 through 4 are the primary and distinctive responsibility of the physical education curriculum. No other content area of the school curriculum includes knowledge, skills, and behaviors regarding human movement and physical fitness. Standards 5 through 7 are generally the responsibility of all curricula and co-curricula within the school; however, the physical activity setting is uniquely conducive to enabling children/youth to evidence achievement of these benchmarks, rendering this learning unique to physical education.

Global Standards
Global standards are universal, representing what every child/adolescent should know and be able to do as a result of the instructional program. It cannot be assumed that every child/adolescent in every country/nation will be able to meet all of the content standards at any point in time. Nevertheless, in the spirit of the right of every child/adolescent to be physically educated, it is incumbent upon the profession within the respective country/nation to contribute continually toward fulfillment of the standards.

Content Standards

Content statements describe essential disciplinary knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to perform a variety of physical activities, attain/maintain a healthful level of fitness, and benefit from an active lifestyle.

Benchmarks identify what the student will evidence, relative to knowledge, skills, and behaviors resulting from the instructional program. They are indicators of progress toward achievement of the standard. Benchmarks are intended to be in taxonomic order, from least to most complex.

Customized Curriculum
Standards are not intended to represent a universal curriculum. Rather, they enable an individual nation to customize its curricula by such factors as including appropriate culture-related standards, developing performance expectations for various levels of ability and disability, expanding content standards, and using various enabling activities.

Children and Adolescents
Children and adolescents are generally those enrolled in formal schooling (e.g., grades kindergarten through twelve; ages 5-18).

Culturally Neutral
All individuals should have access to the essential content of physical education, which is intended to be within the grasp of all children/adolescents, regardless of the country/nation in which they live.

Right-to-Learn Premises
These premises describe the kinds of support that need to be in place at the national, state, and school-community levels, to insure the right of each child/adolescent to learn and achieve standards at his/her level of capability.


To insure the right of children/adolescents to achieve the standards, hence, be physically educated:

  • it is incumbent upon government agencies to:
    • embrace physical education as a means to fulfill a fundamental human right, and serve as an avenue for freedom of expression;
    • include physical education as an integral part of schooling;
    • provide physical education for every child;
    • provide continuous learning opportunities throughout formal schooling;
    • provide financial support sufficient to enable the intended learning; and
    • assess achievement of physical education content standards to determine mastery.

  • it is incumbent upon the profession to:
    • provide professionally prepared and appropriately credentialed physical educators;
    • provide for sequential learning and development;
    • provide for individualized learning in the context of factors such as ability, capability, learning style, learning pace;
    • provide success-probable learning materials and experiences;
    • create and manage effective learning environments;
    • customize the curriculum, as culturally and socio-economically appropriate; and
    • assess incremental achievement of physical education content standards to determine mastery.


  • it is incumbent upon the institution to:
    • provide properly licensed instructors in accord with Global Standards for Professional Preparation of Physical Education
    • provide daily, quality physical education instruction for all students;
    • provide and support annual professional development equal to that of teachers in other disciplines;
    • provide enabling support for teaching and learning (e.g., written curriculum, class time, class size, equipment and materials, facilities, technology, teacher schedules), as appropriate for the level of students (e.g., age, grade level, developmental level, special needs), and
    • evaluate teacher performance, student learning and program effectiveness equal to that of all other disciplines.

In addition, the right-to-learn can be realized only when essential needs of each child has been met (e.g., sufficient nutritional and caloric intake, rest, health care).


It is to be understood that quality of physical education instruction and programs is dependent upon existence of several components that operate simultaneously. These standards provide a foundation defining essential content to be learned by students, but must be organized in a curricular context within the school structure. Thus, it is necessary for each school entity to write a curriculum for its particular needs. This written curriculum, however, is only one of at least five components, including:

  • written curriculum reflecting sequential learning;
    • elementary level emphasis: basic motor skills within the context of appropriate games of low organization;
    • middle level emphasis: health fitness concepts, including setting and achieving personal goals for healthful level of fitness; modified and introductory versions of culturally common as well as internationally known games;
    • secondary level emphasis: develop competence/proficiency in student selected activities, including skills to access participation in out-of-school programs available within the community and which have potential for life long involvement and participation;


  • individualized instruction for mastery learning;
  • multiple teaching styles/strategies to accommodate multiple intelligences, learning
    styles, abilities, and disabilities;
  • systematic and regular assessment of which results inform the prescription for further
    learning; and
  • documentation and articulation of student achievements.

