Ever wonder about the best ways to motivate and make fitness personally meaningful for all students? If so, you’re not alone. To help, we want to share some proven strategies focused on student empowerment and inclusion that, when implemented properly, can help you motivate each student to achieve their personal best and take ownership of their fitness.
Strategies that offer responsibility, choice, and meaning give students greater ownership over their personal wellness. These strategies include:
Meeting Psychological Needs
- Competence – students can perform activities well and with confidence.
- Autonomy – students have options and can choose activities in which to engage.
- Relatedness – students have a partner, small group, or team to encourage and support them.
- Teachers create personally relevant, socially meaningful, highly engaging experiences for students.
Providing Leadership Opportunities
- Teachers design positions of and chances for responsibility in which students engage.
A Sample 4-Step Empowerment Process
Highlighted below is a 4-step process for High School PE.
Master – basic movements and routines
In this step, the teacher is helping students remediate and refine individual movement competency.
- Example: students master basic yoga poses or a “fun” salutation routine.
Create – a program or routine
At this point, students develop a personalized fitness routine or program, applying knowledge and skills.
- Example: students select and sequence yoga poses to create a fully personalized yoga routine.
Lead – a fitness routine or station
Next, students showcase leadership and personal and social responsibility by guiding others in a fitness activity.
- Example: students lead classmates through the personal routines created in step 2.
Pass Test – to demonstrate knowledge
Lastly, students complete a written assessment to ensure they know the content well.
- Example: students take a yoga quiz and must pass with at least 80%.
Make fitness personal for your students by:
- Applying the empowerment strategies outlined above.
- Implementing the example 4-step empowerment process in your own PE program.
What other strategies do you use to reinforce student ownership in fitness? We would love to hear from you in the discussion section below.
Dr. Derek Mohr
Dr. Derek Mohr, Professor in Health and Physical Edcuation at Appalachian State University, holds a Doctorate in Physical Education Teacher Education with a cognate in exercise physiology from West Virginia University. His focus area is in sport, activity, and fitness pedagogy. Read more posts by Dr. Derek Mohr –>
Dr. Scott Townsend
Dr. J. Scott Townsend holds a Doctorate in Physical Education Teacher Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Supervision. He has worked extensively with curriculum and instruction models, more specifically focused on sport education. Read more posts by Dr. Scott Townsend –>