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SHAPE America National Standards for
Physical Education



Physical activity is critical to the development and maintenance of good health. The goal of physical education is to develop physically educated individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity.

To pursue a lifetime of healthful physical activity, a physically literate individual:

  • Has learned the skills necessary to participate in a variety of physical activities.
  • Knows the implications of and the benefits from involvement in various types of physical activities.
  • Participates regularly in physical activity.
  • Is physically fit.
  • Values physical activity and its contributions to a healthful lifestyle.

Standard 1: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.

Standard 2: The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.

Standard 3: The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.

Standard 4: The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.

Standard 5: The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.

Perform. Apply. Maintain. Respect. Value.

Purpose of the National Standards Document


Standards Provide the Framework for a Quality Physical

Education Program


What is worth teaching and learning in physical education? The national content standards define what a student should know and be able to do as result of a quality physical education program. They provide a framework for developing realistic and achievable expectations for student performance at every grade level. These expectations are the first step in designing an instructionally aligned program.

National Standards Provide Guidance for Developing State and Local Standards


States and local school districts across the country have used the national standards to develop standards, frameworks, and curricula. Others have revised their existing standards and curricula to align with the national standards.

Standards Increase the Professional Stature of Physical Education


The national standards demonstrate that physical education has academic standing equal to other subject areas. They describe achievement, show that knowledge and skills matter, and confirm that mere willing participation is not the same as education. In short, national physical education standards bring accountability and rigor to the profession

Moving into the Future: National Standards for Physical Education, 2nd Edition

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