Because the needs and conditions of consumers continually change, standards are dynamic in nature. Therefore, it is intended that the Standards undergo systematic reviews and appropriate modification, at least every eight years.



Demonstrate competency in many movement forms and proficiency in a few movement forms. †


Grade 3† †
The student will:

  • Perform manipulative skills (e.g., object control through throwing, catching, striking, kicking)
  • Perform locomotor skills (movements) (e.g., travel by walking, running, skipping, sliding)
  • Perform non-locomotor skills (movements) (e.g., bend, stretch, swing, sway, push, pull, twist, turn)
  • Perform movement combinations (basic skills; sequences?e.g., run and kick; twist, step, and throw)

    Grade 6††
    The student will:


  • Exhibit movement adaptations and modifications
  • Exhibit specialized skills (e.g., pass, dribble, shoot, bat, serve) common to a variety of activities within the context of selected activities

    Grade 9††
    The student will:
  • Exhibit strategies essential to specific purposes within distinctive activity types (e.g., games, offensive/defensive maneuvers, dance sequences, swimming strokes)
  • Combine strategies in small-sided games, modified versions of activities, and sequences from a variety of movement forms (e.g., sport, dance)

    Grade 12††
    The student will:


  • Perform skills, strategies, and sequences within the context of structured activities (e.g., games, dances, sports)
  • Perform skills and strategies within the context of different media (i.e., air, land, water)


    Apply movement concepts and principles to the learning and development of motor skills.†


    Grade 3††
    The student will:
  • Identify fundamental movements
  • Describe movement concepts
  • Describe basic movements using correct vocabulary
  • Apply movement concepts to modify movement

    Grade 6††
    The student will:


  • Identify critical elements of basic skill patterns
  • Identify relationships between/among objects, performers, and other conditions/parameters
  • Use feedback (i.e., internal, external) to improve performances
  • Apply movement concepts to specialized skills
  • Apply critical elements to improve one’s performances in specialized motor skills

    Grade 9††
    The student will:


  • Provide feedback to improve performances of others using critical elements
  • Apply biomechanical principles to tasks of daily living and work
  • Identify and apply principles of practice that improve performances
  • Identify characteristics of highly skilled performances
  • Describe how environmental factors affect performances

    Grade 12††
    The student will:
  • Apply advanced, discipline specific knowledge (e.g., biomechanics, physiology, motor learning) when analyzing performances of self and others
  • Apply biomechanical and physiological principles related to injury prevention
  • Analyze one’s own and other’s performances, and compare with critical elements to improve performances
  • Integrate discipline specific knowledge to learn new skills and activities, independently
  • Evaluate resources for continued learning
  • Describe how physical, emotional, and cognitive factors influence improvement (performance)
  • Access resources for continued learning


    Achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of fitness.†


    Grade 3††
    The student will:
  • Sustain moderate to vigorous physical activity for short periods of time
  • Identify physiological signs of physical activity (e.g., increased heart rate)

    Grade 6††
    The student will:


  • Identify components of health-related fitness (i.e., cardiorespiratory, flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, and body composition)
  • Identify activities related to each component of health-related fitness

    Grade 9††
    The student will:


  • Engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity resulting in physiological responses sufficient to change fitness status
  • Associate results of fitness testing to personal health status and ability to perform various activities
  • Perform fitness tests to gain accurate information about personal fitness status
  • Apply basic principles of training to improve personal fitness

    Grade 12††
    The student will:


  • Develop personal fitness goals based on personal fitness profile
  • Assess physiological indicators of exercise during and after physical activity, and relate results to personal fitness goals
  • Design and independently implement a personal fitness plan

    Exhibit a physically active lifestyle.†


    Grade 3††
    The student will:
  • Engage in moderate to vigorous physical activities
  • Identify likes and dislikes associated with one’s participation in physical activities
  • Participate voluntarily in physical activities outside physical education classes

    Grade 6††
    The student will:


  • Identify at least one activity associated with each component of health-related fitness
  • Select and participate regularly in physical activities for the purpose of skill improvement
  • Identify health benefits of participating in regular physical activities (e.g., feeling good, preventing of disease and illness, stress reduction)

    Grade 9††
    The student will:


  • Identify moderate to vigorous activities providing personal pleasure
  • Identify opportunities in the school and community for regular participation in physical activities
  • Analyze personal interests and capabilities in regard to one’s exercise behavior
  • Analyze critical characteristics of a healthy lifestyle
  • Develop personal physical activity goals
  • Participate daily in some form of health-enhancing activity to achieve fitness goals

    Grade 12††
    The student will:


  • Explore a variety of new physical activities for personal interest in and out of physical education classes
  • Differentiate types of physical activities in relation to varying fitness goals
  • Maintain a physically active lifestyle by overcoming barriers to regular participation
  • Identify how activity participation patterns are likely to change throughout life


    Demonstrate responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings.†


    Grade 3††
    The student will:
  • Apply classroom rules and procedures


  • Exhibit safe practices in physical activity
  • Share space and equipment with others

    Grade 6††
    The student will:
  • Apply safety concepts to movement


  • Work productively independently, as well as cooperatively with a partner and in a small group


  • Identify concepts of fair play and sportsmanship (e.g., ethical concepts, Olympic Ideal)
  • Accept responsibility for personal behavior
  • Respond appropriately to winning and losing

    Grade 9††
    The student will:


  • Apply established activity specific rules, and exhibit etiquette
  • Resolve conflicts arising in physical activity settings
  • Exhibit appropriate self-control and fair play in physical activity settings
  • Make choices related to the safety of self and others based on potentially dangerous consequences
  • Achieve group goals in cooperative and competitive settings
  • Solve problems by analyzing causes with consideration for potential solutions and consequences

    Grade 12††
    The student will:


  • Recognize elements of fair play, honesty, ethical behaviors, and peer pressures in one’s own behavior
  • Act responsibly and help others to act responsibly in physical activity settings


  • Apply concepts of consumerism to personal participation in physical activities (e.g., access, cost, safety)
  • Invite others to participate in physical activities of personal choice
  • Demonstrate cooperation within competitive activities
  • Cooperate in establishing group goals
  • Contribute meaningfully to achieving group goals


    Demonstrate understanding and respect for differences among people in physical activity settings.†


    Grade 3††
    The student will:
  • Differentiate between respectful and disrespectful behaviors
  • Demonstrate respectful behavior and respect for classmates

    Grade 6††
    The student will:


  • Interact positively with students in class regardless of personal differences (e.g., race, gender, ability, disability, culture, ethnicity, religion)
  • Explore cultural/ethnic self awareness and appreciation through participating in physical activities (e.g., games and dances of family origin)
  • Recognize similarities and differences between and among people which can contribute to cooperative and competitive activities

    Grade 9††
    The student will:


  • Understand impact of national, cultural, religious, and ethnic origins on physical activities
    (e.g., exercise, games, sports)
  • Respond positively to differences in people (e.g., gender, culture, religion, ethnicity, ability, disability)

    Grade 12††
    The student will:


  • Analyze roles of sport, games, and dance in society (e.g., historical and contemporary perspectives, activities indigenous to one’s heritage, global society such as Olympic Games and World Games)

    Understand that physical activities provide opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, self expression, and social interaction.†


    Grade 3††
    The student will:
  • Identify feelings resulting from participating in physical activities
  • Identify physical activities that are enjoyable

    Grade 6††
    The student will:


  • Describe relationship between skill competence and enjoyment
  • Try new activities
  • Describe one’s feelings resulting from challenges, successes, and failures in physical activities

    Grade 9††
    The student will:


  • Self select physical activities leading to personal fulfillment
  • Invite others to participate in physical activities of personal choice

    Grade 12††
    The student will:
  • Characterize physical activities that are personally enjoyable, challenging, and fulfilling (e.g., competitive, high risk, individual, socially interactive, aesthetically pleasing, relaxation inducing, self esteem enhancing, leisure fulfilling)
  • Understand human movement as a medium for expression (e.g., creative movement, body language, expression of Olympic Ideal)


    †National Association for Sport and Physical Education/AAHPERD (1995). Moving into the future: National standards for physical education. Rink, J.: Chair. Reston, VA, USA: Mosby 1.

    It should be noted that writers of this document reviewed what was available from various countries, selected as a foundation the NASPE/AAHPERD Standards for Physical Education, then proceeded to add benchmarks reflecting, to some degree, extent of content contained within each standard. The benchmarks, while they may not be all inclusive, serve to create a sense of sequential and essential content, reflecting that which appeared repeatedly within documents from various countries. Initial drafts were circulated among the international regional officers and the chairpersons of selected committees of ICHPER•SD for review and suggestions.

    The NASPE/AAHPERD National Standards for Physical Education were used as a foundation for developing of this document because of the extensive writing and review process used in their development. NASPE standards evolved over a nine year period, developed by two separate writing committees, each of which included elementary and secondary physical education teachers, authorities in curriculum and pedagogy, and measurement/evaluation specialists. The process included a thorough review of available assessments, critical reviews by a broad spectrum of professional physical educators holding a broad range of beliefs, opinions and impressions, and a deliberate process of consensus-building through national workshops held in conjunction with AAHPERD Annual Conventions (1987-1991; 1992-1995). In addition, input was solicited at six district AAHPERD conventions, and many state AHPERD conferences. Further, reviews and consultations with education representatives from other subject areas (i.e., mathematics, arts, science) and educational organizations provided information to assist with clarifying and establishing of important education goals. Intent of this effort was to establish national content standards, while reflecting national reform movements in education.

    The NASPE Outcomes Committee (1986-1992) studied the question, What should students know and be able to do? The work concluded with the development of the definition of a physical educated person, of which its five components were expanded to twenty outcome statements and inclusion of sample benchmarks for selected grade levels.

    This work was published in the document, Outcomes of Quality Physical Education Programs (1992). The second committee, the Physical Education Standards and Assessment Task Force (1992-1995), based its work on results of the Outcomes Committee, and further clarified content of physical education by identifying content standards.

    ††Grade level designations are made cautiously, and have been provided only as guides to
    potential expectations for achievement of these benchmarks. It should be understood that these expectations represent end points within the school structure. Some students may achieve benchmarks prior to and others will not achieve them by the suggested end point. More importantly, learning should be sequential with provision for mastery at the rate of learning of each individual child. Further, multiple factors (e.g., amount of time for instruction, quality of instruction, practice time, development of the student) affect learning progress. Therefore, regardless of grade designation, teachers are responsible for assessing each child relative to his/her level of learning within the sequence, and then diagnosing, prescribing, and planning instruction accordingly. The general areas of emphasis for each school level are indicated in the section titled, IMPLEMENTATION. These areas of emphasis also aid in providing sequential learning, yet are broader and may appear more flexible than specifically designated grade levels.

    For the purposes of these Standards, the grade level designations associate with the following age classifications:
    Grade Level Approximate Ages

    3 8-9
    6 11-12
    9 14-15
    12 17-18


    Confederation des educateurs et educatrices physiques du Quebec (CEEPQ; 1994 ed.). [Quebec Confederation of Physical Educators]. The future of physical education. A time for commitment, CANADA, Editions L’Impulsion.

    Implementation of the Nigerian secondary school physical education curriculum: Some observations and suggestions. (post 1992). Research Paper presented at meeting.

    International Education Agency of Papua, New Guinea. (n.d.). Physical education: The health, and personal development curriculum.

    Hardman, K. and Marshall, J.J. (Spring 2000). Physical Education in Schools: Preliminary findings of a worldwide survey. ICHPER•SD Journal, 36, (3), 8-13.

    Hardman, K. and Marshall, J.J. (Summer 2000). Physical Education in Schools: Preliminary findings of a worldwide survey, part II. ICHPER•SD Journal, 36, (4), 8-12.

    Mohnsen, B.: Editor. (1998). National Association for Sport and Physical Education, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Concepts of physical education: What every student needs to know. Reston, VA, USA.

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    ICHPER•SD April, 2001
    Approved by: ICHPER•SD Executive Committee, November, 2000